r/nextfuckinglevel Jul 01 '22 Helpful 5 Silver 4 Wholesome 3 Narwhal Salute 1

Furong Ancient Town

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41.5k Upvotes

1.1k

u/smile_politely Jul 01 '22

Just as ancient as disney world, esp with all of those LEDs bulbs.

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u/Jenna_84 Jul 01 '22

So they aren't allowed to modernize anything? It's been around for more than 2000 years.

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u/BleuBrink Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22 Helpful

All Chinese "Old Towns" are reconstructions.

It's not modernization. Local gov would tear down old buildings and rebuild faux old buildings with standardized shops and vendors.

It's almost universal in China. It's honestly disgusting because every historical old town have been turned into a reconstructed theme park.

Anyone who has travelled anywhere in China will attest to this.

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u/PenPineappleApplePen Jul 01 '22

Absolutely loads was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960/70s.

Sometime the sites will admit to being ‘restored’, but they’ll blame things like an accidental fire or the British destroying it in an invasion hundreds of years ago. You used to have to be careful, as some guide books had photos from the 1950s and early 60s of the original places looking in remarkably good condition. The authorities didn’t like that.

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u/howardslowcum Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

The cultural revolution was brutal but it is important to remember china in the 1800's where marked by the 'century of shame' when British colonial forces used opium to cripple the economic, social and military strength of Chinese societies. Feudal china was a dirty miserable and poor place and the royal family was either apathetic or complacent with the status quo. The cultural revolution fundamentally altered the trajectory of the middle kingdom but destroyed what little remained of the Feudal culture with a few exemptions such as the forbidden city.

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u/Harsimaja Jul 01 '22

The Cultural Revolution is brutal but it’s important to remember that the real reason was… seeks Western fingerprint the British a century earlier.

No, most Chinese hates the Qing regime too and it was overthrown in 1911, with great brutality against the Manchu who they saw as the oppressors of the time - and culturally oppressive to China to boot, even down to hairstyles. Multiple Chinese governments ensued in different parts of the country for the next few decades, mostly also pretty awful, the Japanese invaders especially, before the Communists defeated the Nationalists in 1949.

But it was Mao and Maoism, with his idea of how to catch up to the modern world and his Marxist-influenced notions of extreme central control of every aspect of the country’s lives, that perpetrated the Cultural Revolution - and this was never inevitable. Taiwan is not like this.

Blaming every single bad thing everywhere on Western colonialism as though the people of those countries have no agency is tiresome and extremely simplistic.

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u/HowYoBootyholeTaste Jul 01 '22

I don't think anyone said it was all Britain's fault, but it's really hard to ignore the negative effects of colonization and sociopolitical meddling as colonization did not happen in a vacuum and the effects are still felt heavily in several countries.

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u/OkPersonality6513 Jul 01 '22

Actually the Chinese are saying it was all western imperialism issues that caused the century of shame.

Remember that it's the same political group that is governing China today that governed it during the harshest part of the communist rule.

So yes the point is valid, the official China line of reasoning, the one taught and educated more and more is that everything bad came from the century of humiliation.

Furthermore, realize that China was never really colonized so we can't say it's the impact of colonization.

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u/[deleted] Jul 02 '22

The Chinese don’t need the Brits to screw up their society, they can do it just fine by themselves.

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u/meechyzombie Jul 01 '22

You realise it’s the same political group governing the US that governed it when there was slavery? They were even against freeing the slaves!

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u/Hyperly_Passive Jul 01 '22

Taiwan didn't go through a "cultural revolution" because they spent 50 years under Japanese colonial rule (who also modernized a lot of Taiwan's infrastructure) and the 40 or so years after that was spent under the KMT military dictatorship

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u/_-Saber-_ Jul 01 '22

Yeah, they were lucky.

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u/knullsmurfen Jul 01 '22

I mean the British is to blame for a LOT of misery and cultural destruction in China. It's not like they don't have valid historical grievances.

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u/JimmyMack_ Jul 01 '22

I wouldn't blame only the cultural revolution, this is going on at a much accelerated pace now.

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u/PenPineappleApplePen Jul 01 '22

True - a lot of it happens because they get named World Heritage sites, and the local government suddenly sees the value in them as tourist attractions. I also think they might be a bit embarrassed because they see old as ‘run-down’, so feel the need to make them look immaculate. And then ironically destroy the reason it was made a World Heritage site for in first place.

