Which Is Your Favourite Wonder of China?

Post 384

Ah, China. There’s actually a lot about China that I think we all think we know but we actually don’t know because it’s not actually true. For example, you can’t see The Great Wall from space and fortune cookies aren’t Chinese, they were invented in San Francisco in 1900. Although it is worth pointing out that a third of San Francisco’s air pollution comes from China. So what is true? They use 45 billion chopsticks a year. Buddhist Monks in Tibet are banned from reincarnation without government permission, and I kid you not, that is actually true. China has the world’s largest shopping centre, 99% empty. 35 million people still live in caves. There’s just one time zone, meaning in some areas, the Sun doesn’t rise until 10 in the morning. Paper and ice cream were invented there. And you can buy tins of fresh air, due to the pollution. Flavours include Pristine Tibet, Revolutionary Yah’an and Post-Industrial Taiwan. Seriously. We are in China, it’s to be expected, really.

The obvious elephant in the room is, “What the hell are you doing, China isn’t wonderful.” This is an antiquated view, because China is lovely and has many wonders. It’s the government that is screwed up. So yes, China does deserve a Seven Wonders list, but it does not condone how poorly run that country is. These Wonders questions transcend politics. They look at what the Earth has given us and what humankind has given back to enhance where we live. China is wonderful. And that’s all that matters right now.

The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City and Yungang Grottoes are too obvious. They are very touristy, too. The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing was destroyed and rebuilt and I’m not sure what to make of that. The rebuilt one isn’t a wonder in its own right and the destroyed one is little more than fragments of stone, so I argue it can’t really be called a wonder. The remaining three are all marvellous, it’s really hard to pick one. I’m going to rule out Hanging Temple, it’s great but it’s well known and the other two aren’t. And whilst The Stone Forest is just spectacular, I’ll rule it out too because my final choice is incredible.

And that is, The Terracotta Army. A collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of The First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Buried with the Emperor, part of his mausoleum, designed to protect him in the afterlife. It consists of four pits and within them, over 8,000 terracotta soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Part of a vast necropolis, originally painted bright colours and all life-sized. The level of detail and craftsmanship beggars belief. It is stunning, a marvellous creation and a brilliant wonder. Photos do not do it any kind of justice, but it is utterly fantastic.

The Terracotta Army. My favourite wonder of China.

Ciao :)(:

Photo: The Terracotta Army

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