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The weirdest, wildest things that happened in 2016

Shake your bits to the hits of a Beijing year in retrospective

Ah, 2016. You were a cruel mistress – capricious, unpredictable and far more orange than most of us would have liked. However, as we wave goodbye to this annus horriblis it seems fitting to muse on quirky news items long gone.

We've seen our beloved Beijing change and modernise before our eyes, had to explain the concept of cupping to skeptical friends back home, and had our first clammy embrace with David, the big-nosed foreign spy and possibly the worst lover to ever act like a cliche and creep on a Chinese girl.

2017, the gauntlet has been thrown down – do better, and we'll see you for another one of these appraisals this time next year.










China made a flying train

It's literally what it says on the tin. We've been humming the monorail song from The Simpsons since September.

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By: Frank Sweet
China put a booze-stronaut in space

China put a booze-stronaut in space

China seems to have taken the idea of a world-beating wine literally, by sending grapevines into space. According to sources, space lab Tiangong-2 took a selection of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir plants to infinity and beyond. Ostensibly, this was in an attempt to expose the grapes to space radiation to allow them to produce better wine in China's inhospitable climates, but we reckon it's probably so the astronauts can throw a rager.

We at Time Out applaud the efforts of these pisshead pioneers, but remain a little worried about the Day of the Triffids possibilities.

Beijing to trial 24-hour subway system

Beijing to trial 24-hour subway system

Good news indeed. The City Transportation Bureau via Sina tells us the guinea pig line will be Line 4, though it won't tell us until what time the trains will run or when the trials will start, both of which would've been super-handy fact nuggets. Nice little tidbit though – perfect fit for this blog bar. Tell your friends.


It was announced that you might be able to get from Beijing to Shanghai in two hours

It was announced that you might be able to get from Beijing to Shanghai in two hours

Good news for commuters, with their computers. A Chinese firm is working on a maglev train that could travel up to 600kmph, which would make it the fastest train in the world, according to China Daily.

This could potentially mean a journey time from Beijing to Shanghai of around two hours. The current fleet of trains reach a cruising speed of 300kmph. 

Shanghai and back in four hours? Hell, you could even pop down for lunch. 


Construction finally began on Universal Studios Beijing

Construction finally began on Universal Studios Beijing

Ground has finally been broken on the site of Universal Studios Beijing, with the park set to open in 2020, already a year behind the 2019 target.

Universal Beijing will be the third Universal park in Asia, and like its predecessors in Singapore and Japan, will focus on movie attractions, as well as boasting a Universal CityWalk entertainment complex, and the world’s first Universal-themed hotel.

Speculators have guessed that the films incorporated in the park’s attractions may include The Amazing Spider-Man 2Transformers: Age of Extinction, as well as the Harry Potter series.

Beijing Guoan tried to sign Wayne Rooney

Beijing Guoan tried to sign Wayne Rooney

The capital's football team tried to buy English star Wayne Rooney this summer, it has been recently revealed

Beijing Guoan's chairman Luo Ning said the Chinese Super League (CSL) team made an offer for Rooney, with wages speculated to be as high as 2.5 million RMB a week, back in the summer but the English striker rejected the proposal. 

Rooney is no longer a first-team starter for Manchester United, and CSL teams have a habit of picking up European stars who are past their best, so it seems like a match made in heaven. The CSL finished last month, with Beijing finishing in fifth position. 

Singles' Day 2016 was ridiculous

The hyper-capitalists over at Alibaba made a lot of money (a dollar cetrainly makes them holler) and you probably bought a load of junk you didn't actually need. 

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By: Patrick Moore

Everyone lost their marbles over the supermoon

Everybody look at the moon! Everybody see the moon! Alas, we didn't see any cheese, Marvin the Martian, Wallace, Gromit, the Clangers or an overrated Pink Floyd record, but if they turn up we'll let you know.

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By: Frank Sweet