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Report - Beijing Underground City, China 10/08/07

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by mex, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. mex

    mex 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I had no idea about this before I went but after being in Beijing for a few days I heard rumours of it and after gaining an "address" I went to search for it.

    The underground network was built from the 1960's and finished in 1979. It was built to house 40% of the cities population in case of nuclear attack. Thousands upon thousands of people worked on it and they even had schoolchildren down there digging the tunnels out.

    Down there is a cinema, 2 hospitals, and a school!

    The tunnels go under Tianamen Square, then head off to the Forbidden Palace, The Summer Palace and the airport. Apparently all the main buildings in Beijing had an entry point in their basement leading down to the tunnels.

    I assume they've all been blocked in now though as finding a way into these was an absolute nightmare!

    The address I was given was a street not even on the map so I trudged around the vague area for hours, through all the old hutongs until I finally came to what looked to be the entrance.

    I knocked on the door and a woman answered looking at me suspiciously. She asked me a few questions, how I'd found out about the place and why I wanted to come down etc and then finally replied "you can have 10 minutes, i stay with you"

    After a couple of minutes she seemed to have gained my trust and acted less suspiciously to me, especially when I started to tell her about the Guardian Exchange in Manchester, she had thought China was the only place to have such a underground Cold War structure.

    Anyway, I asked her if I could take photos and she replied "Yes". I started snapping away but then 2 minutes later I heard a noise coming from one of the tunnels that shot off the main tunnel we were walking down.

    "PUT CAMERA AWAY QUICKLY!" she loudly whispered to me!

    Shoved it in my pocket and followed her as she turned back and started briskly walking back to the way we'd come in.

    Told her that she's said it was ok for me to take photos and she replied with a worried look on her face "It not ok! It ok if no one around but if get caught they think you spy, will get arrested"

    Cheers for telling me that before love!

    I glanced back as the sound got closer and a soldier came onto the main stretch of tunnel. He looked up, saw us both but then seemed totally unperturbed by us and headed off in the other direction.

    So I didn't get to see much or take many photos but I did get a great urge to explore down there more! Unlikely though as its obvious that most of it is still in use and I don't fancy upsetting the Chinese military! Was great to see all the old Communist slogans, photos and statues still down there though in great condition and best of all a gun that was just lying around!


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