You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Beijing Olympic Village

Story by September 1st, 2016

Myself and The_Raw took a 2 week holiday to Beijing in September 2016. It was a mixture of sightseeing, exploring, drinking and eating and just generally doing whatever we felt like, we took 3 days out the middle to go on a tour to North Korea as well. This was one of the places in our sights, so we took the Metro up here one sunny afternoon. After working out that the GPS on Google maps in China is about 200 metres or so out from where you actually are, we managed to locate it, climb over the back wall and spend the next 3 hours or so having a walk round.

It consists mainly of empty villas like these.


This all dates from 2008 when Beijing played host to the summer Olympic Games. Like most countries that get awarded the games, a substantial investment is made into sporting venues and accommodation for the competing Athletes. The Athletes are normally housed in villages, but this Olympic village in Beijing was seemingly never finished.

The story goes that the athletes due to be housed here for the duration of the games had such concerns about air pollution in Beijing that they opted to stay in accommodation outside the city. I could quite believe this to be true, as in my time there the air pollution did get to my lungs a bit (although that could also have been the large quantities of absurdly cheap cigarettes.)

Whatever the true story behind this these villas lie abandoned, some more complete than others but clearly never used. Some people did appear to be working at one end of the compound so naturally we decide, just before we depart, to sneak round pretty close to them to grab some photos of the front of the Homko Club. The villa we were in actually contained personal possessions of the workers, so we didn't stick around long. The Homko club sat in amongst the villas and provided all the social needs of the village. It seemed to contain a swimming pool, sauna, gym, bar and other social facilities all seemingly never used.


Inside, the villas are largely devoid of features apart from the occasional staircase or fireplace. As you can see the villas are in varying states of repair and completeness. The ones nearer the front of the site seemed more finished than those at the rear. There's not much more to say, they are what they are, largely incomplete buildings.


It was quite a relaxing afternoon mooching around here, although it does seem a ludicrous waste of what could have been perfectly usable houses. The rest of the Olympic park is looking decidedly underused and quite dilapidated in places as well, I added a couple of pics at the end.