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China's Abandoned Wonderland

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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. (Reuters/David Gray)
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. (Reuters/David Gray)
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. (Reuters/David Gray) #
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. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A view of an entrance to Wonderland, northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
The entrance to an abandoned building leading into Wonderland, a derelict amusement park on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A crack in a footpath leading to an abandoned building that was to be part of the Wonderland amusement park, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A view of a walkway covered in fresh snow in front of abandoned buildings that were to be part of China's Wonderland, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A view of entrances to an abandoned building which lead into the derelict Wonderland amusement park, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Overgrown pathways and abandoned buildings, meant to be part of Wonderland, an abandoned amusement park northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A view of abandoned buildings in derelict Wonderland, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Tree branches line a damaged entrance into an abandoned building, part of the now-derelict Wonderland amusement park, on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Windows in an abandoned building, seen through an entrance leading into what would have been the Wonderland amusement park, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Farmers dismantle a tower in a field that includes abandoned buildings that were to be part of an amusement park called Wonderland, northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Farmers dig a water well in a field that includes an abandoned building that was to be part of an amusement park called Wonderland, on the outskirts of Beijing December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
The steel frame of an abandoned building stands in what would have been Wonderland, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A sign warning people about potential poisons in the soil is pasted on a pillar of an abandoned building, part of the Wonderland amusement park northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A farmer carries a shovel over his shoulder as he walks through an abandoned building, part of the derelict Wonderland amusement park on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Writing on a gate tells people to "be responsible for your actions" when entering an abandoned building in the abandoned Wonderland amusement park near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A farmer walks through an abandoned building, part of the abandoned Wonderland amusement park northwest of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
A building in the shape of a castle stands uncompleted in a field in what would have been an amusement park called Wonderland, on the outskirts of Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #
Corn grows in a field surrounding an abandoned castle-like building that was to be part of the Wonderland amusement park, near Beijing, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/David Gray) #

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