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Photo TR: Megan's China Trip with TPR!


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The post vacation blues have set in. My suitcase is sitting on the floor and I am in no hurry to unpack it. I reached for a bottle of water to brush my teeth earlier and got kind of sad when I remembered I could use tap water again (okay, that one might have been an exaggeration).

 

Everyone always said TPR trips were some of the best times of their lives. They were right.

 

I’m still kind of in awe that I got to go to China. It was a little surreal to know that I was on the opposite side of the world. I’d wanted to go to China since I was a kid playing Street Fighter on Super Nintendo. Naturally, my favorite character to play was the only girl, Chun Li, who was from China. Later, I came to appreciate the cultural side of things. The last thing I read before boarding the plane was an article on the sociocultural impact of American fast food restaurants in Beijing (no, really, I read stuff like that for fun).

 

So when TPR announced this China trip, I was all over it.

 

And what did I learn? Well, China smells funny, its drivers make East coast drivers seem courteous and squat toilets are just horrid. Oh, and next time, I should never ever ever leave early from a TPR trip because it really sucks knowing everyone is still having fun over there and I’m in New Jersey.

 

This really was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. The amount of work Robb and Elissa put into planning and the lengths to which they go to make sure we all get to ride as many coasters as possible is nothing short of exceptional. The friends and memories made are going to have me smiling for a long time to come, and that’s a handy thing when it comes to beating the post vacation blues.

 

I figured a trip report might cure them, too.

 

Here we go!

 

Day 0: Early Arrival Day—Crab Island Resort, Fuwa Eden and Beijing World Park

 

The first park of the trip was actually two. Crab Island Resort has a collection of kiddie rides in one area and just down the street are larger thrill rides. With the latter not opening until 10, we started with the children’s park.

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Here we are!

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It’s a nice enough looking place. (And FYI, given the water in China, it probably looks better with the pool under the bridge drained.)

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We started on this flat ride that some nerdbombs to my right consider a credit :)

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Here is the actual credit and my first Chinese coaster! It’s called Cool Surfing or Spinning Yacht or something.

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As you can see, its theming is quite impressive.

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It even includes free bird watching, provided you don’t mind the savory smell of chicken poop wafting up your way.

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Next up was the large rides section, which was a standard collection of flat rides, including this positively, 100% authentic Intamin drop tower.

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And this, my first knockoff SLC, is brought to you by Neil’s back.

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Okay, so by now I’m sure you’ve seen Robb’s video. If not, go watch it. Notice how this thing doesn’t look like it has enough momentum to make it through the course? Do you have any idea how unsettling it was to watch this from the queue?

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The concussion afterwards was so bad I was hallucinating that a giant bird ate Mike.

 

That’s it for Crab Island. Of note, unless you like peeing in a trough with no privacy walls, go to the bathroom before you visit here.

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Next up was a park built for the Olympics called Aoyun Fuwa or Fuwa Eden; I’m not really sure which. Chinese coasters and places all seem to have a few different names.

 

The whole place looked like this—weeds between bricks with a dilapidated ride here and there, all with pockets of sewage smell sprinkled throughout.

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But there was a credit to be had! Apparently it's called Happy Racing Boat. It squealed, it was rusty and it was home to many, many bees.

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That doesn’t look happy, nor does it look like it could win a race against anything. There’s also the part where it’s not a boat, but who am I to judge?

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The park is themed around the Beijing Olympic mascots, but it’s clear it hasn’t been maintained.

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It was actually pretty sad. This was part of a series of buildings that once housed Olympics exhibits, but a peek inside the window revealed only boxes and a mishmash of clutter.

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“One World, One Dream.” Um...

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The final park was my favorite of the day, Beijing World Park. As you can see, this is going to be WAAAAY more fun than Six Flags.

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Yeah, yeah, castle bigger than Disneyland’s, blah blah

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We are excited for our Canyon Adventure credit!

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This is right before the point when your knees will be smashed. It surprised me. I’m on the small side and never have knee clearance issues, so I can only imagine what you taller people felt…although I have a pretty good guess based on the collective grunts that rang out as the train hit that hill.

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I have about ten pictures of this waterfall, which is ten more than I know what to do with, so I’m putting one here.

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It was actually a big park, and certainly the nicest looking of the bunch today.

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Well, okay, maybe not in all places.

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And as it is Beijing WORLD Park, you can see places like the Sydney Opera House…

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Neuschwanstein Castle…

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Easter “Island” (get it?)…

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and Stonehenge.

 

It was while at Stonehenge that the first of many encounters occurred in which giggling Chinese girls came running (literally, they were RUNNING) up to Mike asking for a photograph, after which he made sure to remind me approximately 46 times that “some guys just got it” before proceeding to do his Vince McMahon walk.

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We tried some of their bizarre attractions. One was this big ass plane.

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Of course I wanted to go in because I’d only been able to spend 13 hours in one the day before.

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It smelled funky. Also, there were women smoking in the back playing a serious game of cards, money on the table and everything.

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This was a dark ride called Arctic Adventure that featured attacking polar bears, seals that had elephant sound effects (obviously) and at the end, a shark head that jutted out far enough to practically touch the car—and all this to a background of Christmas carols (sung in English) playing through speakers that probably blasted out ten years ago.

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Doggie :) The first of many stray animals we saw in Chinese parks.

