By Benjamin Cost
Shanghai is currently constructing its first open-air hot springs resort in Songjiang district, a 500 million RMB project geared to immerse visitors in both nature and culture. Shanghai Daily reports:
The resort project, estimated to cost more than 500 million yuan, will build facilities on 100 hectares and is being launched in three phases. It is expected to be completed in three years, said Mao Jun, general manager of Shanghai Xuelang Lake Resort.
The first phase, at a cost about 220 million yuan, will be the city’s first open-air hot spring resort hotel with a 12,000-square-meter man-made hot spring pool zone.
“We will add various recreational and cultural facilities, including a museum, a theme park, a fishing center, children’s playground and a home for the aged, to the second and third phases,” Mao said.
Of course, despite promises of a cultural/ecological wonderland in an area with little ecology and culture, half a billion RMB and 100 cleared hectares later, we could likely end up with another textbook tourist resort with pasty tourists passing off sunburns as tans, and some very Las Vegas-y/Disney-fied nature and culture. But we suppose there’s no real harm in a good ol’ fashioned Chinese tourist trap, especially when compared to the “Confucius hotel” or that Chinese casino that will replace vast tracts of Cambodian wilderness.