If you drive 45 minutes out from the centre of Beijing, China, you are likely to hit the 100 acres worth of the city’s abandoned amusement park, “Wonderland” that was scheduled to become the largest amusement park in all of Asia. After farmers forced to leave their land in order to make room for one of China’s new tourist attractions along the likes of a large Wonderland or playcentre for children, the project came to a screeching halt over 10 years ago when the project ran out of funding thanks to disagreements over the property prices according to the local government and farmers. In Wonderland’s place, remain the deteriorating concrete skeletal remains of several buildings, most notably, a fairytale castle that was likely intended to house an indoor playground. The area has been completely abandoned and is void of any security (a rare occurrence) keeping watching over the abandoned project. Instead, farmers have returned to unofficially stake claim of their old land. Surrounding the freakish foundation and wood beams of the castle structure are patches of planted crops. Farmers who are once again working the land are considering erecting structures and shelters of their own, convinced that developers will not return with additional funds any time soon. We hope for the sake of the eerie atmosphere that is commonly associated with abandoned buildings that some film maker will stumble upon this movie set gem and put the structure to use for a change.
Photography by David Gray.