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u/CyberpunkPie Jul 01 '22

Damn, that really bums me. Was about to say I wanna visit this place but now I'm just turned off.

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u/solitasoul Jul 01 '22

Same with the great wall. China is great, and there's a lot of cool stuff but they really fucked things up with the cultural revolution.

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u/Teh_Hicks Jul 01 '22

And... almost everything they're still doing today

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u/solitasoul Jul 01 '22

It's such a shame. It's an amazing country with so much to offer but the gov makes it so inhospitable.

I loved living there but I don't think I could to back.

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u/PUTINS_PORN_ACCOUNT Jul 01 '22

I feel like this applies with equal force to the US, given the severe blows to rule of law there in the last couple of decades.

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u/solitasoul Jul 01 '22

Oh definitely. It's my home country, but I also struggle to imagine myself living there again either.

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u/Teh_Hicks Jul 01 '22

Yup. SCOTUS and awful policing are ruining it here too

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u/VeryReasonablePerson Jul 01 '22

Still go visit! This guy / gal is exaggerating a little—probably went to China once or twice and had a bad experience.

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u/youtairenhenbang Jul 01 '22

Was there. All of those buildings toilets go directly into the river and down the falls. A sewage pit. Poop and toilet paper and lots of foam. Looks pretty, but smells.

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u/lastofthe_timeladies Jul 01 '22

The smell of shit is just a feature of authenticity in an ancient town.

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u/BentPin Jul 01 '22

That's also the same river where they wash the dishes when you eat at restaurants...

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u/BleuBrink Jul 01 '22

I was born in China. I saw the artists protesting the tearing down of Hutong in Beijing. I have visited every ancient capital except Kaifeng.

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

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u/eldentings Jul 01 '22

If you want to see historical China go to Taiwan instead

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u/cliffyb Jul 01 '22

I went to one in Suzhou and I thought it was really beautiful. It was obvious that it was reconstructed, and I think theme park is an apt description. Still worth visiting. I took some beautiful pictures. This sort of thing exists in korea and japan too (obv because so much was destroyed by war)

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u/zyxwl2015 Jul 01 '22

Most, but not all actually. There’s still actual ancient towns with actual old buildings around if you looking for, although not many of them left

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u/BleuBrink Jul 01 '22

Their days are probably numbered.

I saw Shigatse old town in the process of being rebuilt around 2016. This isn't a major destination. I saw probably a dozen tourists in Shigatse, if that.

The only not-reconstruction old town I've visited in the last 2 decades was probably the island off Xiamen (name escaping me).

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u/SolitaireyEgg Jul 01 '22

the island off Xiamen (name escaping me).

Jinmen/Kinmen. Which is Taiwan, btw, which is why it wasn't destroyed in the cultural revolution.

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u/Normal-Flower4437 Jul 01 '22

Visited Chongqing in 2019, they were getting ready to tear down the rest of the real “old city” living quarters. They’d already turned the ancient ciqikou into a tourist trap. An AMAZING tourist trap, mind you - but a tourist trap.

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u/silly_confidence77 Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

I reviewed several dissertations on the subject and worked in consulting for renovations in line with regulations on historic buildings in China.

There are purpose built faux historic buildings as there are across the world, the regulations on altering actual historic districts are very strict. You are talking out your ass. Big time.

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u/OVERLORDMAXIMUS Jul 01 '22

Historic preservation is a myopic topic to begin with, and I think people should look into it around the world. From Egypt to China to America, it's a really interesting subject deep in politics and the profit motive despite how desperately it shouldn't be.

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u/strunggle Jul 01 '22

The fun thing about Reddit is that you can just make up anything about China as long as it is negative.

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u/ddk_soda Jul 01 '22

Some, not all. Furong is an actual old town with most of the old building intact. I was there in 2016.

It's pretty easy to tell if an "old town" is actually old, just look at the wooden structures of the building. Most reconstructions use concrete and have wooden textures over it to create a fake wooden feel.

The frames, fences and windows of those houses in Furong are made of actual wood, and you could tell they're old due to how shiny they are.

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u/adhgeee Jul 01 '22

I don’t think you’ve been there because I have and there’s absolutely nothing ancient about this town.

