China is a country that has one of the largest populations in the world, it has a massive economy, and it is the third biggest country by area. But despite the many interesting facts about the country’s geography and population, it is also a place that is like no other.
China is home to some of the weirdest and most wonderful tourist attractions, including an upside down house (which as the name suggests, was built upside down), and a pair of kissing dinosaurs located in a very remote region. But it is also a destination where you will find some of the most magnificent structures. There is a building designed to look like a blooming lotus, and another that pays homage to USS Enterprise from Star Trek, and there will be many times when a foreigner visits this country that their mouths will fall open in awe and wonder.
China is also a place where you should be prepared to see the unexpected, whether that’s the odd things on sale in the supermarkets or replicas of other cities; for example, there is an authentic British city, with lampposts even being imported from England, yet it’s located in the Songjiang District, around 40 minutes from downtown Shanghai. Below are 25 strange things we can only find in China.
25 One Of The Strangest Attractions Is An Upside Down House
China is an interesting place, and here you can find architecture unlike anywhere else in the world, for example, an upside down house. In what is undoubtedly one of the more strange tourist attractions, the structure has been built upside down (as the name suggests) in the Fengjing Ancient Town, in Jinshan District, Shanghai. It has even been furnished with pieces that have been stuck upside down, Daily Mail reports.
The topsy-turvy property opened in April of 2014 and was designed to attract more tourists to the area.
24 'FRIENDS' Famous Coffee Shop The Central Perk Has Been Replicated In Bejing
Some people who have watched the hit ‘90s sitcom, FRIENDS (and by watched we mean binged), may have dreamed about visiting the coffee shop Central Perk, the destination which so much of the show centers around. And now that dream is possible because according to Atlas Obscura, there is a replica of the coffee shop in Beijing, created by a man named Du Xi who is an avid fan of the series.
Here, you can watch reruns of the series with Chinese subtitles and the food on the menu has all been inspired by the food that was actually mentioned on the show.
23 The Kissing Dinosaurs Create An Unusual Border Crossing
Borders are often clearly marked with signs, but the border between Mongolia and China is marked with kissing dinosaurs, Atlas Obscura notes. In the small town of Erenhot, travelers can find two giant statues of apatosauruses, with their long necks forming a sort of arch on two ends of the highway, and they appear to be kissing.
The town is remote, and the dinosaurs were one of the ideas that the local government came up with to drive tourism to the area.
22 The Dragon Escalator Is An Architectural Feat And The Biggest Outdoor Escalator In The World
Instead of a regular escalator being a potential eyesore in the Longqing Gorge landscape, the designers decided to create a dragon escalator to take visitors up to the see China’s largest dam. The escalator is the world’s largest outdoor escalator, Atlas Obscura reports, and spans across 258 meters, rising through the cliffs to the top of the Gorge.
The publication notes that the escalator is a one-way trip though, and to come back down visitors must take the stairs or pay extra for a toboggan ride.
21 Canned Air Is Something You Can Buy, And It's Appealing Because Of The Heavy Smog
Many of the cities in China are densely populated and there is much smog, and because of this, a company has found a market for fresh air. A Canadian company called Vitality Air bottled air from the town of Banff into canisters and sold it in China, BBC reports. And it was a hit, with the publication noting that the first shipment of 500 canisters sold out within two weeks.
The price for smelling fresh air doesn’t come cheap though, and the publication notes that depending on the canister, consumers can be expected to pay between $14 to $20.
20 There Is A Sports-Inspired Hotel Created To Look Like A Ping Pong Paddle
China has many interesting buildings, but there is one hotel that stands out from the rest because it has been designed in the shape of a ping pong paddle.
Built-in Huainan city in East China, the hotel is 150 meters tall and was created as part of a sports complex. According to China Daily, the hotel is the creation of prestigious sport’s structures architect, Mei Jikui, and will be divided into three parts, the top is for sightseeing, the middle will house guests, and the bottom area serves as a conference facility.
19 In China, You Can Find A Replica Of An English City (Complete With Imported Lampposts)
Who would have thought that when traveling to China you can experience a little bit of England too? The creation of Thames Town in the Songjiang District (roughly 40 minutes from downtown Shanghai) allows just that though, and according to Conde Nast Traveler, the English town was built from scratch over land that was once filled with rice paddies.
Replicas of Edwardian townhomes were created, the iconic red phone booth can be found here, and the streets are lined with lamp posts imported from England.
