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Shiny Big Eyelids, Pouty Red Lips? You Might Have Been to the Wrong Terracotta Army

Thought you visited the Terracotta Army, one of the great wonders of the world? You might have been tricked.

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Thought you visited the Terracotta Army, one of the great wonders of the world? You might have been tricked into a cheap replica of the famous tourist site. The complaints of people visiting Xi’an who are tricked by “tour guides” are growing louder.

Recently, one Chinese travel review attracted many readers on Douban, a Chinese social media network. In the blog, titled “Xi’an is a fun city: both its tourist sites and its scammers,” the writer tells how he went through a challenging game of outwitting cunning “tour guides” during his travels in Xi’an.

The netizen shared how he painstakingly defeated all the ‘bosses’ and finally managed to see the REAL Terracotta Army instead of its poor replica.

The ‘game’ began once the blogger had stepped out of the train at Xi’an station, where a fake policeman lured him to the wrong bus. A man in black then tried to convince him that the Terracotta Army pits were so far that he had to take another bus, and a free shuttle bus offered to take him to the real pit.

If it is your first time in Xi’an, and you haven’t done much preparation before the trip, you might fall into the trap and be guided to the “famous sites”: a Terracotta Army pit, an “Eight Wonders of the World” museum, and some other sites where famous historical events supposedly took place.

Here is what you will be seeing when you go to the “famous sites”:

• Shiny terracotta warriors with pouty red lips. Their color, despite what archaeologists say about the paint fading in open air, is vividly preserved. Sometimes they even have a modern-looking girl in their company. [Site: Underground Place of Qin, 秦陵地宫]

terracotta2

terracotta3

• The “Eight Wonders of the World,” where you will see things such as the tomb of Tutankhamen, Egyptian pyramids, or the three goddesses of ancient Greece. [Site: Eight Wonders of the World Museum, 世界八大奇迹馆]

8wonders

egypt

• Or paintings and wax figures depicting people’s lives in the past. [Site: Eight Wonders of the World Museum; Relics of Feast at Hong Gate, 鸿门宴遗址]

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Portrait of Liu Bang, a king in the Three Kingdoms Period (You can also click on the video to experience the trip).

Portrait of Liu Bang, a king in the Three Kingdoms Period
(You can also click on the video to experience the trip).

Although visitors might feel confused and disappointed after such a trip, they often do not not dwell on it for too long; after all, the above three places are officially recognized tourist sites by the Shaanxi Tourism Administration (陕西旅游政务), and have existed for decades.

But since last year, tourists’ complaints have grown louder, especially after the October Golden Week holiday when millions of people came to Xi’an to see the historical wonders of the city. Many were angered that they got to see cheap replicas instead.

The problem is that replica attractions used to be officially recognized tourist spots in the same way as real historical sites were. According to Mr. Zhang, an insider interviewed by Pear Video, the tourist sites with poorly replicated relics were constructed in the 1980s, when tourist resources were still scarce.

The ‘fake’ sites were used to satisfy the curiosity of visitors, so that they could see ‘historical relics’ they would otherwise never have a chance to see.

Although these replicas might have been of acceptable quality 30 years ago, they now seem crude, cheap, and very much outdated.

But more importantly, many historical sites have now become much more accessible to visitors than they were in the 1980s. On one single day in October 2016 alone, the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum had 120,000 visitors. Now that the ‘real’ sites are open for visitors, tourists no longer want to see replicas.

Nevertheless, tourists are still lured to go to these replica sites, only later finding out that they are at the wrong place. According to Mr. Zhang, the operators of these ‘fake’ sites spare no means to cooperate with illegal travel agencies to bring more visitors to their premises.

As a result of the rising complaints, the Xi’an Tourism Board has disqualified the above-mentioned three sites as of September 2016.

Yet according to Chinese netizens and daily newspaper Dushi Kuaibao (@都市快报), the scamming “travel guides” are still ubiquitous in Xi’an, tricking ignorant visitors every day.

Despite all the controversies, Xi’an is still worth a visit. Take this kind advice of a Xi’an netizen who warns travelers not to waste money on cheap scams:

We always welcome guests to Xi’an. If your budget is low, prepare your trip in advance. If your budget is high, stay at a 5-star hotel and rent a car. As long as you do not travel on the cheap, you won’t be cheated. The point of traveling is spending money for enjoyment. If you spend your money at the right place, you will get the most out of it.

