天子大酒店 The Tianzi Hotel, Beijing

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“An hour east of Beijing on the 930 bus, you’ll pass a couple of ominous industrial (nuclear?) chimneys. They’re real big. Hop off the bus, and sneak behind them. That’s where you’ll find the most charmingly bizarre guesthouse, The Tianzi Hotel.

Apparently, business was bad. The receptionist told us they’d hoped to draw more of a crowd by resurfacing the hotel to look like the iconic Chinese superstars, Fu (the lucky guy), Lu (rich man) and Shou (Mr Immortality, himself.) I’ve been seeing the characters everywhere in China — in temples, shrines, gift shops, restaurants. Sadly, after a few more questions, she finally admitted that, 10 years later they still don’t have so many visitors.”

Asia Obscura

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