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Entering a different World…

by Dan

Imagine entering the world of Alice in Wonder Land, mixed with Mad Max. The rusted textures of a 50-year-old factory with the colours of freshly painted graffiti. A wonderful world to truly keep a creative mind active, each nook and cranny presented a new piece of inspiration.

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The Beijing 798 art zone was named after the 798 factories built in the 1950’s and sits within the Dashanzi zone of Beijing. The whole district covers 148 aches with hidden gems around each and every corner.

Modern art fills the galleries, graffiti covers the walls, bloggers fill the streets, it is indeed a hive of activity, a place to easily lose a sunny afternoon.

We started our morning visiting the UCCA and the UCCA design store, both live up to their motto of “Bring Art into Your Life”. Next to a caffeine boost from Voyage Coffee, whose relaxed, bright and clean space is the perfect break from the sun.

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Back onto streets of the 798 district, we hit the heart of the 798 area to see an unexpected surprise and a real reminder of home - The Ace Cafe. The rugged metal building sat perfectly among its Beijing brothers and sisters. The smell of oil and noise of engines filled the air. What a surprise!

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It was onto the final part of the journey and the highlight of the day, the old decommissioned military factories and their exposed metal, proudly rusted and sitting perfectly against the sunny backdrop of Beijing. The incredible size and rawness of the buildings are like nothing I’ve seen before...well worth the traffic jams and lawless road rage. Beijing and the 798 district we’ll be back soon….promise.

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