Ghost towns, Asia’s answer to Disneyland, abandoned Communist headquarters and UKs strangest sea towers. This week Optical Express Magazine takes you on a tour of some of the world’s oddest sites!
Paris is one of the worlds’ most romantic cites, and rightly so. But did you know Paris has its own replica in the east? Tianducheng, in China’s Zhejiang district, was modelled on the French capital, and even has a replica Eiffel Tower. Tianducheng is a gated community which has the capacity to house up to 100,000 people, but unfortunately only 2,000 people have moved in since 2007, making it somewhat of a ghost town. Check out a video of eerie Tianducheng here.
Everyone likes a bit of shopping on their holidays, but the mall in New South China, Guangdong province, is maybe one you’d want to avoid. It has an indoor rollercoaster, a replica of the Arc de Triomphe, Venice's St Mark's bell tower and a 2.1 kilometre canal with gondolas...but over 99% of the leasable units remain vacant. This means about 2,350 of its stores are empty. Here is the mall in all its lonely glory. You might want to go elsewhere for your souvenirs!
Who would not want to go to Asia’s largest theme park? It must be awesome, right? Wrong. It never got finished. Wonderland, 20 miles outside of Bejing, was meant to be Asia’s answer to Disneyland, but financial problems halted its construction. The focal point of the park was a Disney-like castle, but unfortunately, in 2013, the incomplete and abandoned structures were pulled down. Here is what Wonderland looked like before it was demolished. Apparently, they are going to build a shopping centre on the former Wonderland grounds, and the mind boggles how that will look!
Hashima Island, or Battleship Island, is found off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. It has its own dedicated website based on Google Street View maps. At one point Battleship Island offered a school, restaurants, hospital and movie theatre, but that all changed in 1974 when Mitsubishi closed its mine on the island. A small portion of the island was re-opened for tourism in 2009.
Looking like a flying saucer high on Mount Buzludzha, sits Bulgaria’s former Communist Party concrete abandoned headquarters. Built in 1981 at a cost of 14,186,000 Bulgarian leva, the ‘House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party’ perches at an altitude of 1441 metres above sea level and was abandoned in the early 1990s. Here is how the fascinating building looks after years of decay.
Back to the UK for our final destination. Maunsell Forts are a series of sea towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War. They were also used as pirate radio stations during the 60s and 70s, but are now abandoned. The primary function of the towers was to deter and report German air raids. You can see the location of the forts on this Google Map. Why not organise a boat trip and take a look for yourself?