China opens doors on 'world's largest building'

4th Jul 2013

China doesn't do things by half - especially when it comes to tourism.

So its latest attraction for visitors on group tours is also on an epic scale that fans of the Great Wall of China have come to love and expect.

The New Century Global Centre opened in the capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China.

This makes Chengdu an even more mouthwatering prospect for holidaymakers on city breaks - especially if they're on shopping-based specialist tours.

Chinese officials claim that the centre, which opened last Friday (June 28), is the "largest freestanding building in the world".

The phrase "world's largest" usually conjures up pictures of towering skyscrapers, but this building is only 100 metres high (328ft).

But it is certainly vast.

Imagine a structure capable of housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses and almost three Washington Pentagons, then you get some idea of the scale of this monster building.

At 500 metres long (546 yards), 400 metres wide (437 yards), the Global Centre is home to business offices, hotels, movie theatres, ice skating rink, an artificial Mediterranean village, family-themed attractions such as a water park called Paradise Island, and shopping malls.

Around 400,000 square metres of the building are dedicated to retail therapy.

Chengdu is also expanding its subway line and hopes to build a new airport by 2020, further suggesting official ambitions to make the city an economic and cultural capital of western China.

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