China’s abandoned Magic Kingdom; Wonderland


I love abandoned sites. A few years back we took a trip to California and visited Bombay Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea. Sounds dreamy right? Well, it’s not. This is Bombay Beach.

Bombay Beach California

High salt levels and floods made Bombay Beach, once coined the Riviera of California, uninhabitable. Well, for most that is, as some die-hard residents still call it home.

California is also home to Disneyland. Anything but deserted. The Magic Kingdom draws in about 15.000.000 people each year. That’s close to the population of The Netherlands! Wonderland Theme Park in China, about a 45 minute drive from Downtown Beijing, is not so lucky. What was going to be the largest amusement park in Asia and Asia’s answer to Disney Magic Kingdom, is now probably competing with Tjernobyl as the largest abandoned site in the East. Disagreements with local government and farmers over property prices forced the project developers to stop construction in 1998. It now sits abandoned between fields of corn and houses along the highway to the Great Wall. I have tried to find aerial images of in on Google Earth but have not had any luck yet. But these pictures already show its marvel and make me want to book a flight to China to see it myself.

Photographs by David Grey (Reuters). For more from this series check this article on theatlantic.com

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