Friday, September 07, 2007
in the underground city...
As part of my much-procrastinated report on our China trip, here are a couple of photos of the "underground city" in Beijing. Tourists can only see a small fraction of what was once an enormous winding network of subterranean air-raid shelters built by hundreds of thousands of Beijingers in the late 70s. What's left of it is damp, spooky and (best of all!) full of Mao propaganda and portraits of military leaders. Next to seeing Mao's creepy old body (which was under "maintenance" and not available for tourists), I was really hoping for a look at funny/disturbing propaganda. What I did not plan on (and was not pleased to see at the end of this dank tunnel) was a "Silk Education Center" wherein our friendly guide turned into a high-pressure mall kiosk salesman. We were trapped for at least 40 minutes until we finally told the guy we had to get to the airport to catch our flight home.
There's more info about the tunnels here.