Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things that are very, very, very gnarly:
- Dogs riding skateboards wearing sunglasses.
- Guitars that shoot rockets off them.
- Planets exploding and / or imploding.
- Birds of prey.
- The friggin' aircraft carrier out in a tepid pond in friggin' Zhujiajiao that is also a friggin' full-on friggin' military museum full of friggin' tanks and bazookas and shit.
So, yeah, there is a 220-meter-long replica aircraft carrier out in a pond in Zhujiajiao full of tanks that you can visit. There's also a submarine, fighter jets, missiles and rockets, bombers, hovercrafts, all that great stuff. You're looking for the "National Defense Education Park". Sick name.
The National Defense Education Park is in the middle of a larger wonderful experience called "Oriental Land". Even sicker name. Oriental Land is the last stop on Line 17, one past Zhujiazhao. Check out what the last stop looks like. Literally the end of the line. This picture is like art isn't it?
That's a metaphor for something, I'll let you figure it out.
Oriental Land is next to Dianshan Lake and covers an area of 373 hectares. Pretty big as far as green spaces go in this city. Big enough to have a bike route in it. Over all, Oriental Land is like your standard Shanghai designated park area, with paddle boats, canoes, tandem bike riding, and plenty of green open spaces for picnics. There's also a delightful amount of aesthetic WTF-ness without even getting into the rad military stuff. But the military stuff is the big draw. Lots of families when we went. Also younger kids on field trips. Rounded out by guys with brush cuts executing the worst date idea of all time.
Seriously ladies, if your man's idea of a good time is taking pictures of himself in front of surface-to-air missiles...
Here's “Wisdom Avenue” lined with 168 statues of famous thinkers such as Plato and your boy Julius.
Assorted sculptural zaniness abounds.
It's got a go-kart track with a World War II Enola Gay bomber at the center of it.
The track was open but no one was riding when we went. The two carnie guys who worked there were just sitting quietly and sadly, shoulders slumped, in a few parked go-karts. Are there no chairs in the office inside or something? They looked like they'd gotten dropped off sometime in the early '70s and were still waiting for their dad to come pick them up. Hahaha.
So, yeah, the aircraft carrier is in a pond and you loop around it to board from the hull. They've also got a actual submarine from the Chinese 280th Navy but pffft on that, we're going for the main event.
This is what's in the aircraft carrier. First floor is your tanks, bazookas, rocket launchers, and thangs.
Second floor is like... the history of how awesome war is. From Neanderthal man through the Middle Ages to current times, humans have been kicking ass at war and making tons of rad shit to kill each other. Pretty sweet.
The through thread is pretty clear here: Sharpened rocks. -> Spears. -> Guns -> Napalm.
The noble glory of inspiration. He's like hmm, what if I put a giant spike on that? Eureka, Dave, my man, you've done it again!
Third floor is the deck of the aircraft carrier, replete with Top Gun fighter jets! Flying through the danger zone!
A parting tip: The first kiosk about 200 meters into the park sells official Spiderman butterfly knives!
Oriental Land is at 6888 Qingping Gonglu, near Fuxing Lu. It's the very last stop on Line 17, two minutes from the station. 50rmb entry fee and then a few areas cost extra on top of that. The aircraft carrier is free. The submarine costs 30rmb to board.