Once thought fanciful, the suggestion that China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, also built lakes of mercury and other grand landscape representations as part of his elaborate Xian tomb recently turned out to be true; alongside the 8000 terracotta warriors made to accompany him into the next life are vast patches saturated with the element. The most significant archaeological find of the last century, the grand mausoleum in the first of the four ancient capitals is truly a staggering sight. The 1974 discovery of a few precisely detailed heads resulted in an enormous excavation of ancient treasures that’s nowhere near complete. The intricate, individually detailed, life-size generals, warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians reveal a BC culture advanced in ways ancient Europe had yet to contemplate, and cements Chinese civilisation as one of the greats. The giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian street café dumplings down the road do as much too!