Chinese Terracotta Warriors & Army, Seattle Exhibition

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Guest Feature

A Reluctant Traveler – Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

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For me, travel outside of the United States rarely happens. This is because I am a reluctant traveler. Each day I am reminded how little I know about so many things around the world, in history, and in all of life. The opportunity to travel has the potential to expand and grow my views but I am cautious about travel because I am a reluctant traveler. As a reluctant traveler, visiting The Terracotta Warriors Exhibition at the Seattle Center is a way to see these magnificent artworks without leaving home. I highly recommend the experience. The exhibition is a must-see when you are in Seattle.

The Reluctant Traveler Experience

The truth is I can plan and organize well. I can be spontaneous if I analyze the risks and recognize a reward that allows me to remain safe, calm, and principled. My pace is slow and methodical. That may bother some of my higher energy companions, but I like being with me. My reluctance to travel will not cave in to “self-induced” pressure or by the urgings of others. I am a Reluctant Traveler who experiences the joys of travel through family and friends, books, and movies! I don’t have to go on trips to foreign places. My pleasure is to experience travel through the eyes of other people and my friends in particular. Kate travels a lot and knows this about me. So, she surprised me, the Reluctant Traveler – Terracotta Warriors Exhibition.

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Virtual Trip to China

Recently I was invited to take a journey to China. Not literally to China, but to an exhibition called Terracotta Warriors Exhibition. The show will go to two cities. This “never-before-seen” show and the world premiere is happening right now in Seattle. I traveled to China via the Seattle IMAX Theater. My friend Kate planned the perfect day trip for me. We began the day by taking a cab ride to the city’s Pacific Science Center to view the astounding collection of Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor of China, Qin.


Upon arriving, we stopped for lunch at the Collections Café. There we enjoyed a delicious meal while enjoying the ambiance all kinds of interesting, colorful artwork and collectibles of Chihuly. We were hungry when our food arrived, so hungry we forgot to take a photo of our dishes.

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition


After a brisk walk from lunch to the theater, we settled into our seats, and my journey to China began. He was born Ying Zheng took the throne in 259 BC at the young age of 13 and became the first Emperor of the Qin at age 38 and died at 49. His early death was because he took mercury tablets every day which he thought would give him eternal life. He was a warring conqueror and known for the engineering and construction of the first Great Wall of China.

Emperor Qin

In his later years, Emperor Qin feared death and sought the “elixir of life” which would supposedly give him immortality. His mausoleum was constructed by reportedly 700,000 men. Around 6000 Terracotta Warriors were created to accompany and protect the Emperor in the afterlife from evil spirits.

What’s in the Show

The show features the Terracotta warriors that protected Emperor Qin’s grave and protected him in the afterlife. Like the Egyptians, and the 1st-centry Chinese believed that their worldly goods of this life must be prepared to accompany them to their afterlife. Therefore, Emperor Qin, who united all of the present day China, when he took the throne immediately started his tomb. Early Chinese believed in an afterlife. To be successful in the next life, since each person would do the same work as they did in this life, Chinese thought they needed to buried with an army of terracotta warriors, household goods, weapons, and even slaves for the next world. My heaven is very different than their heaven, but, this belief is the reason behind the Terracotta Warriors we see today.

Some of the interesting points of interest to me were the chariots, the horse with only six teeth, and the armor.

Favorites from Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

The young, six toothed horse

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Terracotta Warriors Exhibition – Warriors on horseback, servants, and foot soldiers


Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Chinese 1st-century tools of Qin Dynasty – Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Carriage and Driver with Four Horses

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, Carriage, driver with parasol and horses

This shows the lighting of the show and ambiance which made me feel the mystery of the terracotta pieces


Seeing the life-like, distinctively different facial features of each figure illustrates the skill of the craftsmen and artists. This took 700,000 people to create this lifelike world for the afterlife. Each Chinese person contributed to the making of the artifacts. Now, because of this work, we know more about Emperor Qin and have a better historical perspective on this period of Chinese history.

Departure from China

Each generation adds to and participates in shaping history. I understand this world is vast and all-knowledge only knowable by the one I know as the Creator. Isn’t it exciting there will always be more than enough to discover as we travel?

Leaving my trip to China, by way of the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, made me appreciate I was born exactly at the right time of history. Exiting the show, I spied the space needle and realized how blessed I am.

Reluctant Traveler - Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

Travel tip: Read Kates view on the Exhibition

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Rhonda is a reluctant traveler and cautiously travels to new places. She has two adult sons and is a WA transplant from Michigan. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Michigan. She is currently a licensed Realtor and has completed the Certificate in Transformational Coaching Program as prescribed by Western Seminary. Her favorite things are God, family, and friends. If Bible Study and a sporting event are included in a gathering, that makes the experience even better. She tries new recipes a couple times a month and enjoys cooking.