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Gui Jie lanterns taken down

Iconic lanterns removed along the whole of Gui Jie

Gui Jie on Sunday night without the trademark lanterns. Photo: Lee Williamson
Well, this sucks. Gui Jui (or Ghost Street) just got a bit darker and spookier as hundreds of its iconic lanterns were removed over the weekend.

The removal of the lanterns from the historic food street is apparently the work of brutal arseholes local law enforcers the chengguan, who allegedly forcibly removed the lights over the weekend. In an effort to find out more, Time Out went straight to the city's finest source of secrets and gossip: cabbies.

'It's because the Government disapproves,' said one taxi driver, as he drove through the area. 'When the Government says we have to do something, we do it.'

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Enter night, exit light. Gui Jie sans lanterns.

Most netizens believe the lanterns were taken down due to new fire regulations. One forum user claimed: 'The chengguan took them all down citing the danger of fire, but I'm not sure I believe that.'

A business owner in the area told Time Out that community workers paid a visit to her property recently to advise: 'Watch out for fires, kids could die.'

Fire tore through a Gui Jie restaurant a couple of weeks ago, although the correlation between the two is incidents is unconfirmed. Whatever the reason, one of Beijing's most electrifying nighttime sights just got two in the back of the head. Where are we going to take visiting relatives for dinner now? Suggestions in the comments below, please.

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Kinda dingy, ain't it?

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This spooky, carved watermelon cheered us up, though.