-By Diandian Guo
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©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Diandian Guo is a China-born Master student of transdisciplinary and global society, politics & culture at the University of Groningen with a special interest for new media in China. She has a BA in International Relations from Beijing Foreign Language University, and is specialized in China's cultural memory.

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  1. Avatar

    Yapa

    July 25, 2017 at 3:55 am

    Thanks for going to the Museum and take pics.

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China Local News

Boy, 15, Fatally Beaten and Buried by Group of Minors in Shaanxi

The heinous crime has sparked discussions on the problem of campus violence and China’s criminal liability age.

Manya Koetse

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A brutal incident that took place in the city of Xingping in Shaanxi province is top trending on Chinese social media today.

On October 29, a 15-year-old boy by the name of Yuan (袁) was fatally beaten and buried by a group of six people, all minors.

Beijing News reports that Yuan was a second-year student at the Xianyang Xingping Jincheng Middle School. He had taken time off from school and had a temporary job in Xi’an before the incident occurred.

Yuan’s father told reporters that his son had returned to Xingping on October 29. A small group of minors, including four students, allegedly demanded money from Yuan, which he refused. It is also reported that a conflict occurred because Yuan added one of the minors to his phone’s ‘blacklist’ (电话拉黑).

According to various news reports, the group of minors attacked the boy with a pickaxe after which he became unconscious. They then brought him over to a nearby hotel and discovered he was dead the next day. They later buried his lifeless body in a pit near the school premises.

The location where Yuan’s body was buried, photo by Beijing News.

On November 2, other students who had heard of the crime reported it to the police. Yuan’s body was found in the pit shortly after officers arrived at the scene.

Local authorities released a statement about the case on November 10, in which they stated the suspects have been detained and that the case is still under investigation.

Various sources on Weibo claim that Yuan previously also suffered beatings at school, with severe school bullying being the main reason for the 15-year-old to temporarily drop out of school.

In a video report by Pear Video, Yuan’s father says they are still unsure of how their son died, suggesting he might have still been alive when he was buried in the pit.

China has been dealing with an epidemic of school violence for years. In 2016, Chinese netizens already urged authorities to address the problem of extreme bullying in schools, partly because minors under the age of 16 rarely face criminal punishment for their actions.

On social media site Weibo and on the news app Toutiao, many commenters are not just angered about the incident but also focus on China’s laws regarding the criminal responsibility of minors.

Some write: “Our criminal laws for minors should protect minors instead of protecting juvenile offenders!”

China’s criminal liability age is currently set at 14. Last month, Global Times reported on a proposal to lower the age of criminal liability in China from 14 to 12 in response to concerns about an alleged increase in juvenile violence.

“These minors need to be severely punished,” multiple commenters wrote: “Who knows who else they might hurt?”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Food & Drinks

Viral Video Exposes Wuhan Canteen Kitchen Food Malpractices

Boots in the food bowl, meat from the floor: this Wuhan college canteen is making a food safety mess.

Manya Koetse

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A video that exposes the poor food hygiene inside the kitchen of a Wuhan college canteen has been making its rounds on Chinese social media these days.

The video shows how a kitchen staff member picks up meat from the floor to put back in the tray, and how another kitchen worker uses rain boots to ‘wash’ vegetables in a big bowl on the ground, while another person is smoking.

The video was reportedly shot by someone visiting the canteen of the Wuhan Donghu University (武汉东湖学院) and was posted on social media on November 7.

According to various news sources, including Toutiao News, the school has confirmed that the video was filmed in their canteen, stating that those responsible for the improper food handling practices have now been fired.

The Wuhan Donghu University also posted a statement on their Weibo account on November 8, saying it will strengthen the supervision of its canteen food handling practices.

“The students at this school will probably vomit once they see this footage,” some commenters on Weibo wrote.

Wuhan Donghu University is an undergraduate private higher education institution established in 2000. The school has approximately 16,000 full-time undergraduate students.

“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” one popular comment said, receiving over 25,000 likes.

Students from other universities also expressed concerns over the food handling practices in their own canteens, while some said they felt nauseous for having had lunch at the Wuhan canteen in question.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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