So you're on your way to the Badaling Great Wall. You're on the highway looking out to the hills and suddenly your gaze wanders to your feet and Bam!
you get this craving for a good pair of Jimmy Choos to creep those toes into – a bit like Cinderella and her crystal slippers.
Well now if you ever find yourself in that scenario – which we obviously have more than once – then your wish is can come true. We can't promise crystal anything, but we can promise Jimmy Choos for your feet, from within an (abandoned) castle by the roadside.
Do you remember back in 2012 when Time Out reported on an abandoned theme park
called Wonderland (沃德兰乐园; Wodelan Leyuan
) in Changping district that had been rigged with planning problems since its construction began in the late '90s? The project was halted about a year after and for over a decade, if you were on your way to Badaling Great wall or the Thirteen Tombs, you were probably wondering what the pink facades of a fairy tale building were all about.
No more. Apart from the framework of a castle that stood incomplete at the back of the amusement park, the compex was torn down in 2013 for construction of The Badaling Outlets (Badaling Aulai, 八达岭奥莱; www.badaling-outlets.com), which just opens today and houses a staggering number of designer brands – both international and domestic.
Touted as an extra 'consumerism stop off' between culture (Thirteen Tombs) and nature (Badaling Great Wall). The latest large scale project is an attempt to turn Changping district into a premier tourist region.
There are four zones to this outlet village, layered over two floors; each zone has a different fashion-focus. Take a look at the different types of goodies you can expect to find.
Zone A: International designer brands (国际名品).
Who you'll find: Armani, Escada, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Valentino.
Zone B: International high street brands（时尚名品).
Who you'll find: Levis, Adidas, Diesel, GAP, The North Face, Lacoste.
Zone C1: Chinese boutique brands （国内精品)
Who you'll find: BHG Market, Erdos, Nine West, Zuczug.
Zone C2: Chinese boutique brands and specialty food and drinks (国内精品特色餐饮）
Who you'll find: Pizza Hut, E.Land, KFC, 呷哺呷哺 (xiapu xiapu).
We think the new mall is sure to attract hoards of visitors, since, well Chinese people love buying, and it's a lot cheaper than flying abroad to shop.
How to find this fashionista fairy tale fantasy
The outlet might not be the closest fashion outlet, but it is actually fairly accessible. The nearest subway stop is Nanshao station on the Changping line (pink), eight stops from Wudaokou. Once you come out of the station, there's a free bus a short walk away (just past the roundabout) that takes you to the mall. Or if you fancy driving instead, there will be over 2,000 free parking spots.
Otherwise you can catch the free bus from the centre of town at 9am: the eastern route (dongxian, 东线） goes from Tongzhou, passing through Guomao, Sanyuanqiao, Shaoyaoju. The middle route (zhongxian, 中线）goes from the Military Museum to Wudaokou and then Huilongguan.
The return journey from the outlet into town leaves Sunday-Thursday at 3pm or 4pm Friday-Saturday.
For more information, take a look at our venue page here