Star Islands of Qian'an – Tangshan, China - Atlas Obscura
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Star Islands of Qian'an

Though these human-made islands were constructed as an escape for the wealthy, they rarely see many visitors. 


This series of artificial islands constructed in a widening of the Luan River were meant to be an ode to international culture, and an escape for the wealthier residents of Qian’an. The problem though, it would seem, is that when those people became wealthy, they didn’t want to remain in the somewhat industrial city.

Five star-shaped islands are linked to a sixth, central, flower-shaped one, each with its own architectural theme. One island is filled with sleek, modern buildings, all curved steel and glass. Another has streets filled with sprawling Spanish-style villas.

You’re unlikely to find many people enjoying the islands’ numerous restaurants, hotels, or the Qian’an cultural center, but it can still make for a fun afternoon to stroll through the uninhabited avenues of what was meant to be for the elite. There’s a good chance you’ll have at least some street sweepers and gardeners for company, keeping it in top shape for the buyers that never came.

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