Today we visit Window of the World, a theme park in Changsha. Window of the World is located next door to Hunan TV, a major broadcaster in Hunan province. The park is located on the banks of the Liuyang River, in the northeast suburbs of Changsha.
We got our tickets and we’re ready to explore the park. Window of the World covers an area of about 400 thousand square meters and is the biggest theme park in the province. The park is a mixture of Disneyland like amusement park and cultural theme park rolled into one.
A large lake with sound stage dominates the center of the park. All the famous wonders of the world are represented here in miniature replicas – the sphinx, the Sydney Opera house, the pyramids of Egypt, and more. The Window of the World opened in October 1997. It cost about 360 million yuan to build.
A remarkable bronze frieze near the center of the park showcases 100 of Hunan province’s most famous teachers, students, workers, and revolutionary leaders including Chairman Mao right up front. In the walk in front of the bronze, there’s stone casts of the handprints and signatures of some more contemporary famous residents of Hunan.
We encounter a lifesize replica of the famous 19th century German Neuschwanstein Castle that paid homage to Richard Wagner. Later we discover that Zoomlion is a construction company having a party here. In addition to the carnival rides, there’s a bunch of famous buildings from all over the world, reproduced here in miniature. The White House, Taj Mahal, the tower of London, the leaning tower of Pisa, the French Versailles – they are all here reproduced in about 1/15 scale. They have seen better days and appear to have been abused badly over the years since the park opened.
My wife and I decide to rent a tiny motor boat to explore a small lake in the park. Miniature replicas of Dutch windmills line the shore of this tiny lake, half of which we discover has been roped off making our journey less than we had hoped for.
Another replica of a famous landmark – this time it’s from Rome – the Fountain of Trevi. The Presidents of Mount Rushmore are also here, reproduced in the side of an artificial mountain of stone.