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u/avaslash Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

Dude... 'all' is a huge generalization and if you've ever actually explored anywhere that wasn't a total tourist trap you'd know this to be true. There are still plenty of original ancient villages in China. In the main cities, yes, there are few ancient villages remaining. Though in some cases the cities do a good job of preserving the original buildings while upgrading them into modern units for stores/restaurants etc. An example would be Xintiandi in Shanghai which was a Shikumen style village.

The ancient villages still exist though and people still live in them. They're just in the country. Most are easily accessible while some take multi hour hikes on foot to get to. I spent two weeks living with a Miao family in rural Guizhou and I can assure you, their house was certainly not a recent construction.

Ex, Zhouzhuang, Xijiang, Qianhu, Wuyuan, The Hakka Villages, baoshan, Wuzhen, Hongcun etc.

Source: Grew up in China.

P.S. As an olive branch I will totally agree though that a good number of the most popular tourist spots like the great wall are complete reconstructions done in the 1980's like you said. The majority of the REAL great wall looks like this: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/images/photogallery/0000500/great%20wall%2010000042tm.jpg

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u/Samultio Jul 01 '22

Seems like a good way for a town to attract visitors as it's expensive to upkeep old houses especially for commercial use.

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u/BleuBrink Jul 01 '22

That's exactly what it is, to maximize revenue, first from the reconstruction, then from the thrones of domestic tourists.

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u/whatsthatguysname Jul 01 '22

I’ve been to a few of these old towns. While most of the main touristy areas are rebuilt or renovated you can some times find the original stuff if you venture out of the central areas.

After all, probably not many tourists will visit a crumbling place with barely any running water or lights or take a dump in a pit toilet. Although you can definitely find these type of place in China but they’re probably super remote villages and not catered for tourists.

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u/willverine Jul 01 '22

It's honestly disgusting because every historical old town have been turned into a reconstructed theme park.

Quite literally. Furong Ancient Town even has an entrance fee (100 yuan) and is only open from 8:00-18:00.

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u/neutrilreddit Jul 01 '22

I've increasingly seen this reddit take over the years, but this is absolutely a well preserved massive town, not a "theme" park.

A lot of the iconic towers, gates, and halls you see there were constructed over the course of hundreds of years in the Ming, Yuan, and Song Dynasty.

And yes, the stilted wooden houses by the water are the originals. There's only a dozen remaining standing though. But they're authentic too.

And just because the shops look nice to you doesn't mean they're not still owned by the Tujia minority who have lived there since the beginning and continue to do so today. Just because there are also Han in the area too now doesn't negate their livelihood.

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u/jefesignups Jul 01 '22

I totally agree, they should have just build generic squares buildings and a KFC

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u/PerfectZeong Jul 01 '22

Ideally they should just not tear down the old buildings and upkeep them because they represent cultural heritage and are priceless.

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u/GenocideSolution Jul 01 '22

Japanese temples are routinely taken down and rebuilt, and have been for thousands of years. Does that make them any less priceless?

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u/innermostjuices Jul 01 '22

You got a comprehensive source on this please. Gonna need something pretty concrete before i go believing anything about

All Chinese "Old Towns"

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u/volgathras Jul 01 '22

I lived in China for ten years. That is not true enough for you to apply a blanket statement. Does it happen? Yes, but there are also many places that remain very true to their roots. Many places in Yunnan for instance, especially outside of the touristy areas.

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u/mijo_sq Jul 01 '22

I went to one of them, and it's just for tourists. Completely dead restaurants and "street food" stalls around. People supposedly living there don't, and live at/near large metropolitan areas

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u/shiftym21 Jul 01 '22

a lot of the old ones were actually destroyed by mao and are being rebuilt because the govt see the tourism benefits

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u/SeVenMadRaBBits Jul 01 '22

They reconstruct old towns and buildings so that we can still safely visit them for many years to come but without the danger of old decaying structures?

Those bastards!

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u/Sveitsilainen Jul 01 '22

I don't really see the problem though. At least if they try to keep the general look. A lot of buildings used to be rebuilt in a cycles of few decades.

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u/4dpsNewMeta Jul 01 '22

I’d rather these towns be reconstructed and preserved in a beautiful state for everyone’s enjoyment than rot away, what’s wrong with that?

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u/__HEYGUYS__ Jul 01 '22

Not great, but I'd still prefer this to the boring dystopia of ugly strip malls in the rest of the world

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u/maverick88988 Jul 01 '22

I mean so is much of Europe.

