The Panda King, Tong’An Film City 同安影視城
If you asked a lot of people where China’s "Hollywood" is, they’d probably guess Hong Kong. After all, nearly every good Chinese movie comes from there. But if you were to talk about mainland China, or the China before Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule, Hollywood would be Tong’An Film City.
Think of it as something like Universal Studios, minus all the rides and minus all the people. It was not as devoid of people as the amuseument park in Brunei, but it came pretty close. Also, unlike Brunei, they have a few characters that are very similar to western counterparts…
The police presence was only this, and they did not seem to mind the similarity to a certain Disney character:
Inside Tiananmen, there were comic heroes on the wall, mostly western in origin. I haven’t actually seen any Chinese productions with Wonder Woman, so I wonder what the impetus was to paint her on the wall…
Anyhow, since many Chinese films have Tiananmen and the Forbidden City and/or traditional Chinese villages in them, that made up the bulk of the land area. Large, but not as large as the one in Beijing. The one in Beijing is just small enough to fit within ‘as far as the eye can see.’ The Tiananmen parts are here:
Within the walls of Tiananmen, there is the opportunity to watch Chinese movies. The best of all the movies was Lust, Caution, apparently screened as soon as Tong’An Film City opened for the day.
The best part of going was the ability to dress up in traditional Chinese costumes. Traditional Chinese costumes cost a fortune, even in China! I will justify the cost at some point, perhaps when I find a tailor that can make a set for me. Playing music:
The Panda King:
There were also actors there playing royalty:
In a traditional Chinese garden to the left of the Forbidden City, there is a museum with a lot of Chinese memorabilia from the Mao era. Though for Mao items, I think the Mao Museum in Chengdu is even better.
Peering outside, a different sense of China:
There would not be China without the Great Wall:
On a more human scale, items in and around the village on the right side of the complex:
There is a traditional Chinese Siheyuan home, but this one apparently was occupied by a man that embezzled more from the Chinese economy in modern times than any other. Think somebody like Bill Gates, but instead of earning that money from lawful enterprises, he stole many items, including oil and sold it off to make his profits.
Near the exit gate:
Not a bad outing for a day…the bus ride takes over an hour from the centre of Xiamen, so keep it in mind.