Fengdu Ghost Town/丰都鬼城

(下面有中文版)

I probably wasn’t supposed to enjoy this as much as I did, and most Chinese tourists riding the Yangtze River told me that it was “fantasy history” and therefore useless, but enjoy it I most certainly did. Imagine, if you will, a combination of one of those state fair haunted houses from the 90’s, Willy Wonka’s factory, and the underworld. This is Fengdu Ghost Town in a nutshell.

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Enter, if you dare!

The main area has lifesize depictions of Hell, complete with the giant entrance gate, the Home-Viewing Pavilion (where newly-deceased could have one last look at their mortal life), the Bridge of Helplessness, sometimes “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (no, not the Simon and Garfunkel song — a bridge spanning a river of blood with demons writhing within), halls of judges, gnarled statues of demons gnashing their teeth, and more. I personally enjoyed the rows of ghost-statues, which included the “Lust Ghost,” the “Drunkard Ghost,” demons eating hands, with eyes all over them, and plenty of other things to give you nightmares. You can follow a tour guide as he/she walks you through Hell and the three tests for making it through: passing that bridge, going through King of Hell Lord Yama’s torture chamber, and then (perplexingly) a stone on which to stand for three minutes — though this will be all in Chinese.

Most visitors stick with this, but I kept exploring, discovering a side corridor by the Hall of Judges, in which some inspired artists had made statues depicting the various torture methods in surprising detail.

Further afield, is an addition made in the 90’s, which is where the haunted house impression comes from. Whereas the main area took you through what felt more like a historic reenactment, this one turns Hell into an amusement park, complete with a small roller coaster, Day-Glo paint along the walls, rickety dolls falling apart, and a reincarnation funhouse.

As I said, most Chinese tourists I met scoffed at this place, but if I’m being honest, it was probably one of my highlights from my trip to Chongqing. Where else can you find something so bizarre?

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很多人可能觉得丰都鬼城不值得被喜爱,但是我还是挺喜欢这个地方的。你想想一下:一种九十年代的鬼屋、威利·旺卡工厂和地狱的结合,这就是真正的丰都鬼城。

主要的观赏点有与原物一样大小的地狱雕像、大厅,大门口,望乡台,奈何桥,恐怖的地狱法官,咬牙切齿的魔鬼等。我个人最喜欢魔鬼的雕像,比如“欲色鬼,”“酒鬼,”吃手的鬼,有无数眼睛的鬼,还有很多让你做噩梦的魔鬼。你可以跟着导游走,而且他会带你去看进入地狱的三个审判官:经过奈何桥,挨过阎王的刑堂,然后三分钟站在在石头上(我也不太明白这一点)。

大部分的游客感觉游完这部分就够了,而我却会继续探索丰都。我发现了一个小小在大厅旁边的走廊,里面有令我惊讶、很细致的雕像,都展示各种痛苦。让我不禁遐想……到底是什么样的艺术家才会有这样创作呀?

再往里走,有一个新建的地方让我想到九十年代的鬼屋。在这里有现代的过山车,幻彩萤光漆,破旧的雕像,给我的感觉是这个地方就像是那些魔鬼在轮回的游乐园。

我就是想说:大部分我见到的中国游客都在吐槽丰都鬼城,但说实话,它是我在重庆最喜欢的地方之一。哪里还会有那么独特而奇异的景点呀?