So I found myself in south Texas last week visiting the family. We made our way into Katy (a suburb of Houston) where I lived as a young child. We were on a mission to find the Forbidden Gardens which happened to be across the street from our old neighborhood. Once we arrived, we found a miniature replica of China’s Forbidden City under a 40,000 square foot pavilion. The 80 acre grounds were beautiful with carefully manicured lawns and a large koi pond. The highlight of this attraction was definitely its 1/3 scale 6,000 soldier terracotta army.
Taking pictures here was difficult to say the least. Getting good shots under the pavilion was next to impossible because of the glare from the sun and having to keep a significant distance from the exhibit. Not to mention the tourists getting in the way constantly. Unfortunately, the only way to tour the grounds is with a group, so there wasn’t enough time to compose shots very well. Despite all the difficulties, the terracotta army alone was well worth the trip. It really was magnificent to see. A number of the soldiers and horses were life-size and no two were exactly the same.
Separate rooms boast ancient Chinese weapons, architectural standards of the time, and the Emperor’s dining table. Also on display are the Empress’s shoes, luggage and food that the Imperial Family ate. The tour guides were knowledgable and admission was $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, and children.
More from Texas soon…