Park catches the spirit of Europe

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 April, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 April, 1995, 12:00am

ON the shores of China's third-largest lake, Lake Tai, ducks are used to catch fish.

Plunging their heads into the water, the ducks return to their masters with big catches. Their necks are ringed to stop them swallowing the fish and their masters chivvy them with sticks to encourage their efforts, producing an unusual spectacle for tourists.

On the other side of the 2,400 square metre lake, the meticulously constructed 'Europe City' with its 'Arc of Troimphe' and other European favourites and the 'Three Kingdoms City', run by state-owned China Central Television, are a big pull for visitors.

Wuxi plans to build more theme parks in its bid to become the 'Hollywood of the Orient'.

The parks will feature cities of Asia, Africa, America and the ancient dynasties of China.

Last year, 11 million people visited Wuxi, whose history dates back 3,100 years. The tourists generated roughly 2.5 billion yuan (about HK$2.2 million) for the city last year. Tourism accounts for 12 per cent of Wuxi's tertiary industry, which in turn made up one-third of the city's gross domestic product of 60 billion yuan last year.

The ancient Grand Canal, 1,800 kilometres long, is the defining feature of Wuxi, as it flows through the entire city.