April 28

Leaving Xi'an, I caught a tiny "sardine can" (about the size of a dash-8) from Xi'an to Wuhan. Where Xi'an is desert-like, Wuhan is moist and lush, along the Yangtze river.

The SARS scare is starting to catch up with my itinerary; Beijing started closing only after I left, and there was only one change of plan in Xi'an; a culture dance had to be closed, mostly because of lack of attendance (though not because of a government stipulation.)

Now, however, the decree has come down that certain tourist attractions cannot accept non-locals, so the local guide had to really do some creative guiding. The plan was to see the unearthed relics from the tomb of Zeng Hou Yi (circa 433 BC) and as you can see, we made it there, but prior to the 4 PM demonstration of some replica bells, something went snafu and we ended up leaving in a hurry, amidst many angry words exchanged between the local guide and the museum manager...

View from the 17th floor

Wuhan is actually three cities that gradually coalesced, divided now only by two rivers that flow past. As with many other parts of China, you see the old and the new, (and everything in between,) intermingled. The Modernizations are ever ongoing.


Here's the outer coffin that contained the remains of Zeng Hou Yi. This monstrous thing weighs several tons, and is actually the larger of two coffins.

Heavenly Music

The great find in this tomb is this enormous rack of bells. It seems that Zeng Hou Yi liked music very much, and wanted to hear it in the afterlife. This complete instrument, as well as several others, and the coffins of numerous young women (presumably the musicians) were found in the tomb's antechambers.