20 October 2014

We Saw the World in a Day

I first heard of Window of the World (世界之窗, shìjiè zhī chuāng)theme park when researching China before we ever moved to ShenZhen, and when I heard of it, I knew that we had to go sometime. The concept of the park was one I found highly amusing: they took just about every landmark you could possibly think of from all over the world and recreated them in the miniature.

Attending this park reminded me a bit of my visit to Epcot in January, only I wouldn't say that attention to detail was quite on the Disney-level (i.e. all the food served in the park is Chinese food, nearly all of the performers are Chinese), but who would expect that? Disney is quite unique.

Still, we had a grand time. The concept of making an amusement park based on the idea of collecting famous sights from all over the world and putting them in one place caused me to be overcome with giggles from time to time, but it was an awesome day, giggles and all. The park also boasts a couple of rides for which you need extra tickets (we were at the park for about 6 hours, and that was going at high speed to see everything, not stopping for food or extra ticketed rides). They have "cultural shows" in different regions of the world. We went to a "cultural show" that took place in a European church, as you'll see below.

Quite frequently, this park reminded me how very much not a traveler I actually am, because I've seen a grand total of 1 of the sights in the park in real life. However, many sights reminded me of friends and family who have been to the real places. Let me know in the comments which of these real places you've been too!

Window of the World Louvre Pyramid
 The Pyramid from the Louvre was the exit from the metro. My family was there last year.

Window of the World Ishtar Gate
 I'll be honest, I had no idea what this was, and there was no sign, but I was very intrigued so I googled "ancient blue brick wall" and discovered that this is the Ishtar Gate.

 My family was here, too, a year ago. And Joslin, what do you think of our Eiffel Tower selfie?

 I love being the master of the map.

 I still haven't figured out what this is. I Googled "fancy Chinese gate" but apparently that's too vague a description. Does this look familiar to anyone?

Window of the World Angkor Wat
 Angkor Wat, another adventure my family went on without me...

Window of the World Stonehenge
 It's Mini-Stonehenge!

Window of the World Niagara Falls
 Niagara Falls.

Window of the World Mt. Rushmore
 This was the one sight I've seen in real life, Mt. Rushmore. Amanda just went there, by the way.

Window of the World New York
 Angel hadn't been to Mt. Rushmore, but he had been to New York, so we've each racked up a total of 1 famous landmark a piece. Note that their New York is pre-2001.

Window of the World Lincoln Memorial
 I was yelling, "Abraham Lincoln is so tiny!" and Angel said "He's even tinier on the penny." 

Window of the World Tower of Pisa
 Yep, it's leaning.

Window of the World Washington Monument
The Washington Monument made me think of Sam!

 This was the one "cultural show" that we made sure to get to--a 15 minute "Christian wedding ceremony". The choir sang several hymns in Mandarin, including one that I recognized as "Holy, Holy, Holy." The priest/man in the hat said a short message about marriage in Christ (in Mandarin, of course), and the very non-enthusiastic bride and groom bowed to each other after exchanging rings. It was extremely intriguing to see this interpretation of something that's part of my own Western Christian culture (although I believe this is intended to be a Catholic wedding, or else liturgical Protestant--in any case, it didn't really resemble weddings I've actually been to, was slightly depressing due to lack of enthusiasm on the part of the actors, but was extremely interesting).

Windows of the World didn't have every cool sight of the world, though they had a large number (around 130 is what they advertise) of them. Given my biases, I thought that they should have had Devil's Tower, the Petronas Towers and maybe a few landmarks of Israel, and more from the continent of Africa, which was largely ignored except for the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Which of these landmarks from around the world have you seen in real life? And what do you think would be most cool to see in miniature?


  1. Interesting! I think I might walk around with giggles too!

  2. I've been to NYC (post-9/11, both times) and to the Washington, DC monuments featured. I would love to see Chichen Itza {hooray for the interim to the Yucatan :)}.

  3. Great pictures! I would love to visit this park one day.

  4. Oh, what a cool place! I'd definitely be giggling too! Have been to a few of them (Leaning Tower, Stone Henge, NY, Ishtar Gate.....I definitely think they should have reproduced Teotihuacan and Machu Picchu and Eyre's Rock and more from Africa.... [I think the gate you asked about is the Ghanghua Buddhist Temple Gate in Beijing?]

  5. PS. Spell checker corrected me....obviously 'Ayers Rock'....!! [Now I'm thinking of Wuthering Heights...!]

  6. Wow how odd! But interesting! Glad you and Angel got to visit and share with us.

  7. That looks SO cool, I would love to go there! :)

  8. Well… I guess I'm not very adventurous after all. I haven't even been to NEW YORK, yet. New York is on our list, we're hoping to go this summer. We just visited Atlanta and I loved it.
    It looks like you had a fun time, your pictures are gorgeous. Epcot was fun, but I think it would be rather interesting to see another country's point of view on the American experience, however marriage doesn't seem happy here, I guess.