After WWII a lot, and I mean a lot, of historical buildings were wiped out of existence, and it wasn't until after the war were replicas of the former buildings were built.

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u/stupidlatentnothing Jul 01 '22

Why's it "disgusting"?

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u/_Nynxx Jul 01 '22

Its disguisting to recontruct old, crumbling buildings in traditional styles? Would you rather they reconstruct the buildings into skyscrapers? Is it disguisting that all of Europe reconstructed their medieval era buildings?

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u/alexmijowastaken Jul 01 '22

Reconstructions can be just as beautiful

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u/Elephant789 Jul 01 '22

Lijiang too?

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u/SolitaireyEgg Jul 01 '22

Nah, all these "ancient chinese towns" are modern reconstructions. Very few older building like this survived the great leap forward.

Hell, the name of the town is new. In chinese it's called "Hibuscus town," named after a successful Chinese movie "Hibiscus Town" in 1997.

it is quite literally a theme park

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u/jerkularcirc Jul 01 '22

its reddit and china. top comment has to be derogatory….

According to the comment above yours dinosaur fossils have no value either because we use modern technology to clean and retrieve them out of the ground

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u/Bart_The_Chonk Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

Almost all of these were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and then later rebuilt as theme parks.

Edit: Don't downvote me for being correct. Maybe be right to begin with next time.

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u/Kyderra Jul 01 '22

I disagree, looking at this image (warning, large photo), this looks like it has been maintained well.

It's not like the sides are plastic and the back is fake.

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u/Account1812 Jul 01 '22

That was a very large picture. And very satisfying to zoom and browse through it. Is there a sub dedicated to more images like that?

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u/Ok_Cartographer_8652 Jul 01 '22

I too enjoyed this large photo and its zoom qualities

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u/ReactsWithWords Jul 01 '22

I liked how you could crop it, or cut some of it to paste it on another picture.

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u/blindyes Jul 01 '22

There is! but it's porn.

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u/Kulladar Jul 01 '22

Look up "gigapan" photos.

There is a sub for it but it's dead far as I can tell.

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u/PDGAreject Jul 01 '22

Having it load in chunks took me back to my childhood.

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u/ellibag Jul 01 '22 Wholesome

That loaded like porn in the 90s..

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u/Yakushika Jul 01 '22

Doesn't need to be plastic to not be old and 99% of those houses are not old but built in the last few decades. It has even been renamed after a popular Chinese movie.

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u/Hrmpfreally Jul 01 '22

Those roofs are incredible

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u/souper_nudel Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

100%. I've been to a few of these "Ancient" towns in China and for the most part they're nothing more than an amusement park (without rides) meant to look like an old town. Still has a charm to it though! But not authentic at all.

EDIT: lots of people saying "why cant they modernize these towns". That's not even the issue, its that these towns are turned into theme parks that offer no historical value or substance.

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u/BleuBrink Jul 01 '22

The sad thing is they are all built on top of actual old towns, but the real old buildings have all been intentionally teared down to build the tourist trap.

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u/StickiStickman Jul 01 '22

Dude, what the fuck are you even talking about. Do you think buildings just act like they're vacuum sealed and just stay there for a thousand years if you don't touch them?

Of course they're renovated or reconstructed, like literally everywhere in the world. Only a absolute idiot would think otherwise.

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u/Teh_Hicks Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

they're talking about the "cultural revolution" in China which saw a lot of them intentionally destroyed

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u/DirtyDan156 Jul 01 '22

So it’s not authentic and old if they’re not burning candles for light? One is 2000 years old, one is about a hundred years old. Guess which is which.

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u/robophile-ta Jul 01 '22

Was going to say, with all of the buildings looking the same, with the roof style usually only seen on temples, and the unusual location, it's clearly a tourist trap and not an authentic old city

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/cydude1234 Jul 01 '22

Still nice

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u/BornInNipple Jul 01 '22

Hmm keep using candles and stay in the 19th century huh?

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u/Calcunator Jul 01 '22

This town been their over 2000 years. Just because they added modern lights doesn’t make it recent

https://www.chinaeducationaltours.com/guide/zhangjiajie-furong-town.htm

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u/cgyguy81 Jul 01 '22

How is this any different though with Japanese shrines that get rebuilt every X number of years (although based on ancient techniques)?

