Call it an ode to ego, or one man's fear of death, this gobsmacking hangover from the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) is more often regarded as the eighth wonder of the world. Consider this: three pits filled with around 8,000 warriors and horses, specialist archers, chariots and cavalry, and an army command centre; each lifesize warrior with its own expression believed to be modelled on real soldiers. First discovered in 1974 after 2,000 years of water and soil erosion, the 237,000 square feet (22,000 square metres) may only be half the original size, but this terra cotta styled feat will probably never be matched.
Shangri-La Hotel, Xian. Book into one of their suites with stunning views over all that is modern to the city before making the day trip out to the foot of the Silk Route to see the ancient warriors.