Beijing has its fair share of kitschy European style developments in various states of abandonment (see the Olympic Homko villas), but the Tonghui International Bar Street 通惠国际酒吧街 really takes the biscuit.
Construction on this Swiss-style bar street began in 2010, and was expected to open in 2014. Somewhere towards the end of the timeline, the project was abandoned, and now the town clock chimes to an empty village every hour.
The street itself is based on the Alpine Swiss town of Interlaken, and as well as the charismatic design of the street, the development also boasts 18,000 square metres of underground shopping space.
You can check out some of the original designs do the complex at Su Landscape, the company which designed the wooden facades. All of the complex is still completely unoccupied, and gaining access is extremely simple.
One very old security guard sleeps in a fairy tale cottage at the far end of the street (above: right of the green guesthouse).
The best way to move from building to building is either by the tunnels that thread their way under the street, or even better, to jump in and out of windows like a fairy tale goblin or elf.
Unusually, even though the exteriors of the buildings are complete and boast some fantastic and unusual decorations, the interiors are just cement, and none of the buildings have stairs to the first floor.
Apparently, Tonghui International was part of a 400 million yuan project by The Chaoyang Planning Commission, trying to invigorate business close to Guomao, the economic centre of Beijing.
Whatever the case, the project is dead now, and the street and underground shopping mall both lie dormant.
A metal fence surrounds the street, and in the front yard there is a bronze horse and cart created in 2008 according to the date on the horse’s rump.
With its easy access and fairy tale weirdness, Tonghui International Bar Street gets a B+ from Burbex.
By the way, if you loved this great leisure site, be sure to check out these other great urbex sites in Beijing, like Floating Dragon Lake Amusement Park, and The Great Mall of China in neighbouring Hebei.
Of course if you want to come along, just drop me a line, and don’t forget to bring your Swiss cheese. I hope you know how to yodel.