Category Archives: Modern Ruins

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Creepy Statue in an Abandoned School (in a neighborhood that’s almost gone)


Last week, DK and I stumbled on a strange abandoned school in northern Beijing. We were looking for the city's largest recycling center, but this mad statue was a far tastier find. Seven demonic babes, lounging, suckling, emerging from the concrete. "Can you imagine seeing this every day? As a kid?" It was strange. But ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 9 Comments
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Wonderfully Crumbling Old Cardboard Castle

Just off the beaches of Chennai, covered in crow guano, trash and cow dung, lies the creepily gorgeous ruins of the Snowball amusement park. Paint was peeling off the walls. So was the plaster. Heck, even the walls were peeling off the walls. Nests cluttered the turrets, and empty windows peered into nothingness. I snapped ...

/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
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One Ghostly Cambodian Ruin

The old hotel

It used to be a retreat. 90 years ago, the French spent 9 months building Bokor Hill Station up as the ultimate getaway: escape from the miserable heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. 900 laborers died while building it, but to the French all these ghosts were worth it. There was a ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 11 Comments
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Another Abandoned Beijing Amusement Park

The inside was creepy.

What is it with these half-built, then abandoned, Beijing amusement parks? We're old fans of The Romance Park of the Heart, which is filled with Swiss chalets, Siamese pagodas, and packs of wild dogs looking to tear your legs off. But we kept hearing about another one, in the opposite direction... Wonderland! Just ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Fake Graveyards outside Beijing

The Beijing suburbs are expanding like mad. We spent the last ten days living in a small Tongzhou village, an hour east of Beijing, and construction was non-stop. Every day we were there, a ramshackle house was torn down and replaced by a building site. New walls would go up in hours. Bricks ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Modern Day Cavemen of Shanxi


Recently, Woo and I were in rural Shanxi Province, and noticed a series of caves carved into the landscape, off in the distance.  They were just dark shadows, really, but they were clearly man-made. "Before, did people live there?" we asked the cab driver, like the good tourists that we were. "Yes, but they still live there ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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Learn How to Speak North Korean


On our recent trip to Pyongyang, we picked up this incredible guide to speaking Korean -- clearly with a northern bent.  While the first half is filled with standard small-talk favorites ("How do you do!", "I'm awfully sorry," "It really is heroic," and "It is Juche-oriented"), about halfway through, it gives up any sense of ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 7 Comments
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The Incredible Furniture of North Korea


We all knew the DPRK would be fastidious in their care for appearances. Their garish carpets and upholstery harked back to a bygone time (the 60s? even then it probably wasn't in fashion). What I didn't expect was how much they liked their symmetry. Also, although these set ups had their charm and air of welcome, ...

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North Korean traffic lights… um… robot ladies.


North Korea The DPRK doesn't have much money.  Or electricity. In our hotel, the Yanggakdo, the upper floors had no electricity (save for the one with a handful of Americans/Europeans staying on it).  The Koreans would get on and off the elevator, into a floor of darkness.  Shops with customers were pitch dark. The ...

/ by Andy Deemer / 6 Comments
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The Romance Park of the Heart – an abandoned Beijing theme park


Beijing's filled with hidden secrets. Behind all those highrise tower blocks and overpasses, there is awesomeness to be found. And so it was that we heard rumors of a decrepit half-built theme park, somewhere way out west. The rumors came from a Chinese film student, who'd heard them from a friend, who'd ...

/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment