Big Ben

“I’m KING of the WORLD!!”
“Please stop saying this.”

The gf and I recently took a trip to the southwestern suburbs of Fangshan, my first visit to the boonies since I lived on the opposite side of the compass in Tongzhou. We had lunch in a little Muslim restaurant surrounded by smoking, spitting locals.

Then we explored World Park, which does what it says on the tin: it’s an amusement park themed around different countries of the world, featuring various scale models of famous monuments. Even the bridges that cross from Asia to Africa or America to Europe are tiny versions of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate, and so on. After towering over a Lilliputian Angkor Wat and worshipping at a 1:2 scale Stonehenge, we stopped off at one of the many snack bars and enjoyed an instant coffee for the decidedly non-miniature price of ¥12 each, warming our insides with the sweet tang of rip off.

The park was, like anything in Beijing (especially during off season), a little rough around the edges. The double staircase of Persepolis has loose paving slabs; grass is growing through the Taj Mahal; the Eiffel Tower is a no go because some hipsters from a trendy magazine are doing a photo shoot there. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it.

Fangshan may not be on anyone’s bucket list, but I actually plan on seeing more of the suburbs in the near future. There’s always more of the world to see.