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Our Big Day at the Seaside in Chengdu

overcast 13 °C

After a journey of twenty thousand kilometres, battling a blizzard in Vancouver, suffering the sweltering heat in Sri Lanka and the nightime chills in the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau, we pushed on by boat, bus, plane, train, taxi and tuk-tuk till we reached the province of Sichuan in western China. Our goal – the city of Chengdu to visit the largest building in the world...
This is the New Century Global Centre in Chengdu which measures almost NINETEEN MILLION square feet. This building is so vast that it is virtually impossible to get it all in one photo. But the awe-inspiring size of the building is nothing compared to its interior. It is more capacious than twenty Sydney Opera houses and, for comparison, it is five times bigger than Canada's much vaunted West Edmonton Mall ...
This single building houses 14 Imax 3D cinema screens, two 5 star hotels each with more than a thousand rooms and an Olympic-sized ice rink...
There are hundreds of ritzy shops and restaurants where you can buy almost anything that you would find on the high street in London or Paris and you can even buy a $60 cup of coffee if you can afford it...
But we did not come all this way to skate, shop or drink ridiculously expensive Civet coffee. We came because James wanted to see the world's longest artificial beach with sunbathing space for 6,000 people; to swim in the world's biggest indoor wave pool and to watch the sunrise and sunset on the world's biggest TV – a screen measuring a whopping twenty two thousand square feet that is the backdrop to the world's biggest indoor water park...
And just off the beach is a full scale European seaside village complete with an English fish and chip shop and a massive cathedral...
But wait a minute - there are more than 16 million residents in the Greater Chengdu Area; where are the crowds? We went on a cold drizzly Saturday and expected the place to be packed with families warming themselves under the artificial sun on the beach, swimming in the warm indoor ocean and screaming down the mammoth water slides. But, apart from one little kiddie playing in the sand with a bucket and spade, we had the whole place to ourselves.
Strange, we thought, until we discovered that the pool was empty, the seaside village deserted and the whole place under renovation.

With a sigh of disappointment, James put his swimsuit away and we had a coffee before taking the Metro back to our hotel. Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you planned them!

Posted by Hawkson 20:49 Archived in China

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You would find this only in China. Hope it made James happy.

by Samchow58

SIGH!!!!!!!!! Hope you can find more in Chengdu to interest you. What a whimsical journey. Hope you at least shared a cup of the $60 cuppa. Would you even tell us if you did?

by Sue Fitzwilson

That rink certainly doesn't touch the mobs skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa on a weekend. I'm surprised but then maybe the cost of admission is like the $60 cup of coffee. Just looked up civet coffee--ugh.

by R and B

You were lucky you didn't lose each other. I think that was a ridiculous place. You would need roller scates to get around.
It is still raining here for the next week but so far no more snow..see you soon love

by Jean McLaren

just thought I'd let you know the Nanaimo-ites vote no to the recreation centre.

by janet

Believing "If we build it they will come" has led many a developer astray. Apparently new nearly uninhabited cities in parts of China. This Chengdu is a far cry from the city of hustings and dust I recall from a visit 30 years ago.

by Tom Whalley

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