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San FRancisco , California
August 24, 2006
From journal Two Months in Beijing
London, United Kingdom
August 3, 2003
I know it's easy and cheap to laugh at other cultures, but if you apply Western standards to this Chinese attraction you'll walk away having giggled yourself silly and, more seriously, thinking a bit more of notions of entertainment in Communist China.
The rides are all within a barb wire topped perimeter fence - not exactly Disney.
Upon entry you're given a ticket which is stamped when you've been on the four "best" rides to stop you lining up again.
Perhaps the best of these is the "Crazy Disco Ride" (not suitable for people with weak hearts and alcoholics, apparently). After you're strapped into a rollercoaster car you go through a set of double doors into a single room showing a western nighclub filled with plastic models of bored drinkers and loud music. Ten seconds later you pass through a second set of doors and it's done. Certainly was crazy disco...
The Haunted House saw us all sitting round a table in the dark listening to clanking chains waiting for something to happen - waiting, that is, right up until the moment where the lights came up again... I looked at the Chinese kids, they looked at me and it was obvious we were all thinking "Is that it?". The laugh we all let out was more fun than the Haunted House itself.
I'm not trying to put the place down, but as a cultural experience that you may not have thought of, it's certainly worth an afternoon of your time.
From journal Beijing