Unreal Estate : plaster of Paris made in China

We braved apparently the hottest ever recorded day in the history of Hangzhou (41.6 degrees) to travel on a rickety bus to the outskirts of Hangzhou to check out the Parisian themed Tianducheng development.


Just to add to the weirdness of the whole experience we did actually meet genuine French people there when we were accosted by a French TV crew who asked if they could film and interview us. We had to walk around a little bit too much for my liking and also sit on a wall which was so hot it was starting to burn my ass cheeks but, despite the apparent lack of concern for my derrière, they gave us ice cold bottles of water and seemed like nice people so we were happy to be able to help them out.

The piece will be aired next month as part of a segment on national television news apparently so maybe my mum will be able to watch it. Tianducheng isn’t quite the ‘ghost town’ it has been described as in the media but it isn’t exactly bustling. The project was conceived of at a time when developers believed it would not be long until the metro line reached the area. This has not materialised thus few people wish to live there. Apparently the properties have actually sold well despite this, presumably because some people see it as an investment in an area that will one day be sought after should the transport links improve. The speed at which rust is appearing on the buildings arguably doesn’t bode well for the development itself but I would imagine the land will increase in value as time ticks on. Anyway, enough waffle for now, hopefully maybe some of you will find it as weirdly fascinating as we did.

copy(right) William Gray


Gadael Ymateb

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