18 But There Are Also Multiple Copies Of European Cities And Villages
It’s not just an English village that you can find in China, but also multiple European ones. According to Business Insider, among the cities that have been replicated is Tianducheng, which was created after Paris and even features a 354-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.
You can also come across the Austrian Alpine village of Hallstatt, located in the province of Guangdong. Again, no expense was spared to make this one of the most authentic replicas, and according to the publication, $940 million was spent on Hallstatt's creation.
17 The Huaxi Village Is An Example Of Communist Living
It’s not just replicas of European towns and cities that China has spent millions of dollars creating that are worth mentioning because the country is filled with vibrant cities and impressive architecture. It also has the Huaxi Village, which according to Culture Trip was built as a model of Chinese communism.
Founded in 1961 by Wu Renbao, it is believed that the people living here are all wealthy, with over $100,000 in their banks. In the village, each resident was given a house and car, as well as stock in the village, and in return, they would work seven days a week at one of the local factories. But if a resident decides to leave, they forfeit their benefits.
16 Whole Sharks And Crocodiles Are On Sale At Walmart
In many Western stores you will not see anything too exotic on sale, but in China, you can walk into the local Chinese Walmart store and find whole sharks and crocodiles, among other things, on sale, Buzzfeed reports.
According to The Mirror, whole crocodiles can be found laying on the ice at the store’s serve-over counter, as well as sharks, and live turtles and frogs can also be found in open-top tanks. It seems this store serves a diverse range of products.
15 The Wuliangye Yibin Building Represents A Popular White Spirit
The company behind the creation of China’s most popular white spirit, baijiu, decided that a regular building was not going to work for them, and they needed something that would represent who they are; a giant bottle building. According to Earth Tripper, the structure is located in Yibin and is the headquarters of the Wuliangye Yibin company.
Financial Times notes that this building is not just something to marvel at, but also holds a Guinness World Records title for being tallest bottle-shaped building in existence -- it stands at 75 meters.
14 There Are So Many Brands That Have Been Tweaked Slightly, Like KFG Instead Of KFC
Most people are familiar with the fast food restaurant KFC, and in China, you will find a restaurant with very similar red and white branding, except, it’s called KFG. And according to ABC News, it’s not the only restaurant with a very similar name to the ones most of us know and love, there is also Pizza Huh and McDonald's -- I know, it looks like I made a grave error when I wrote out the names, but I kid you not.
13 If You Forget To Go To The Shop, Grab A Live Crab From A Vending Machine
We have already established that in China there is a variety of different options when it comes to food, and there is often things that many westerners are not used to seeing in the supermarkets (like sharks and crocodiles). However, China takes this one step further with crab vending machines, and according to Brightside, these can be found in a number of subway stations in a few Chinese cities.
The crabs are live and are said to be kept at a constant 5 degrees.
12 People Take Their Naps Seriously And Will Sleep Just About Anywhere
Wherever you travel, you’re bound to see strange things, or at the very least, things that differ from your own norms, and people napping in odd places may not sound like something that you can only see in China. And to be fair, it’s probably not, but there are very few other countries that have become the topic of articles for this very reason.
According to Storypick, Chinese people take napping seriously and fall asleep just about anywhere. And Global Times notes that photographer Bernd Hagemann even worked on a project he called Sleeping Chinese, in which he photographed the locals napping.
11 Red Beach Is One Of The Most Mesmerizing Marshlands And Home To Rare Cranes
Seeing bright colors that have formed in nature is remarkable, but seeing a red beach is something else entirely, and China, or more specifically the marsh in Dawa County, is home to vegetation that looks almost alien because of its crimson hue. According to Atlas Obscura, the red plants that cover, what is considered to be the world’s largest wetland area, are a form of Chenopodium, which can survive in alkaline soil.
This area is also home to the rare red-crowned crane.
10 Police Don't Just Use Dogs, But Also Geese To Protect Property
In most countries, the police force typically works with a canine unit, but in China, there are geese doing this job. According to The Independent, in the rural areas of the Xinjiang province, the local police had been sending out geese on patrol in their bid to tackle crime, and they described them as being better than dogs.
There has even been an incident reported about a gaggle of geese managed to stop a man who had broken into police headquarters to steal a motorbike.
9 The Mobile Phone Building In Kunming Has Become An Interesting Landmark
China is known for its technology, so perhaps it’s not all that surprising that a building has been inspired by a mobile phone?! The building in question has been cleverly created, with one side designed to be bright orange and represents a mobile phone, with the buttons of the phone created using the windows of the offices.
