Category Archives: china

SPACE & SCIENCE MUSEUM – BEIJING – GRADE B-

Just a stone’s throw from The World Trade Towers and right next to An Hua Qiao Subway Station is the derelict site of Beijing Space and Science Museum.

Beijing Space Science Museum

Along with the Planetarium and the The Natural History Museum nearby in the compound, all of these buildings are due for demolition soon.

Beijing Planetarium

Crimson Rooftop

The Space Museum has recently been abandoned by the security guards which makes entering much easier than before.

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The museum is spread over nine floors, and the sixth floor opens out onto this awesome roof area affording some great views of the local area.

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Unfortunately most of the building has been gutted, but there are a few exhibits remaining in a few hidden corners.

Planetarium from Above

It is also very easy to get lost in the maze-like basement, but there are some great rooms to be found.

Roof Ramp

There are lots of bottles and specimens on display and in storage within the building.

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One of the best features of the museum is the display about how ancient mines were dug.

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Manikins of the miners are still down there in the dark gathered around their little fires.

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Mining in the Dark

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The museum also has a great number of open spaces which are ideal for light-painting.

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Pink Floyd Tribute

The central roof is made of glass panels which from the atrium below looks magnificent.

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Computers are our frields

Specimen Jar

Like a lot of buildings in Beijing, it was built in the run-up to the Olympics and then just abandoned after the finish of the games. This is a relatively easy place to get into, and there is a lot to see, which is why this earns itself a hearty B-.

FLOATING DRAGON LAKE AMUSEMENT PARK – BEIJING – GRADE B+

Beijing Amusement Park based around the Floating Dragon Lake used to be the premier theme park in Beijing attracting 2.4 million visitors a year.

Planetarium vs. Ferris Wheel

It was famous for its roller coasters, 4D cinema, and the biggest Ferris Wheel in the capital.

Classical Luminesence

Now all that remains is the Ferris Wheel which dominates the landscape, and the ruined remains of the aquarium which has lots of graffiti.

Deep Blue Ferris

The site is sealed off from the public, but a quick hop, leap and jump make it pretty easy to enter.

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The site is connected by a series of bridges between each of the islands, and while most of them are padlocked, you can just jump into the dried out lake bed and run to the islands.

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The aquarium and the horror house are easy to get into, but not much remains, but the Ferris Wheel is safely contained behind a metal fence. It slowly turns creaking in the wind.

Bright Seats

The central island is assessable by a Disneyesque bridge with turrets and a huge gate.

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Once you are past the gate, you have free rein over the park, the security guards are far too lazy to chase you this far.

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Beyond the bridge is the aquarium and the horror house. Pedlo boats line the empty basin of the lake also the lakeside.

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This is a perfect Scooby-Doo location as you poke around the horror house and listen to the creaking of the Ferris Wheel. The site is a little bare now, which is why Burbex is giving Floating Dragon Amusement Park a B+ grade.

By the way, if you liked this post, be sure to check out these other great leisure sites like Olympic Homko Ghost Town and Dalian Waterpark, plus feel free to contact me on burbex@outlook.com if you want to come along. Don’t forget to bring those Scooby Snax though.

SATELLITE DISH NURSERY – BEIJING – GRADE C+

Out in the bleak wastelands of northwest Beijing, where everything is gray and demolished, there lies the Satellite Dish Nursery.

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Any foreigner that has taken the hellish journey to the health centre to get their health check/stabbing with hypodermic needles, will recognise this view from the taxi ride.

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The compound, while guarded by lazy looking military personnel, houses probably fifty or more satellite dishes, all in various stages of rustiness.

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Adjacent to the site, is the greenhouse area, which is much easier to get into. It is a strange thing in a lot of Chinese cities, that military and government sites will have greenhouses nearby.

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This is mostly so that they can boast a) self-sufficiency for food, and b) that food can also be grown within the city limits.

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This idea has gone out of vogue in the last ten years, and Beijing has a lot of empty greenhouses all over the city.

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Cold winter air blows through the broken plastic canopies and leaves the crops dead and wilting.

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The greenhouses are all falling down and very simple to get into. They offer a little warmth from the freezing Beijing winter.

