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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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7. Mini Siam — Pattaya, Thailand

Mini Siam has a lot going for it. Located almost 100 miles south of Bangkok, the park was built in 1986 to lure tourists to Pattaya. It is split up into Mini Europe and Mini Siam, and the entire park has about 80 famous landmarks. Mini Europe is pretty standard, and also poorly named: along with European landmarks Mini Europe has the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, and Angkor Wat.

Image: Pictoluck/Flickr

Mini Siam, on the other hand, actually has some unique, semi-unusual models of famous Thai landmarks.

Image: Pictoluck/Flickr

Image: ne*/ne*/Flickr

8. Window to the World — Shenzhen, China

If you’re looking for the ultimate in cheesy mini-world adventures, this is your place. With 130 reproductions of famous tourist spots, Window to the World in Shenzhen doesn’t seem to adhere to any standardized ratio or scale. Some models are huge, while others are pretty small.

Image: dcmaster/Flickr

With a magnificent Pantheon-esque entrance, the park promises great things. Once inside, the various models are often big enough to walk around, but definitely not life-size. Although this constant shift in scale can be slightly disconcerting, the park makes up for it with a real-life indoor ski-slope, ice rink, and a fishing pond filled with fish.

Image: dcmaster/Flickr

Image: flickr.Marcus/Flickr

Image: DoNotLick/Flickr

9. Forbidden Gardens — Katy, Texas

Ira P.H. Poon is our favorite type of millionaire: reclusive, secretive, and super eccentric. Chinese by birth, Poon decided to use his vast fortune to craft an incredible replica of the Forbidden Palace at 1/2oth scale in his adopted town of Katy, Texas.

Image: Mr. Kimberly/Flickr

Image: frankienose/Flickr

Image: k<3money/Flickr

If that wasn’t enough, he also commissioned a replica collection of the Terracotta Warriors. Poon ordered 6,000 clay statues 1/3 the size of the originals from a factory in China and put them on display in a parcel of land the size of a football field. The incredible collection cost a reported $40 million dollars to build and was open to the public. Surprisingly, Poon didn’t seem interested in recouping his costs, and did nothing to promote his collection.

Image: Mr. Kimberly/Flickr

Image: frankienose/Flickr

Tragically, Forbidden Gardens was forced to shut down when the Texas State Highway was scheduled to expand into the park. The entire Terracotta Warrior collection was put up for sale on Craigslist in February 2011, at $100 a soldier. According to the original post, high demand forced the sellers to take the soldiers off the market. But according to the Forbidden Gardens website, they were later sold for $250 each. With the collection sold off and a highway scheduled to be built through his park, Poon has now disappeared back into obscurity.

Image: en.wikipedia.org

What miniature worlds did we miss? Leave us a comment!

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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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