Two historic temples near the Forbidden City in Beijing are reportedly housing illicit, exclusive clubs offering luxurious restaurant and hotel services for “certain customers” only.
China banned private clubs in historical buildings, parks and other public facilities this past November, Yahoo News said. Reporters from Xinhua News recently found, however, that exclusive services for the rich and fabulous are still available in these two Heritage Conservations.
Hotel rooms in the temples reportedly cost anywhere from 2,000 yuan to 4,500 yuan per night, while a meal there will set each customer back at least 800 yuan. The restaurant even features an emperor’s chair around the same size as the one in the Forbidden City, Xinhua reports.
“We are a private club and not open to the public,” a security guard said to a reporter who’d tried to enter.
The inner-workings of the buildings have remained a bit of a mystery to the neighboring residents and travelers. People living nearby complain that the activities in the club are often held until midnight and are noisy and disruptive.
Xinhua reported the illegally run businesses to related local government departments, leading to further investigation.
“We are not open to the public because this is our working office,” a staff member at one of the temples later told investigators.”We don’t run a business,” the employee maintained.
Back in 2011, there were rumors of a secret club for millionaires in the Forbidden City.
UPDATE [6:21 p.m.]: We’ve come to learn that a few of the above images, originally published on Tencent News, are actually shots from an established restaurant near the area and are not related to the report.
By Dina Li