A little while back, we did a blog on the more unusual buildings of Southeast Asia, listing ten of our favorite stupendous structures. Since then we’ve opened a new regional office in China to support our new China tours, and our Beijing-based Travel Specialists have been sending us news of the bonkers buildings that they see as they go about their daily duties! So, here are five of the more unusual buildings you can see in China:
The Emperor Hotel, Sanhe
The Emperor Hotel is a fairly common name, but there’s nothing normal about this guesthouse! The three figures are the Three Lucky Gods (in the picture from left to right) Shou, Lu and Fu. The figures can be found more commonly inside Chinese homes to aid in the quest for a good life, but we expect the uniqueness of the hotel means they are certainly good for business!
Ring of Life, Fushun
If you’ve seen the movie (or follow-on TV series) Stargate, this image might have got you a tad excited. For those that missed the movie/series, ‘Stargates’ were portals to other worlds, allowing instant teleportation from one ‘gate’ to another. As yet, nothing has come through the Ring of Life (save a few birds and flies), so we’ve yet to understand why the local government thought a 3,000-ton steel ring measuring 157 meters in diameter was a good idea. It’s supposedly “a representation of a round sky and path leading to a paradise in heaven”. So actually, maybe it is a Stargate…
Piano Violin House, Huainan
Not just one of the most wonderful buildings in China, we think this is possibly the most romantic building in the world. Used (appropriately) as a performance venue for musicians, the Piano and Violin House is an architectural masterpiece. The transparent violin acts as the door and staircase/elevator which leads up to the main piano-shaped concert hall. At night the building becomes even more romantic, with LED lights illuminating the giant musical instruments.
The Fang Yuan Building, Shenyang
Many list the Fang Yuan Building amongst the ugliest in the world, but we don’t like to make judgments like that at Backyard Travel. We’d rather say we find it ‘unusual’ and prefer the term ‘distinctive’ to ‘disgusting’! The architect CY Lee (also responsible for the Taipei 101 building which stood as the World’s Tallest Building from 2004-2010) apparently modeled the design of the 25-storey office block to look like an old Chinese coin. Whether his design works well or not, the building has certainly generated a lot of media coverage and as the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
CCTV Headquarters, Beijing
Locals have playfully dubbed the CCTV HQ ‘big boxer shorts’ or the ‘underpants building’, while some maintain the building resembles the legs of a squatting person…either way, once again the design has tongues wagging and the building is certainly controversial. Questionable symbolism aside, there’s no question it’s an impressive structure, especially at night.
If you’d like to see any of the bizarre buildings of Asia up close and in person, we can cater your holiday in Asia to include all the tremendous towers and crazy constructions you like. Get in touch with our local Travel Specialists based in all our offices around Asia and find out more!