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OLYMPIC HOMKO GHOST TOWN – BEIJING – GRADE B+

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.

The huge club house in the middle of the complex features a large empty swimming pool and a myriad of dark karaoke rooms.

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.

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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.

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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.

Windows to the Soul   Mockingbird Heights

Club from a Distance

   Beetlejuice's Fireplace

Every villa seems to have its own style and ambience. Each has its own fireplace. This one looks like the one in Beetlejuice.

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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.

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The streets are long overgrown and weeds and small trees break through the cheap concrete. All that is missing is a tumbleweed.

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Four-Eyed House

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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.

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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 burbex@outlook.com  and we can arrange a time to meet up.

In the meantime, whet your appetite with some of these other great sites, like Solana Hotel and The Great Mall of China.

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.

SUNSHINE PARK – BEIJING – GRADE B+

This is really an unusual site for Beijing as it is in Central Beijing, and is close to the ever-popular Ikea. Called Sunshine Park, it used to have a a large carnival tent in the park which has long since rotted and fallen down.

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Most of the site apart from the multi-storey carpark has become overgrown. The carpark itself goes down one floor underground, where it has filled up with rain water.

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There are some incredible effects when the sunlight comes streaming through the holes at around midday. A word of warning however…

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The site is relatively safe as long as you don’t fall off the sides of the carpark. Be careful of the junkie who lives in a tent beneath the ramp of the basement floor.

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He came out of his tent clothed only in his dirty undies, and then started to bounce and scream like a monkey. After that he charged at me.

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I ran like crazy, climbed an embankment and legged it through the bushes and wilderness. I could still hear him yelling behind me.

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Below is a student’s story about first love, bad girls, and kisses.

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This is the main auditorium where unusually for a Chinese site, there is a lot of graffiti. Plenty of space for more though. Bring a can.

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Sunshine Park used to be where I went for a bit of quiet when I got the Beijing Blues. It s right next to Ikea too, so you can explore then get meatballs right after.

For these reasons Sunshine Park gets a very respectable grade B+ from Burbex. By the way, if you loved this site, check out these other unfinished masterpieces Solana Hotel and Guosen Mall. Plus if you ever want to come along, just contact me on burbex@outlook.com.

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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SOLANA HOTEL – BEIJING – GRADE B+

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There are also areas where rebar has been cut through with a blowtorch leaving burn marks like a shotgun on the wall.

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To avoid flooding from the other areas when the rain fills up the complex, the pipes have been stoppered with pieces of wood.

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There is all sots of of architecture, like the crucifix room in the basement which looks a lot like a dungeon in the dark.

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And of course the beautiful red staircases that weave their way from the top of the building down to the basement.

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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.

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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.

That mean Solana Hotel gets a solid B+ from Burbex. Remember, if you or your friends would like to come urbexing with me just send me a message, and we can set up a time to meet. Also, check out this Haunted Hotel and this Abandoned Theme Parkall just a stone’s throw away.