Looking for an queer, eerie, weird, bizarre experience of unbelievable proportions? Look no further than Ordos in China. Never heard of the place? I would say it’s pretty normal since the place is lost in the middle of Inner Mongolia and is a ghost town.
The term ghost town might not be the best to describe Ordos. When you talk about ghosts, you are thinking of the departed, the people the were here but are no longer there. Ordos never had that boom, that golden age, it is a waiting city. An hoping city. Here, the local government keep borrowing and borrowing money to build more and more building. Hoping at every new building that people will finally come. The city is kept pristine clean. The result is that futuristic, Mongolian meet Chinese Socialist art, city where almost no-one lives. It’s big, really big, and full of landmarks, it looks like a back-up capital incase things went awry in Beijing. That, or a nuclear test site. You know, like the one in the last Indiana Jones?
A good trip to Ordos is a matter of boldness and a bit of luck. Like fishing, you basically walk around looking for some interesting buildings. Then, just try to enter them. Ability in Chinese and a smile will get you in almost everywhere. The buildings are right there, waiting for you to snoop around. It is pretty unusual at first to enter building you have no business in but, soon enough, the shyness goes it becomes easy and thrilling. You are a pioneer or you aren’t.