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u/Admirable-Arm-7264 Jul 02 '22

It’s using traditional architecture and traditional layouts as a recreation. Yeah, 2000 year old wood building don’t last, and they didn’t have electricity in ancient times, no shit. It’s about experiencing something close to what to it used to be

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u/friendlypuffin Jul 01 '22

Chinese Rivendell. I'm in love

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u/zedog74 Jul 01 '22

Or World of Warcraft Pandaria

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u/giantsfan310 Jul 01 '22

Ooooh you think there’s a brewery dungeon experience??? Man I had so much fun doing that dungeon.

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u/JonahTheCoyote Jul 01 '22

imo Pandaria had some of the most coziest places, especially Halfhill where you can become a farmer.

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u/0karmaonly Jul 01 '22

Pandaria is hands down my favourite expansion. Best vibes come from panda land, and the questing there was actually pretty fun. Plus the timeless isle was also a shit ton of fun!!!

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u/BackStabbathOG Jul 01 '22

Not to mention the music there (I love that tavern kazoo song). Pandaria has some of the best zones in the game by far. Valley of the Four Winds and the Jade Forest stand out the most to me.

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u/SieteBits Jul 01 '22

All I see is that you're a cultured person

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u/ObiJohnJanobi Jul 01 '22

Chinese Rivendell because it’s a carefully crafted fantasy town, propped up by tourism. The real old town does not exist anymore.

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u/jerkularcirc Jul 01 '22

any “real” old town would have been completely replaced many times over. a real ship of theseus problem

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u/bonnarocz0926 Jul 01 '22

Came here to say that lol

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u/BwackGul Jul 01 '22

You pretty much nailed that one. : )

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u/TK-25251 Jul 01 '22

Wow wait till people learn that most of Kyoto is rebuilt every 60 years

Refurbishing and rebuilding old buildings doesn't make them less pretty or authentic as long as they are built authenticly

And why are they not allowed to use their own traditional architecture?

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u/VesperTrinsic Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

Agree. This is just redditors being negative because it’s China. Golden Pavillion in Kyoto rebuilt in 1955. I’m sure the weebs on Reddit suddenly don’t mind that.

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u/BigRu55ianMan Jul 01 '22

nooo Japan doesn't count, it's special.

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u/NotPast3 Jul 01 '22

Both WWII Japan and the CCP did terrible things to the Chinese people. Japan did it maliciously, CCP did it out of incompetence. Yet only one of them catches flack and it’s not Japan lol.

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

[deleted]

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u/_Nynxx Jul 01 '22

yes, considering one is being punished via sanctions, and the other walked away scot-free after killing millions of innocent civilians by bribing the U.S with information from experiments conducted on live human subjects.

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u/-TheCorporateShill- Jul 01 '22

Most people would say but it’s for science!!! The data from the “experiments” were downright useless. These war criminals were freed for fraudulent science experiments

The “experiments” thing is just a way to poorly justify unit 731

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u/PM_ME_WHOEVER Jul 01 '22

That'd be fine if Japan actually recognized their war crimes. They still routinely visit shrines for war criminals. Imagine how people would feel if the Germany chancellor pays respect to Hitler every year.

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u/AxlLight Jul 01 '22

I'm not even sure why it matters if something is ancient or new, from an aesthetic point of view. It's still a city built around a beautiful waterfall that looks stunning as a whole, and it's still all built in a design aesthetic of ancient China.

It's amazing how people can rail on new modern style being soulless and dead and at the same time also rail at new construction being done in ancient styles. What the fuck do people want?

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u/jellisthon Jul 01 '22

Is this real?

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u/icebergiman Jul 01 '22

It is, located in Hunan province. Apparently it's popular for its waterfall amidst the ancient town structures. Unfortunately I've never been there, but only able to watch from my phone and share this magical short gif

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u/withorwhy Jul 01 '22

Happy cake day!

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u/icebergiman Jul 01 '22

Thank you stranger 😊

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u/dandandubyoo Jul 01 '22

Happy Cake Day!

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u/strongkhal Jul 01 '22

Happy cake day to you too

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u/OkAddendum64 Jul 01 '22

HAPPY CAKE DAY

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

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u/Poincare_Confection Jul 01 '22

Yeah if you look at satellite images of this town on google maps then you can tell it is a fairly normal looking town. Seems like just this one part of the town is made to be beautiful like this.

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u/fixedjuncture_27 Jul 01 '22

Makes me want to leave everything and go live there. Doing whatever they do

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u/I-just-want-to-talq Jul 01 '22

Which is making money off of tourism. Which van be fun and wholesome, but also stressful and dire.

