China is making a splash across world news outlets today as they began sea trials for their first aircraft carrier. Back in 2001 when the Soviet made aircraft carrier “Varyag” was sold at auction, the company that placed the winning bid had stated it would be turned into a casino/pleasure boat docked at Macao. 10 years later the original intent of China is now clear as the carrier was retrofitted and armed to become the centerpiece of the Chinese navy, asserting control over their stakes in the East China Sea and moving China towards their goal of a 21st century “fighting” (peacekeeping?) force worthy of the 2nd most powerful economy in the world..
But what about that casino/pleasure boat idea? We can’t be the only ones who thought that it’d be totally baller to party on an aircraft carrier. As it turns out, the Chinese thought the same thing.
5 years before the Varyag was purchased, another Soviet aircraft carrier, the Kiev, was also snapped up by China way back in 1996. Potentially bought for the same reason the Varyag was, the Kiev was also the flagship of its class, but from a decade earlier. Perhaps because it was so old, the Chinese decided never to militarize it, but they did eventually awesomize it.
Enter the Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park and their recently announced hotel! Judging from the pictures, it’s less of an aircraft carrier themed hotel, and more of a hotel that just happens to be on an aircraft carrier. Apparently 100 million RMB was spent on decking out the interior with all that gaudiness (is that a cow rug we see?). The 6,000-square-metre hotel opens October 1st but we’d recommend our 6 foot + readers avoid booking unless they like ducking.