As the sun started to sink into the smoggy horizon, Jude and Burbex finally edged towards their final destination. The turrets and steeples of the gigantic hotel stabbed at the evening sky, beckoning the explorers. One thing was for sure, after the spooky American Beauty and super kitcsh Transvestite Theme Park, the hotel surely had something in great in store.
To get into the grounds of the hotel itself, Jude and Burbex had to cross though a soggy marshland upon which enormous villas seemed to be sinking into the earth. Lakes and water features has long since overflowed and the cellars and basements were entirely flooded with fetid marsh water.
Lusty frogs croaked at the dusky sky, snapping dragonflies and mosquitoes out of the thick air. From the outside many of these villas glowed with terracotta tones lit up by the sinking sun, but close up the paint was peeling and the plaster crumbling from the walls.
Marsh water and humidity had soaked the plaster and pushed the tiles off the fine front entrances, and sneaky trees grew up between the cracks further bringing the houses down.
The crumbling staircase led into probably the largest structure in the area, a huge waterside mansion soaking its feet in the marshes.
Down in the basement were facilities for spas and swimming pools, but now the only residents taking advantage were the toads and newts.
The unfinished hot tub hidden in the deepest level of the basement reminded Burbex of the mud monster in the classic Japanese animation Spirited Away.
Jude and Burbex did not run into any monsters in need of a good wash down this early in the evening. Perhaps they would emerge later in the night.
Moving up on to the ground floor the intrepid duo found some pots, lots and lots of pots. Not salt pots, not Pepper Potts (Iron Man’s girlfriend) but loads of huge terracotta pots. Burbex was stumped as to what they were used for.
The pots blocked doorways and staircases, meaning that Burbex had to climb up the outside of the house to get to the second floor.
From the balcony, Burbex could see the sun gradually setting into the Hebei swamp.
From here the hotel looked so close Burbex could almost touch it. Legging it through the marsh, Nike Air Max full of stinky pond water squelching with each stride, Burbex finally made it to the hotel.
The two massive wings of the hotel and the grounds around them were completely empty and unkempt.
The two wings of the hotel surrounded a massive ice rink which had definitely seen better days. The main part of the hotel showed a few signs of life, so Burbex nipped in for a quick cup of tea.
Inside the hotel was luxurious to say the least. In the completely empty main lobby, realtors stood around leisurely trying to sell the American Dream to the guests. They were obviously having trouble making sales.
In the front court of the hotel, luxury cars were parked, trunks full of golf equipment for the nearby golf courses.
Strangely Burbex felt optimistic about the future of Jinjing New Town. Massive ghost town like this may be empty now, but Burbex is sure that with great attractions like The Transvestite Theme Park and spa facilities for the undead residents, this town is going to take off soon.
If you would like to visit this site or any of the other great sites like The Solana Hotel, or watery paradises like The Great Mall of China, be sure to get in touch with Burbex at firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a time to meet. Just be sure to bring your monster shampoo.
Burbex loves to read your comments and suggestions, so leave a message at the bottom of the page, or follow Burbex on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
Nestled near the entrance to the Hutongs (alleyways) near Qianmen Gate, the entrance to the famous Tiananmen Square, lies this haunted hotel.
Upon asking locals about the hotel, they said that it used to be the residence of a Nationalist leader before the revolution in the nineteen-forties, but after the revolution it was abandoned and then later turned into a cheap hotel.
Outside, the hutongs are bathed in yellow light from the street lamps. Inside you are shrouded with cloak of thick velvet darkness.
Unlike much of the surrounding area which has been demolished and gentrified to give Beijing’s history a more polished look, this building exerts power and more than a little menace over its small corner.
The architecture of the building crosses western and Chinese styles which was very typical of the period. On the outside it looks like a western orphanage, but on the inside it is one hundred percent Chinese.
Going in you can hear every door in the whole place creaking in the wind. Entering into the hotel rooms you get a strong sense that these rooms have seen a lot of visitors and that some of them might never have left.