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u/yok347 Jul 01 '22

How did this survive the Cultural Revolution and the destruction of many historic structures. I don’t think it’s that ancient.

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u/tenaku Jul 01 '22

Yeah, most things like this in China are reconstructions.

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u/yok347 Jul 01 '22

That’s what I was thinking. I was part of a group that traveled around China and most everything was refurbished or recreated.

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u/icebergiman Jul 01 '22

Yikes, that's kinda depressing if it's true...

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u/snopes333 Jul 01 '22

I mean it's like that in Europe too. Very, very rarely will you find a genuine medieval house that hasn't at the least been tampered with or renovated. They're often restorations that attempt to look as similar as they did originally, but it's not the same. Apart from that they're also changed over the ages and so will have 18/19th century etc renovations which further muddies things. It's just how these are unfortunately.

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u/BornInNipple Jul 01 '22

what do you think Europe did after WW2, most for the ancient stuff around the world is reconstructed/maintained. Even in my country they reconstructed hundreds year old building after a disaster, so are they modern now? Its like this all around the world for those who want preserve what came before them. The cultural revolution in china is dead, and they are reconstructing what was destroyed. whats wrong with that?

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u/jerkularcirc Jul 01 '22

reddit: where prejudice is not ok, except when it comes to anything china related

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u/therager Jul 01 '22

Beautiful recreations are depressing?

Shit only a redditor would say..lol.

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u/karlnite Jul 01 '22

Most things around the world are reconstructions. We just watched the Notre Dam burn down, when they rebuild it to look “ancient” will it still be ancient?

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u/prem_killa11 Jul 01 '22

They’re Asian haters, specifically China.

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u/XaipeX Jul 01 '22

It has not. Was build in 2000–2007.

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u/yok347 Jul 01 '22

Thank you for confirming. Nice place regardless, but not ancient.

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u/BwackGul Jul 01 '22

Thank goodness 3 Gorges Dam didn't swallow this lovely spot.

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u/DungeonDefense Jul 01 '22

Because it’s impossible to destroy every single thing across a large country like China

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u/yok347 Jul 01 '22

They came close. There is a lot that was, and then the current disregard for villages for damming of the rivers.

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u/Khysamgathys Jul 01 '22

Because you (and most people outside of China) misunderstood what the Cultural Revolution was. For the outside world it was China doing a hard cultural reset of their society & politics. In reality it was a political (and a damn near actual) civil war between CCP Radicals and the CCP Moderates.

the CCP in the 1950s and 60s was pretty divided into 2 factions: the Radicals led Mao who believed in a breakneck speed effort to Modernize China, and the Moderates led by nobody but embodied by intellectuals like Zhou Enlai, uppercrust & middle-class leftists intellectuals, which believed in a gradual modernization of China that was somewhat within the conservative side. Both sides were nationalistic, except the radicals were about creating a totally new China as fast as possible, while the moderates believed in a gradual, steady approach, using communism to modernize China instead in a controlled fashion.

The Moderates enjoyed the support of the educated classes, the tiny Chinese middle class and- most importantly- the Military. Mao and his Radicals on the other hand was immensely popular among the Chinese peasant and laboring masses- especially the kids- after winning Chinese Civil War and actually unifyiong the countyr.

The conflict between moderates and radicals began when the two sides argued over the Great Leap Forward. When the GLF crashed and plunged China into a terrible famine, the Mao and his Radicals were humiliated and were told by the moderates to serve as a symbolic role while the moderates actually took care of policy, so the moderates stood validated.

Then in the 1960s, Mao Zedong wanted a comeback. The problem, however, is that the Party Leadership had practically shun him from politics and kept him around as a charismatic figurehead, so Mao had to turn to the only political asset that he had: the love of the masses. So, in order to rile them up, he needed another great revolution and that was the Cultural Revolution.

The rhetoric of the CR has it that the Moderates were infected by either Traditionalism, compromise with capitalists, or Soviet-style "revisionism" and that it was the job of the masses- especially the youth- to root out these "cancers." Due to Mao's popularity among the masses, they eagerly responded, and those in the colleges began forming militias which we now call the Red Guard.

