Doc Ben just visited the so called " Underground City " of Beijing once more. This time to check out for any changes, and/or try to discover some more old relics from the paranoid Cultural Revolution Era. Here is the Update !
Latest news from the Underground City is that, at least in Summers, it has become a major tourist magnet with many little groups of mainly westerners flocking to this small but worthwile museum in the N-Western Chongwen Hutong. The place is now very easy to find due to multiple road signs leading the curious to it’s small Gate. Inside awaited a small disappointment for this eager reporter (and the normal tourist). No photo, video, or any recording to be taken inside the Underground City, not even when waving a PRESS CARD, or explaining to be a Reporter. Controls are strict and tourguides inside watch over ones camera like Vultures. It has become much more difficult to Report on this Cold War Era Communist Project. Luckily- we already taken most of our photos 3 years ago, when no one was really interested in the place … and – I can now tell : it was still in it’s original State.
The Underground City, 3 years ago already a small commercial enterprise, has now come of (commercial) Age. Or so it seems. Inside find new changes -1) Complete Interior Re-decoration – hiding the once bleak and bare concrete rotting walls from sight by covering with militairy style blankets all around. 2) For the Poche Tourist, we can happily announce that a huge Red Carpet has been layed out for You – Taking more of the Tunnels’ authentic charm. 3) a multitude of photos of mighty militairy machines has appeared on all walls in all Tunnels. These are not authentic at all. Something we needn’t tell anyone, since the militairy hardware depicted seems to be from just about any nations worthwhile in the world. Among them – Photos of French Airforce Jets and Tanks, Norwegian Militairy Aircraft, a whole series of american planes, tanks and armoured vehicles, and yes.. luckily also the Chinese Airforces Pride – the Mig 29 Fulcrum.
Sadly, as more monuments in China – This ancient relic has been defaced by commercialism. For authentic State photos please check our Online Report on the Place at www.TheBeijingReport.com. Of course, Doc Ben would not be the China Reporter and expert, if he did not get some photos anyway. We did ask for a Special Tour for Journalists, but … in China there IS NO free press. So the whole concept of reporting on- is generally beyond their comprehension, not done …. and sometimes even an official no go. No matter – this is why we are the Reporters. Most of Times we manage with patience and some tricks, to come to a Full Report anyway. Read and See it soon at China Report !