  9. Wow! This looks like such a cool place! I've been to Mt. Rushmore and NYC. Maybe I just need to go to this place, though, and cross everything else off my list:)

  10. That's so cool! I would love to go to that theme park! I've been to all the monuments in D.C. (since I grew up 40 minutes to the south), and the Stonehenge when I studied abroad in the UK. It was illegal to touch the stones, but a few friends and I licked them when the cops weren't looking!

  11. That sounds like such a cool place! Watching a wedding like that would be such an interesting experience.

  12. This looks so fun! Great pictures!

  13. That looks so cool! Especially Stonehenge and Niagara Falls. That Chinese gate looks like the one in Epcot....I just pulled this from a Disney blog I love:

    "Guests enter the China Pavilion by walking beneath Zhao Yan Men or Gate of the Golden Sun. This gate is a reproduction of one found at the Summer Palace located nine miles north of central Beijing. Construction of the Summer Palace began in 1750 and covers an area of approximately 1.8 square miles. The Summer Palace contains a lake, hills, gardens, pavilions, halls, and temples. The purpose of the Summer Palace was to provide an escape for royalty so they could rest and entertain in lavish style. Today the Summer Palace is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination. The first picture is of the original gate, the second at Epcot. (I have better luck taking people-less pictures at Epcot than I do in China. LOL)"

    The posts on the China pavilion ( he has cool informative posts on every Epcot country and many other things Disney) are here:
    and here:

    1. That's definitely it! The Gate of the Golden Sun! Thanks! And I might just get sucked into this sort of Disney blog...

  14. Wow! This is really interesting!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  15. such an interesting place! That wedding ceremony sounds really cool!

  16. Wow that looks like a really interesting place to visit! In real life I have only been to Mount Rushmore and NYC, although I would love to travel and see more of the world.

  17. What on earth?!?!? This looks like such a cool place to visit!!! How fun! And that wedding ceremony kind of sounds amusing! Definitely not a typical Western wedding at all! :-)

  18. Whoa that is so cool! I would love to see that place. I haven't been to any of the places you mentioned except NYC. I guess I'm pretty boring. Then again, I tied with Angel and I don't consider him boring at all.

  19. I hadn't heard of Windows to the World before- very cool. I love Epcot so probably would enjoy this too!

  20. That looks so fun!

  21. wow this is so interesting! i found your description of the wedding also quite fascinating-would love to have witnessed this representation!

    i've really only been to NYC, DC and Niagara falls from your photos! i second needing patronas towers there!

    ps. i really like your necklace!

  22. OMG I WANT TO GO HERE!!!! It's so cool!!!

  23. This looks like a fun little adventure! It's interesting to see their interpretation of the other parts of the world.

  24. Ha, I watched a movie about this theme park for one of my classes! At least I'm assuming it is the same park.

    It looks pretty neat - I've actually never been to any of the real places there! I'm always a little saddened that I've not seen more of the famous landmarks from my own country...they're all sooooo far away. #OklahomaProblems

  25. Wow, I've never even heard of this place, but now I really want to go. Must have been a great learning experience!

  26. Such a great idea! I love the sound of this place; I've seen five of the sites you photographed and I'd love to see that mini Niagra Falls. Thanks for sharing :)
    ~ Marcella

  27. Looks like quite an amusing park^^ But the wedding thing is a bit weird... if you just do it for the visitors every day, how can you stay motivated.... How do chinese normally celebrate a wedding?

  28. Wow how cool, it looks so fun to wander around and see all the minatures. Are there many Oceanic ones? Like Easter Island, or the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

  29. Oh that is so cool - little tiny versions of the real things! I'm actually quite astonished to how many of those I've seen! The Ishtar Gate is in Berlin and it is a true beauty in reality!

  30. I heard about this park when I was there but didn't make it. It's really cool! I can't believe how many things they recreated--like Niagara Falls and Stonehenge?? I thought it was just monuments, I didn't realize they replicated more natural things as well!

  31. Wow! This is some place...and you're right, it has similarities to Epcot! It certainly makes for some fun photos.

  32. YESSS! I love it! I saw a place like this in Belgium (I think? Or was it Austria?) and I wanted to go, but Cass thought it sounded weird. Now that I see your pictures, I'm going to make him go next time we're in the area.

  33. YESSS! I love it! I saw a place like this in Belgium (I think? Or was it Austria?) and I wanted to go, but Cass thought it sounded weird. Now that I see your pictures, I'm going to make him go next time we're in the area.