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9 Miniature Versions of Real Places

Featured — By Rachel Greenberg on August 18, 2011 at 6:00 am
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Plane tickets, neck roll, passports and visas — wow, what a hassle! There’s got to be a better way!

Are you wary of trying new things? Had enough of learning local customs, tasting scary delicacies, and dealing with just plain unfamiliar smells? Sick and tired of not being understood when addressing people in plain English? Are you itching to see the Eiffel Tower without making a French faux-pas? The Great Wall of China without the great haul to China? The Temple Mount without all the schvitzing?

Well say goodbye to those crying-baby-behind-you blues because air travel — indeed any travel at all — could be a thing of the past when you visit these miniature scale models of famous places. See an entire city in a glance or all the world’s landmarks in an afternoon. What these places lack in authenticity, they more than make up for in convenience.

1. Shanghai Model City — Shanghai

Located in the slightly kooky Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, this model of Shanghai shows what the city will, in theory, look like in the year 2020. At 1,000 square feet, it’s the biggest to-scale model in the world — showing all planned developments for the entire city for the next nine years. We’ve got to say their construction foresight and attention to detail is pretty impressive.

Image: Stuck in Customs/Flickr

Image: mobil’homme/Flickr

We can’t imagine how long this bad boy took to make, but we do know that twice a year workers delicately clean mini-Shanghai with mini-dusters and paint brushes to keep it looking this good.

Image: IvanWalsh.com/Flickr

2. Miniaturk — Istanbul

Image: Basak B./Flickr

Just in case you happen to be in Istanbul but aren’t interested in going to historical sites yourself, you can always head to Miniaturk. The theme park was built in 2003 and contains the marvels of Istanbul and the Ottoman world — all at 1/25th scale.

Image: Basak B./Flickr

It’s actually one of the largest miniature (whoa…) parks in the world, with 105 models on display. Although nothing can really stand in for the original monuments, Miniaturk ups the ante with its virtual, online 360-degree view of park (here). Simulated 3D views of miniature scale models of real monuments? The mind boggles.

Image: Basak B./Flickr

Image: Basak B./Flickr

3. Beijing World Park — Beijing

Image: omefrans/Flickr

With such a well traveled population, you’d think the cosmopolitan city of Beijing’s World Park would be on top of updating its monument models. But no — in the land of Beijing World Park time stands still. Not only could the models benefit from a good cleaning, but the World Park’s curators should really consider removing the Twin Towers from their Manhattan model.

Image: omefrans/Flickr

Image: omefrans/Flickr

That being said, the park is still good for a few laughs. Beijing World Park employs dancers that perform daily, and they are known to bring in animals to “highlight” the different displays. We also heard it’s a popular spot to take wedding photos. Go figure…

Image: omefrans/Flickr

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Tags: Austria, Beijing, Beijing World Park, Brussels, Carinthia, China, Forbidden Gardens, Istanbul, Katy, mini, Mini Europe, Mini Siam, miniature, Minimundus, Miniturk, New York, Panorama of the City of New York, pattaya, Queens Museum of Art, Shanghai, shanghai model, Shenzhen, Texas, Thailand, Window to the World

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