It has three floors, and there is possibly a cellar which might connect to the underground city, but this is still yet to be found.
Stairs snake up to bricked off and boarded up rooms, through which only the spirits of long-deceased residents can pass.
This is an easy place to get into, but beware the balconies as they are very rickety and could collapse at any time adding you to the list of guests who never check out.
Gusts of wind brush past your face and tickle the base of your spine. Look round fast enough and you might catch someone watching you.
Be sure to bring a flashlight and an extra pair of batteries. The residents don’t need much excuse to jump on you once the lights are out.
The full moon was half-visible through the murky light of the glass skylight.
Of course, if you are ever in Beijing and you want to check out this great urbex location, or any of the other great haunted locations in Beijing like Beijing Steel Works, where thousands of people lived and died over the years, or a spooky Abandoned Theme Park, just get in touch on email@example.com, bring a flashlight, and we’ll go ghost-hunting together.
Located in the green leafy area of Olympic Park in northwest Beijing, this beautiful ghost village was originally built to house the athletes and some of the staff for the Olympic Games back in 2008.
Unfortunately, half way through the construction, enough athletes said that the air quality in central Beijing was so poor, that they would stay outside the city. As a result, this place has been left to rot.
Twice I have fallen through the poorly constructed concrete floors into the flooded basements beneath. This is just such a perfect slice of eeriness urbexers should make this site a priority.
There are a couple of security guards on the main gate, but people always manage to hop over the fence at the back for a quick peek. Be careful entering the houses though.
Every villa seems to have its own style and ambience. Each has its own fireplace. This one looks like the one in Beetlejuice.
The clubhouse has quite a large swimming pool topped with a dome. The day I went a kitten could be heard mewing loudly, probably stuck in one of the pipes somewhere.
The streets are long overgrown and weeds and small trees break through the cheap concrete. All that is missing is a tumbleweed.
Here is the naked lady of the park, with the Olympic Park in the background. She looks a bit lonely, maybe you should pay her a visit.
This is an eerie place to visit, so make sure you go on a sunny day. Seeing that there is so much to see here, and also because it is a semi-Olympic site, it gets a firm B+ from Burbex.
If you want to come and join me for this or any other site, please just send me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a time to meet up.
Construction on the Solana Hotel was abandoned a few years ago. With its unique architectural styling including spiral staircases, and empty swimming pool, numerous towers, and best of all the secret tunnels which run under the basmement, Solana is a joy to explore and you’ll need at least a whole afternoon.
Maybe the best part about Solana is listening to the shoppers on the other side of the wall randomly buying stuff in the luxury mall. Also fun is spying on the resident security guard who spends most of his time asleep.
The main hotel sits on three floors above the ground, but the best areas are the two basement floors which seem to have originally been built as either a luxury swimming pool or a fancy water feature.
Pipes thread in and out of the walls and under the floors. Follow the pipes and you can find tight-squeeze tunnels which are sometimes filled with water, but sometimes not.
Red metal staircases also wind their way from the tops of the building right down into the flooded basement, which is full of mosquitoes in the summer, and ice in the winter. The place attracts dozens of cats which weave in and out of the downstairs labyrinth of spiral staircases and abandoned fountains.
The local businesses also make a habit of dumping their rubbish and storing their unused items in the basements and all kinds of junk can be found littered around the site.
The underground areas of the complex look like they have been chewed upon by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but there is no sign of the mighty beast.
There are also areas where rebar has been cut through with a blowtorch leaving burn marks like a shotgun on the wall.
To avoid flooding from the other areas when the rain fills up the complex, the pipes have been stoppered with pieces of wood.
There is all sots of of architecture, like the crucifix room in the basement which looks a lot like a dungeon in the dark.
And of course the beautiful red staircases that weave their way from the top of the building down to the basement.
As always, there isn’t any graffiti in this hotel, so be sure to bring along a can and give it your own personal touch.
Solana Hotel is a great place to spend an afternoon. You can sit on the roof and watch the sunset over Chaoyang Park, or descend into the basement and hide in the dark.