The structure was built in the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province, and it is an 11-story building, which according to Shanghaiist has become a popular landmark in the city.
8 It Cost $97 Million To Replicate 'Star Trek's USS Enterprise Ship
In keeping with unusual buildings, we bring you the Star Trek Enterprise Building, arguably one of the most eye-catching structures.
The 853-foot-long creation can be found in the city of Changle in China’s Fujian province and was designed to pay homage to the USS Enterprise from Star Trek (and according to Forbes, the company received permission from CBS to construct it). The structure serves as offices for the game developer, NetDragon Websoft, and it did not come cheap, costing $97 million to build.
7 The Lotus Building Is One Of The Most Beautiful (And Colorful) Structures
While it’s not upside down, the Lotus Building is still a building that deserves mention because of its remarkable appearance, designed to represent a blooming lotus plant. According to Amusing Planet, the structure was designed by Australian architecture firm, Studio 505, and was built in the middle of an artificial lake in Wujin.
You may be wondering if this is a museum or a fancy art gallery? But no, the Lotus Building is actually a government building and home to the city’s planning bureau. The publication notes it is also filled with exhibition halls, conference centers, and meeting rooms.
6 Dinosaur Fairyland Is The Perfect Real World Alternative To Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park is one step closer to being a real place thanks to the construction of Dinosaur Fairyland; a destination that combines a love of dinosaurs with a love of theme parks. According to Atlas Obscura, the park is located in Erlian (or Erenhot as it’s also referred to) in Inner Mongolia, China, and is filled with life-size replicas of dinosaurs and bones (some are even real).
This park is located in a remote area, meaning it is not often crowded with tourists (although for some that’s half the appeal) and is around 15 km from the aforementioned Kissing Dinosaurs structure.
5 The Toilet Bowl Waterfall May Not Be Beautiful, But It Is A Public Art Display
Art created using recycled sinks, toilets, and urinals have been created in Shiwan Park, Foshan. According to China Daily, the waterfall/fountain creation was designed by Chinese artist Shu Yong and his team, who used 10,000 pieces to create the structure which now measures 100 meters long and 5 meters tall.
Originally it was built for the 2009 Foshan Pottery and Porcelain Festival but has since become a permanent public art piece -- although the publication notes that not all the locals were happy with it initially.
4 The Rainbow Colors Of The Danxia Landforms Are Truly Magical
One of the most beautiful sights in the world is the Danxia Landforms; the brightly colored sandstone mountains (often referred to as the rainbow mountains) that are located in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, Atlas Obscura reports. This area is formed with many different layers of sandstone, and dates back millions of years, creating a rainbow appearance of rich reds, yellows, and oranges.
According to Forbes, in 2009 the popular tourist site was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3 There Is A Theme Park Filled With The World's Most Celebrated Landmarks
If you are a lover of theme parks, then China has quite a few to choose from. According to Daily Mail, in southern China, there is the Window of the World theme park, which is filled with mini landmarks from around the world. Among the landmarks are Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the Tower of London, Statue of Liberty and Sydney Opera House.
According to the publication, China is big on spending for tourism, and this is a wonderful way for people to see the world’s biggest monuments (even if they are just replicas).
2 The Teapot Building Pays Homage To The Ancient Tea Drinking Tradition
BBC News notes that tea is a big part of Chinese culture, and in the city of Wuxi, in the Jiangsu province, has a building that was designed in the shape of a giant teapot as part of a cultural exhibition.
The design is meant to look as though it was made from red clay, symbolic to traditional teapots in the area, ABS CBN reports. It has attracted attention from locals, who hope that it would become a landmark of the city.
1 Rubber Ducks Don't Just Belong In The Bathtub But Also The Taihu Lake
Rubber ducks are a popular bathroom toy for children, but in China, you could see giant ones on Taihu Lake, in Huzhou, Jiangsu province. According to CBS News, this odd attraction was the work of conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman, and China is not the only place where you could have seen his work. Hofman’s floating rubber duck creation has been featured in places all over the world, including in Auckland, São Paulo, and Osaka, The Guardian reports.
Photographed behind the lake is another unusual building, the luxury 27-story Doughnut Hotel, which opened in 2013, CBS News reports.
References: Science Kids, Global Times, Daily Mail, Amusing Planet, Atlas Obscura, Gizmodo, CNN, China Daily, Conde Nast Traveler, Business Insider, Culture Trip, Buzzfeed, The Mirror, Earth Tripper, Financial Times, ABC News