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There was also this.

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Overall, Beijing World Park was quite nice in some spots, even if it had some unconventional attractions. That’s all part of the adventure, though.

 

The next installments will be our “Culture Day,” followed by two of the larger parks in the Beijing area that were a cultural experience unto themselves.

 

So, in order to prepare you and put you in the right mindset:

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Fact: It is a highly revered ritual that naked women cuddle with deer every Chinese New Year.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Pirouettes907
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When this trip was announced it seemed like a can't miss kind of trip, but after reading the reports from everyone I'm not in any hurry to get over there any time soon. I'm sure being in China with TPR would have been the trip of a lifetime because of the amazing planning and detail Robb and Elissa put into their trips, but under any other circumstances I'm not interested.

 

It's cool to see you perspective on the place though, looks like well China I guess.

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Megan, you and your Dad look like you had an absolute BLAST over there. I wish I could afford to go on an amazing trip like that!

This is one of the funnier things I have seen in a long time... intentional or not I am not entirely sure! This really is a very cool TR! China looks very "interesting" to say the least.

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Wow, the front page of TPR?!??! Gosh, I feel so famous! Thanks :) And thank you also for the comments, everyone!

 

Day 1: Beijing Area Sightseeing

 

The first official day of the trip was spent not riding coasters, but rather visiting several of the Beijing area’s most iconic landmarks: the Great Wall (at Badaling), Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

 

Admittedly, I’m no expert in Chinese history, so I read a bit before the trip to try and get a better appreciation of where I’d be going (and for those who are interested, I do recommend the book Wild Swans by Jung Chang, which recounts one Chinese family’s history during the twentieth century. While in no way an objective account, it’s really informative and well written).

 

Oh, there’s also the part of my background where I was an anthropology major in college.

 

I guess you could say I was predisposed to nerd out today, which I did happily and will now share with you.

 

 

The day started with a long drive out to the Great Wall with a stop at a jade factory along the way. I took no pictures there, mostly because as soon as we were set free to look around the gift shop, I wanted out as fast as possible because the salespeople in these places have ZERO concept of personal space. To say they linger around you is an understatement. If they could jump inside of you, they would.

 

Anyway, onto the Great Wall…

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...where we’ll begin with bears, obviously.

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“NI HAO, HUMANS!”

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Here’s the thing. I love bears. Now granted, if one ever mauls me in the wild, I might rethink that statement, but if I can pay 3 yuan to feed them apples from a safe distance, then hot diggity, that wall up the hill I’ve been waiting my whole life to see can wait.

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The bears were part of this touristy area at the base of the Wall that consisted mostly of tacky souvenir shops. One could also find disgusting stuff like this that some people, specifically those by the name of Nick Cramer, actually eat.

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But the highlight was bears. Bears that stand in stagnant puddles of bear waste and bears I eventually had to walk away from because I was starting to gag (and that, ladies and gentlemen, is saying something, because I have plenty of horror stories from working in a dog kennel which I'm sure you're all dying to hear).

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We started up to the Wall via the rave tunnel on a contraption those under the “Sad & Pathetic” category might classify as a credit. (It was actually a pretty ingenious way to transport people!)

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Wow.

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It really is a sight to behold. I could have easily spent the entire afternoon here, just walking around, taking pictures and absorbing it all.

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Good thing there’s not any smog to ruin this vista!

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Back in the city, our next stop was Tiananmen Square. Apparently up to one million people can stuff themselves in here, which actually sounds pretty horrific, particularly if it’s a hot day.

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It’s neat that I can say “I’ve been there!” about one of those places most people only see in pictures.

It’s imperative that I say “We did NOT plan to match!”

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“Okay, seriously, Karl? We talked about this; you KNEW it was tan shorts day, not plaid shorts day!”

 

Let’s follow the disgruntled Blue Brigade to our next stop!

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Here is part of the Forbidden City. Actually, I could just stop right here because the place is pretty much this building repeated five or six times…

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…surrounded by a sea of stone (no trees or shrubs because you don’t want to provide any hiding spots for assassins! Now I bet you didn’t know that, did you?).

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This is my photo TR, though, and it just wouldn’t be complete without pointing out how intricate the work is on these buildings.

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Beautiful, right?

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Exquisite right to the roof edges.

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There is also this large stone carving, appropriately named “Large Stone Carving.”

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See?

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Concubines spent some quality time with the emperor here. They’d be made to wear some silk negligee so they couldn’t conceal any weapons. This is certainly the one and only reason for transparent fabric, of course.

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Finally, if you’re going to build a 980-building city, might as well ensure that the riff-raff can’t touch your stuff.

 

 

After the Forbidden City, we did a silk factory tour. Again, I have no pictures, but this time it's because I was on the exhausted side thanks to waking up at 3:40 a.m. (thanks, jet lag).

 

It was an enjoyable day overall and I’m thankful we found the time to visit these places. It’s not always about the coasters, you know :)

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In closing, I leave you with this work called “A Sunny Sky in Beijing.”

 

 

Thanks for reading; the amusement parks return next with Beijing Shijingshan Park and Sun Park!

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A little birdy told me there is video of Megan's Cartwheels in China?

 

Please may we see it.

 

Love the TR. I'm not sure that I would like to visit China, but interested in how you saw it.

 

Looks like you had a ball, and good friends to share it with!

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