World famous for top quality knockoffs and not settling for handbags, shoes and other designer goodies the Chinese have taken to replicating entire towns.
There’s the clone of the Austrian village of Hallstat and in 2006, the Shanghai Hengde Real Estate group built Thames Town, a replica so close to the original back in England, that they actually received some complaints from English pub owners!
Located in the metropolis of Shanghai, the Thames Town replica sadly seems to have failed to encourage the tourists and is now virtually a ghost town.
It does look remarkably like the original town, almost like a little piece of London was snapped off and somehow transported to China. However apart from the few people that live there and the occasional tourist popping into take a picture next to the quintessentially English buildings, it really hasn’t taken off.
Developers claim to have spent $300million on the project and did not recover anywhere near the kind of profit they were hoping for. That might be something to do with the incredibly high prices for houses and villas in the Chinese Thames Town, which are between $600,000 and $750,000 for 307 – 377 square meters.
Apartments are slightly more reasonable at $750 per square meter but they are still out of the price range of the majority of people in the area.