Wednesday, March 14, 2012


With the weather fining up, it was time to hit Chaoyang Park, Beijing's spacious patch of green on the north-east side. There, you can relax and enjoy a wide variety of amusement park rides. Just a few rules first ...

Luckily for me it was patriarchs only. No mothers and so on.

From the Space Flyers it was on to the 3D amusement castle! This sounds like some ride. I'm not sure if management might have gilded the lily but it promises quite a lot in a space little bigger than a squash court.

A few more types of people aren't allowed on the Children's Roller Coaster ...

"We had that Jeffrey Dahmer on here once. Spoiled it for everyone."

I was starting to get a bit worried about what sort of people this children's
amusement park usually attracted. From the signs you'd assume it was
permanently littered with the heavily inebriated, lurching from
ride to ride and terrorising family types. This was promoted as the
sweet-sounding "Dolphin Princess" ride. Do fights often break out here?
And is it princessy enough to trigger a stroke? What's more, noone would
tell me what these "consequences" were that we were always being
threatened with. We passed on the Dolphin Princess.

You have 10 seconds to mull it over. Then, if you
can find it in your heart ... 

Thankfully, you can blow all the bubbles
you want. Aww ...

Another favourite pastime here is wedding spotting, although it's not the ceremonies themselves. In China, couples don full wedding garb and have their photos taken a few days before the big day. This way, the guests don't have to stand around waiting while the photographer is faffing about. It's up there with gunpowder as one of China's best ideas, even if it feels a bit odd to take a stroll through a park and see brides and grooms everywhere.

The ride of their lives! One of about a dozen wedding photo shoots in the
park last Tuesday afternoon alone.

In a park such as this, there are backdrops aplenty.

"I now pronounce you man, wife and horse."

A bug's wife.

What makes that last photo more bizarre is ... the giant ladybug? It's a public toilet.


  1. Oh how I love the ladybug toilet. It would make peeing in public so much more... dignified.