Just 10 miles from downtown Beijing and Tienanmen Square, China's World Park gives visitors a chance to see more than 100 of the planet's best known landmarks -- including the Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, and the Statue of Liberty -- all in miniature. The park is divided into five continents separated by four tiny "oceans", intended to replicate the earth's actual geographic layout. Guests can opt to circumnavigate the globe in miniature speedboats, take the overland route in battery operated cars, or board the park's monorail for a transcontinental journey by train.
Replicas at the World Park are built with painstaking attention to detail, and many of the landmarks have been constructed using materials intended to mimic the originals. World Park's Red Square is paved with more than five million tiny bricks the size of Legos, and the Great Pyramids are built of 200,000 miniature white marble blocks. The park also contains a shrunken Manhattan, where the World Trade Center's Twin Towers still dominate the New York skyline. Unfortunately, the park is not well maintained and time is taking its toll on many of the monuments.
In China, red tape and government restrictions make international travel difficult at best; but television and the internet are introducing a rapidly growing population to the allure of global culture. As a result, miniature attractions like World Park are cropping up in more places, including Grand World Scenic Park in Guangzhou and Window of the World in Shenzhen, where Chinese tourists can even visit a diminutive version of America's own tiny realm --Disneyland. It really is a small world after all.