Now in the 1950s-Early 1960s, the CCP- like any Chinese regime looking for legitimacy- considered itself the caretakers of China's cultural heritage. This was especially true of the Moderates which had loads of intellectuals like historians & scholars. In fact in its early years the CCP began taking care of existing heritage sites and conducting the first ever proper archaeological work on Pre-Song Chinese dynasties. Furthermore culturally the CCP even justified itself in very traditional terms: using the language of "Mandate of Heaven," identifying with 3 Kingdoms heroes in that they claim to "restore order to a divided empire" and using traditional painting styles in its early propaganda. In many ways its part of the reason why they won over the KMT, who was filled with Western-educated intellectuals unable to connect with the rural masses.

Unfortunately for the Moderates however, this time their efforts in preserving China's past was used by Mao to get his radicals to attack them. Since much of the moderate CCP leadership were older folks, one of the ways Mao justified radical attacks on the Moderates by saying that they hung to "old ways of thinking." The Mao's Radical mobs took this literally, and began attacking both old philosophies, traditions, and historical sites. Hence the widespread

Still it wasn't a complete loss for China's heritage because
a) = Moderates fought back, and they had the Country's military- the PLA- with them. So the Cultural Revolution was this weird period where CCP radicals were attacking and vandalizing major temples while CCP Moderates were busy protecting them from radicals or doing restoration. Famously, Zhou Enlai had the Forbidden City surrounded by army divisions to spare it from Red Guard vandalism.

b) = Attacking Chinese heritage wasn't exactly the priority of the Cultural Revolution: there were far busy running after Mao's political opponents than just vandalizing or destroying any old thing in sight.

c) = The Red Guards rampage on heritage was primarily in Northern China, and Specifically in regions around Beijing and bits of Southern China. In fact in terms of vandalizing old sites they mostly focused on major ones instead of the mundane like old architecture on i dunno residential buildings. After all as political mobs wanting to make a statement, attacking an Imperial Tomb is worth more than beating up some small shrine. Furthermore a lot of remote rural China still consisted of very backwards rural peasants who would not take kindly into destroying ancestral objects (or even better: did not know that the Cultural Revolution was going on in the North since much of Rural China in the 60s/70s was still cut off from modern comms/transport networks).

and most importantly
c) = Mao's Radicals ended up fighting each other. As the CR got out of control in the late 60s, Radicals began fighting other Radicals (politically AND literally,) over who were the real faithfuls to Mao's vision and disagreeing on political points, accusing each other of being "counterrevolutionaries." So instead of going after old shit, they went after each other: arrests, counter-arrests, and even literal street battles erupted between Red Guard factions. This gave the Moderates an opening and as one they got Mao to disavow the Red Guards and have the PLA them arrested for rebellion and mass disorder. Many radical students & workers were sent into reeducation camps, some were mass executed for crimes of "rebellion" (despite following Mao's ideals lol) and vandalism.

Was there incalculable damage to China's heritage? Yes there was, the Ming Tombs and the Confucius Family Mausoleum attests to that. Was this so widespread as to wipe out China's heritage completely? Nope.

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u/peatoire Jul 01 '22

Here's a high res image of it during the day. Still pretty at the waterfront but pretty ugly buildings at the back
https://imgur.com/a/CUTmwa4

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u/ModsCanGoToHell Jul 01 '22

This pic gives a more realistic view. Not that impressive now.

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u/moonknight999 Jul 01 '22

The more realistic view is the one where you're flying above the town? Do you have wings?

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u/Yoona1987 Jul 01 '22

Wouldn’t say that’s a more realistic view lol, the more realistic view is the view majority of people see on the ground floor haha.

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u/ellefleming Jul 01 '22

How ancient?

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u/XaipeX Jul 01 '22

Roughly 15–22 years old. Was completly destroyed and rebuild based on historic documents in the years 2000–2007.

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u/TheMightySirCatFish Jul 01 '22

I always appreciate when governments take the time to rebuild historic sites. Obviously it sucks that it was destroyed, but they didn’t just blanket it in cheap residential buildings.

Also, China is not the only place to do this, there are efforts in progress to restore sites in Mesopotamia as well as Greece and other historical regions. There’s even a reconstruction of a viking colony here in Canada, and despite not being the real thing it’s well-researched and it has value.

But if you post one of these places, it is nonetheless important to label it a reconstruction.

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u/socialdesire Jul 01 '22

Most historical places are like that though, they’re either restorations, refurbishments, reconstructions, etc. Not being one of these is the exception, not the norm.

