I have heard so many things about semi-completed, abandoned London-size cities in China and abandoned projects of similar scale all over the country, but never seen one for myself. For those of you who don’t already know, China’s government is super rich! Possibly the richest in the world in terms of unallocated free cash. They can throw so much money at any small project that everything gets done in record speeds.
They have built huge cities capable of housing 5 million residents, before there is even anyone ready to live there. These cities come complete with town halls, government offices, fire stations, police stations etc – but no one working there or living there yet! It’s crazy. So of course, when I found out there was an abandoned theme park (the largest in Asia!) just outside Beijing, I had to have a look!
Located in Beijing’s Changping district 昌平区, Chenzhuang Village 陈庄村, this park stands out from it’s farmland surroundings. On the bus, I was thinking to myself ‘how will I know when to get off?’ But there was no way I could miss this monster tower peaking over the hills. The park carves out 120 acres of previously farmer-owned land.
Anything like this around where you’re from? The land around this tower is actually pretty huge! However, there are myths that it was illegally ‘purchased’ from farmers who are slowly starting to reclaim it as you can see from all the crops surrounding me. This project started in 1998 and has been abandoned since then it’s been an attraction to foreigners living here in Beijing. Most regular tourists don’t know about this place.
For any of you in Beijing wanting to know how to get there: The cheapest way is to take the bus 919 from Deshengmen Station 德胜门公车占, between Jishuitan 积水潭 and Gulou Dajie 鼓楼大街. Take this bus all the way to Chenzhuang Station 陈庄站 (about 1 hour). I don’t have the exact price as I forgot to check when I swiped my card, but it’s around 10元 / £1.