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This was not a difficult explore, but damn it was cold in that snow. Burbex is giving Satellite Dish Nursery a C+ Grade. It would have been much more if I could have climbed on the satellite dishes themselves.

If you liked this, check out these other great posts like Sunshine Park and also Beijing Space& Science Museum, plus if you ever want to come along, just send me an email on burbex@outlook.com.

RETURN TO CAPITAL STEEL – BEIJING – GRADE A+

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Delving much deeper into the Capital Steel Complex than ever before, Misha Mushu and I were determined to get right to the heart of the complex and find some of the huge machines.

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Misha commented about the scale of the place, which seems to get larger and more spread out every time I visit.

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It was too windy on this visit to get to the top of the towers which were creaking in the strong breeze.

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Nothing is ever going to stop me climbing up the conveyor cranes. They give excellent views of the site.

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We couldn’t figure out how to get into the diagonal corridors that lead up onto the upper structures, but maybe we’ll figure that out next time.

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These two towers dominate the skyline, and seem to mark the middle of the complex. I still haven’t figured out how to reach them yet.

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This building is a steam-punk dinosaur, its long neck reaching into the sky.

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Misha stands like a ray of light in this dark and grimy complex.

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You can find these bottles all over the site. It is a fizzy orange drink that perhaps was produced on site. The bottles are everywhere.

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And if one green bottle was to accidentally fall…

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If you liked this great Capital Steel post, be sure to check out the other pages Capital Steel Works and Steel Laboratory, plus if you like what you see be sure to leave a comment, I’d love to hear your ideas and opinions.

Also send me a message on burbex@outlook.com and join the Burbex crew for trips to great sites in Beijing and beyond.

THE SHADOW TOWERS – GUOSEN MALL – GRADE A

Burbex has been visiting Guoson Mall in Dongzhimen for three years now and taken up lots of new friends. You can check out some other Guosen Mall adventures like The Guosen Mall Night Expedition and equally interesting Longyan International Park, but be sure to take a good look at this classic Burbex article first.

The Guosen Mall complex is purportedly worth 14 billion yuan. You would think with a price tag like that the developers would have been able to shift the development by now.

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However, there have been difficulties with all negotiations over the last seven years, and it still remains vacant. There are two skyscrapers behind the mall. Burbex climbed all 35 floors of the rear tower, and the view was amazing.

It should be pointed out, that this is an exceptionally dangerous site. There are holes in some of the top floors which go right down to the bottom. Throwing little pieces of rebar (steel construction bars) down these holes, Burbex couldn’t even hear them hit the ground. Despite this, the surrounding area is frankly gorgeous.

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The pools outside have been left to turn wild, and the place is ripe with sunflowers and aubergines planted by the migrant-workers who guard the place, who are probably more at home growing vegetables than protecting duff skyscrapers anyway.

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If you are looking for a great adventure, be sure to get in touch with Burbex at burbex@outlook.com, and set up a time to come and see the best urbex that Beijing has to offer.

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CAPITAL STEEL WORKS – BEIJING – GRADE A+

Beijing Steel Works is a rare beast in the Urbex world. The site is in an almost vacuum state where it feels like all the workers just put down their tools one day and left. The machines have been left as if one turn someone will turn on the plant again.

Beijing Steel Works - Grade A -

The site is huge with more rust and corrupted cranes, pulleys, and conveyor belts that you could see in a week. The crane-like structures that you can see in the pictures apparently shifted unrefined steel to conveyor belts which stretch across the complex.

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The site is massive in scale and is punctuated by enormous machines, with pipes and cooling units galore. The urbex explorer must be very careful here as the overhead structures creak in the wind and bits regularly fall off.

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These metal dragons seemed to be used to scoop out the unrefined steel and shift it up onto the conveyor belts. They have big blunt teeth, and ugly faces.

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Train tracks also criss-cross the plant, there are plenty of abandoned trains, carriages, and miniature train stations to be found. Jump over the outer wall, avoid the security guards, follow the train tracks and in whichever direction you travel, you’ll find some Urbex treasures.

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This is a huge site, so be sure to take your time. Once you visit this place once, you’ll be addicted. If you ever want to pay a visit, just contact me on burbex@outlook.com, and I’ll show you around.

Plus be sure to check out the other great Capital Steel pages, Return to Capital Steel and Capital Steel Laboratory