Saturday, August 22, 2009

What to do in Shenzhen: "Minsk World"

Shenzhen is a former fishing village that has grown so fast that 8 million people are living here, making stuff, and there isn't much here that's a natural attraction.

So the folks here invented some.

Among them is Minsk World, a "military theme park," as Wikipedia denotes it. Its centerpiece is an old rusting Russian aircraft carrier, The Minsk, as you would guess.

Crowds of people flock to it on nice days to take pictures of rusting military hardware...including those famous MiG jets. This stuff seems to date from the 1960s, and it's clearly not in great condition.

It's a real aircraft carrier, for sure, though there are numerous shops with military and Russian tchotchkes located within. For some reason they seem to think - perhaps rightfully so - that kids'll like toy planes made from what appear to be bullets.

Then there's the musical performances - kind of a military "It's a small world" kind of theme. Very strange. I'm sure Andrew Zimmern will visit soon enough. Here's their version of the musical British navy:

And yes, they have their version of the US marines:

I would like to meet the talent agent who staffed this.

Anyway, if you're ever here it's worth it just for the weirdness factor - it's a lot like Las Vegas, but in a Cantonese Russian military flavor.

As far as temples here go, there's only Hong Fa Si, but that's even more far out than Minsk World, and there are meetings to attend.

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