Feiteng Film Base - the location of more than 100 film and TV drama shoots over the past ten years -- is now open to tourists. Established in 1997, the shooting base has been used for popular TV series and films by Taiwan, Hong Kong and Chinese mainland film producers. Many of the productions made here are well-known to the Chinese audience.
Presently the largest film base in north China, the 23-hectare film city is divided into a southern outdoor scene section, and a northern indoor film studio and residence area.
The southern section accommodates productions shot in the style of the ancient Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). Scene locations include all the architecture of ancient Chinese life: streets, courtyard houses, teahouse, restaurant, theater, waterside pavilions, brothel, temple, king's palace, county magistrate's official mansion, and city walls of different sizes. There are also south Chinese style river town buildings, small north Chinese towns, and imperial gardens. Most of these are built with wood, in ancient style.
The architecture comes to live with the services of a guide, who will explain to you the tricks of movie-making, as well as sharing knowledge about what famous films and TV dramas were made here. It is possible that you might bump into some big movie stars shooting on location.
Other features include ancient Beijing style streets, the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) residence of powerful official Heshen, the brothel of Wei Xiaobao -- a character created by Hong Kong martial art novelist Louis Cha.
Should you tire, staff dressed in ancient costumes will serve you tea, to be enjoyed with a view of the ancient city. You can also don Ming and Qing style dresses, and experience the acting of your heroes on the screen.
The northern film studios are mainly dedicated for indoor shooting. But there is a complete replica of the Forbidden City's Hall of Supreme Harmony, where Qing emperors held their most important ceremonies.
Besides teahouses, there are restaurants in the area where you can try local barbecued fish, and produce from the fields. There is also a three-star hotel, comprising a gym, snooker table, video room, karaoke, library and Internet access.
Entry costs 40 yuan, 20 yuan for seniors (over 60) and students, and free for kids under 1.2 meters. Allow from one to two hours to stroll through the different scenes. Renting a costume for photos taken with your own camera costs 10 yuan. You can stop and watch when there is an outdoor film being shot.
To get there: Jingcheng Expressway-Sixth Ring Road-Jingmi Lu-Niulanshan Traffic Isle-Huairou cloverleaf junction, Yangsong Township sign-Feiteng Film City.
Venue: 1 Fengxiang Eryuan, Fengxiang Science and Technology Development Region, Yangsong Township, Huairou District
Opening hours: 8 AM-5:30 PM
(China Daily via Beijing Weekend September 4, 2007)