Beijing World Park is a must see if like us you enjoy the random and crazy things the Chinese build. The World Park is in South Beijing, Dabaotai Subway (end of line 9 and change on to the Fangshan Line) so it is a bit of a mission to get to but if you have the time its worth a visit just for the absurdity of it all. The park is divided into countries, you can travel the world in a few hours and see all the sights that you may never get to see in real life. I guess for many older Chinese people who have never left China it must be great to have your photograph taken at a mini Eiffel Tower, or trek through the Grand Canyon, walk across London Bridge and climb the Pyramids. Whilst some of the 'mini' buildings are pretty good replicas of the real thing the bit based in Africa is a little strange and well did they really need a mini Great Wall running through Paris. It was an interesting afternoon taking photographs of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Vatican, Sydney Opera House and downtown New York. Many young Chinese couples were having their wedding photographs taken around the world, without even leaving Beijing, definitely one for the photo album!
Recently the weather has been awful in Beijing. Grey sky, rain, not a hint of the sun and even hail stones and there we were hoping to work on our tans and enjoy our last few weeks in the city. Yet even with the miserable weather we found ourselves exploring the many museums and galleries that are on offer in Beijing. Our first port of call was the Capital Museum at Muxidi Subway (line 1). A very impressive building, very modern and new. Some of the exhibitions were interesting, although we couldn't work out why there was an electric fan amongst the pottery from the 5th Century, must have left it there by mistake. The Buddha's were very impressive but overall there just seemed to be a lot of wasted space. Maybe they were between exhibitions or maybe it was the lack of translations to explain the art and sculptures. Whilst the Capital Museum is an huge, awe inspiring building, it lacks information, if like me you like to know a little about what you are looking at.
The Beijing World Art Museum just behind the Military Museum was much more exciting. Although they did have an exhibition about the Huns and lots of prints of tigers and Chinese women. The Art Museum is based in the Millennium Monument, a large circular building with a huge spike at the top. Not very interesting or exciting to look at but then again the Millennium Dome in London is also just a circular building. The paintings were interesting; some were beautiful, the colours merging together, others were just very strange and amateur. The exhibition on the Huns was very interesting, although the translated information was a little mixed up, you could get the hang of what they were explaining. The paintings of these big, strong warriors fighting, dying and living are unique and fascinating.
Our next museum calling is the National Museum at Tiananmen Square.....