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u/TheMightySirCatFish Jul 01 '22

I’m aware, there just appears to be an attitude in this thread labelling this one less genuine, I assume because China’s objectionable government built it.

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u/North_Korean_Jezus Jul 01 '22

More like 60 years at most, considering the ccp tore down pretty much every ancient site and rebuilt them as tourist sites.

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u/arizonatasteslike Jul 01 '22

If this is Furong I don’t wanna be Furight

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u/Oakheart- Jul 01 '22

Bro why are there so many places in China that are absolutely beautiful

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u/XaipeX Jul 01 '22

Because they were built to appeal to the taste of people in the 21st century.

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u/OVERLORDMAXIMUS Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

I don't think either communist planners in the 70's or premodern dynastic architects and city councils had any idea what the 21st century aesthetic was going to be... It's largely just a style that is probably going to look good in any century considering it draws from the highlights of good chinese architecture through history. A good comparison might be something like neoclassicism or plain old historical architecture here in the west.

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u/prem_killa11 Jul 01 '22

The guy’s talking out of his ass.

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u/Yoona1987 Jul 01 '22

Buildings like this have been in china for thousands of years?

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u/orangegoobear Jul 01 '22

I want to go to there.

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u/ash_is_fun Jul 01 '22

Somebody bring me some HAAAAAM!

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u/SpuffyFreak Jul 01 '22

Spirited Away vibes.

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u/2ndHalfHeroics Jul 01 '22

Where are the Cuccos?

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u/throwaway3004020 Jul 01 '22

Wasn't expecting a BotW reference here, cheers and have an upvote

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u/OFF_7eroy Jul 01 '22

Looks like most twitch streamers’ background

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u/Vyloe Jul 01 '22

Damn genshin wont lying

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u/Alive_Brother_1515 Jul 01 '22

Asian Twin Peaks!

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u/G92648 Jul 01 '22

Do they have dragons?

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u/BlackShadowRose333 Jul 01 '22

Asking the important questions

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u/Kieriko Jul 01 '22

Ni No Kuni 2 has a city that is very very similar. Now I have to add this town to my bucket list.

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u/WreckitRafff Jul 01 '22

Breathtaking. Wow.

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u/YoggieD Jul 01 '22

Why are the water purple?

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u/I-just-want-to-talq Jul 01 '22

It's this new thing called LED lights..

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u/dislimb Jul 01 '22

“Light emitting diode lights”

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u/camicasou Jul 01 '22

Could be potassium permanganate

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u/elegantloba Jul 01 '22

something so beautiful ,i can't believe it

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u/hornylaughing Jul 01 '22

I would find master oggway here I guess!

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u/binkbonk99 Jul 01 '22

that's a sekiro level

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u/HatefulConcious Jul 01 '22

As an American, I found it mind blowing that some of the buildings in Europe and Asia are older than my entire country.

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u/chilledkat Jul 01 '22 Take My Energy

“How long have you lived here?”

FURONG TIME!

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u/vernes1978 Jul 01 '22

Is there a name for getting the feeling of homesickness for a place you never visited before?

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u/CmndrPopNFresh Jul 01 '22

American here

What's it like to live somewhere where they build around beauty instead of paving over it?

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u/JesterRaiin Jul 01 '22

Place like this absolutely has to be inhabited by questgivers only.

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u/Got2JumpN2Swim Jul 01 '22

I recognize this place. Isn't there a dwemer ruin at the bottom with ancient artifacts inside?

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u/Money-Advantage-6535 Jul 01 '22

It's beautiful, reconstructed or not.

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u/Yukianevlum Jul 01 '22

It might be a reconstruction, but it’s still visually very beautiful.

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u/kathouse1988 Jul 01 '22

Whatever it is, old, or rebuilt It's beautiful 😍

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u/Dosterix Jul 01 '22

Yo in case that I travel to China someday I will definitely come around there too I love ancient Asian architecture

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u/4dpsNewMeta Jul 02 '22

If anyone’s curious like me, there’s a walk through of this town on YouTube so you can see for yourself:

https://youtu.be/GpunTJKzCis

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u/Otterboitod Jul 02 '22

That is absolutely enchanting

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u/msr4jc Jul 01 '22

Awesome

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u/funnyfootboot Jul 01 '22

More like Furite

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u/automatetheuniverse Jul 01 '22

Once upon a time in China... but like at the end.