China's Abandoned Wonderland

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Apocales

In Chenzhuang Village, China, about 20 miles northwest of central Beijing, the ruins of a partially built amusement park called Wonderland sit near a highway, surrounded by houses and fields of corn. Construction work at the park, which developers had promised would be "the largest amusement park in Asia," stopped around 1998 after disagreements with the local government and farmers over property prices. Developers briefly tried to restart construction in 2008, but without success. The abandoned structures are now a draw for local children and a few photographers, who encounter signs telling them to proceed at their own risk. Reuters photographer David Gray visited the site on a chilly morning earlier this month and returned with these haunting images of a would-be Wonderland. [ 21 photos ]

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A farmer carries a shovel over his shoulder as he walks to tend his crops in a field that includes an abandoned castle-like building that was to be part of an amusement park called "Wonderland", on the outskirts of Beijing, China, on December 5, 2011.
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A view of a vacant carpark in front of abandoned buildings that were to be part of an amusement park called Wonderland, on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011.

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Footsteps in fresh snow are seen across a walkway leading to the entrance of Wonderland, a derelict amusement park northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011.

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A view of an entrance to Wonderland, northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011.
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The entrance to an abandoned building leading into Wonderland, a derelict amusement park on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011.