Roughly 20 percent of the world’s population lives in China. Many world-famous monuments do as well, if you’re not beneath browsing the knockoff racks (and we know you’re not).
In a country known for faking everything from art to Apple stores, landmark forgeries fit China’s distinct artistic and business culture, as documented in a book and recent Departures story by Bianca Bosker. Which one’s real, and which is a wonder of the world whipped up in China? *Scroll to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The Tower of London Bridge Please, China–copy Fergie next. Actually, don’t.
2. The Eiffel Tower If Chinese factories end up making pencil sharpener souvenirs of their own country’s Eiffel, the world might finally fold in on itself.
3. The White House In 2012, Chinese hackers made the president’s pad a target. A few years earlier, Fuyang city made its town hall a tribute.
4. Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy SOHO Not above a little intranational imitation, the Meiquan 22nd Century project in Chongqing was accused of copying Beijing’s Galaxy SOHO designed by Zaha Hadid.
5. Holland Village Insult the wrong princeling during your travels? You could try hightailing it to China’s serene Dutch landscape, complete with its own version of The Hague court. It probably wouldn’t work, but you could try it.
6. Manhattan’s skyline As of press time, we’ve yet to confirm whether China has also replicated the squawks of diabolical seagulls and the din of berserk cab horns to complete the experience.
7. Versailles Castle Only in China could a big drug company like Harbin Pharmaceuticals model their headquarters after the height of historical opulence. Actually, no–this would make sense for a big drug company anywhere.
8. Venice’s Grand Canal Oh, to behold the glory of a Chinese gondolier. Bucket list, update thyself! And of course, Hangzhou city’s Rialto Bridge is built for industry as well as romance.
9. The Water Cube Who says massive Olympic construction projects are a waste of money? In Macau, which is known as “China’s Vegas,” this second ostentatious cube wouldn’t exist without the original from Beijing’s 2008 summer games.
*The top ones are the originals! If it took you until here to divine this, you’re going to have an incredible sightseeing tour in China!