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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]

oil

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 Comment

  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

One Dead, 17 Injured in Guangxi Kindergarten Knife Attack

News of a brutal kindergarten attack in Guangxi has shocked Chinese netizens.

Manya Koetse

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A brutal attack on a kindergarten in the city of Beiliu, Guangxi Province, has left at least one dead and 17 people injured. (Update April 29: Two victims have now passed away due to the attack.)

The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 28, when a man stormed into the school with a knife and started stabbing the pupils and teaching staff. The man attacked at least 16 children and 2 teachers. Blurred videos of the scene showed injured children in the playground area, some sitting up and some lying on the floor.

The 25-year-old man from Guangxi’s Guannan village was arrested shortly after the attack and his motives remain unknown at this time. One video on Weibo shows the man being taken away by police. Some online rumors (unconfirmed) suggested the man was going through a divorce and that his wife works at the kindergarten.

Local authorities in Beiliu and Yulin are calling on people to donate blood while the hospital is treating those who were injured in the attack. Images shared on Weibo showed people lining up to donate blood.

In June of 2020, a similar kindergarten attack left 39 children and staff injured.

On Weibo, the incident has become a trending topic, with many people expressing anger and sorrow over the attack.

“Is this another ‘mental disorder’ [case]?” (“又是精神病?”) many commenters write.

“This news really breaks my heart. Those poor children have done nothing wrong, they are innocent,” one person writes. Many others write that they hope the man will be severely punished. “He should be executed on the spot,” some say, with others writing: “Having a mental disorder is not an excuse.”

By Manya Koetse

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Delivery Man in Anhui Run Over by Ambulance Sent to Rescue Him

From bad to worse: this Eleme delivery man was run over by an ambulance after being hit by an SUV.

Manya Koetse

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On April 12, a delivery man in the city of Bozhou, Anhui province, was run over by an ambulance arriving at the scene of an accident where he had just been injured.

Shocking footage circulating on Chinese social media shows the delivery man lying in the middle of the road when the ambulance arrives and runs over his leg. The incident happened around 12:00 in the afternoon (link to video, viewer discretion advised).

While the delivery man already suffered injuries because he was hit by an SUV shortly before, things quickly went from bad to worse when the ambulance that was supposed to come to his rescue crushed his leg. The man is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Mengcheng county.

Statement on Weibo by the official Mengcheng county account (@蒙城发布).

According to recent news reports, the ambulance driver has currently been suspended and is under investigation.

The incident received a lot of attention on Weibo today, where the hashtag page discussing the double accident received over 150 million views (#外卖员被救护车二次碾压#).

Many comments relating to this incident are focused on the role of the traffic police at the scene of the accident, with people wondering why there was no guard standing next to the victim.

Thousands of commenters also address how sorry they feel for the victim, especially because the lives of many food delivery drivers – facing long working hours and low wages – is already tough enough.

According to Toutiao News (头条新闻), the delivery man works for Chinese food delivery giant Eleme. Wang Gang (王刚, alias) is approximately 30 years old and has a wife and a child. He had only been working for Eleme for a few months and reportedly did not have any prior accidents.

In Monday’s double accident, Wang suffered a mild skull fracture, seven broken ribs, and a fractured lower leg. He is in stable condition.

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.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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