Biggest ghost city of the world (kinda): Ordos.
This is one of the things that I was really looking forward to. A city build for a Million people where only 100.000 people live in. All high rise buildings that are empty, buildings that were never finished. To give you a little background information:
Ordos was, before they found one of the largest deposits of coal in China, a poor place, with a basic wool and textiles industry. That was around 12 years ago. So when they started mining, they got more wealthy. Which made the city from being one of the poorest areas of China to one of the wealthiest, in less than 10 years.
This resulted in building a “new” metropolis in the desert. They started building, and promote the city. In the end “nobody” came (kinda). I think that Ordos will fill up eventually because of work, over crowded cities and because there are so much Chinese people. Just takes time.
But back to my story. I thought it would be kind of a weird place and was curious how you would feel in a place like this. I can tell you it felt pretty weird. I was there just for one and a half day (which was just a little bit to short). The first day I was in Dongsheng, this would be the busier part of Ordos. This part did had a kind of “city center” but most of it was pretty deserted. Especially where my hotel was located. It was emptiness and emptiness all around.
The second day I went to Kang Bashi (this is the part where you can find most pictures of on the web), here is the city center was even kind of abandoned. They had a super nice modern museum (where 5 people walked around in total). You can see the pictures and the video below.
Side note: listen to the music in the hotel lobby (X-Files), this came up several times a day along. Made it extra spooky Haha… Tip: If you like abandoned buildings and places it’s worth it to check out. But you should go at leased 2 nights 😉
How to get there & get around
You can get a night train (K573) from Beijing North to Dongsheng, which takes about 13 hours and 47 minutes. And the costs for a hard sleeper are around 220 Yuan (31.56 Euro). To get from Dongsheng (city centre) to the Kang Bashi new area (where the museum is), you can take the bus (k-21) for 5 Yuan (0.72 Euro) and takes about 45 minutes. You can get the Bus at: 火车站 For the latest timetables check: chinatrainguide.com
Place to stay
When I went there, I was able to find only 2 hotels (in whole Ordos) on Booking.com. I stayed in the Holiday Inn Express (** hotel, but it felt more then just a 2 star hotel). It’s a bit on the border of Dongsheng, Which give a “better” experience of a deserted city, because there are less people there. A taxi to the centre of Dongsheng costs around 15 Yuan (2.15 Euro) Tip: If you like abandoned buildings and places it’s worth it to check out. But you should go at leased 2 nights 😉