It was only later that he realised how much faster he could see the world — sort of — by visiting one theme park in nearby Shenzhen.
Window of the World features incredibly detailed reproductions of 130 major tourist attractions, some life-size and some much smaller, squeezed into 118 acres.
Created in 1994, the park has become a popular destination in itself.
“I have always found tourist destinations interesting in that for the majority of visitors, it is simply about getting your photo with that landmark, buying a souvenir and then getting back on the bus,” Casey told Business Insider. “Why visit those places for real when you can get all those photos and souvenirs in one place?”
There are approximately 150 replicas of world sights in Window Of The World. Here you can see Basilica Di San Marco in the park's replica of Venice's Piazza San Marco.
Part of the allure is seeing all of the landmarks in one place. Here you can see the riverside view of Piazza San Marco, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
When Casey stood under the real Eiffel Tower, it was filled with tourists. He described visiting China's replica as 'eerie.' 'There were only a few scattered individuals. It felt slightly post-apocalyptic,' said Casey.
The theme park is divided into eight areas that cover all of the major continents. The landmarks from Oceania include the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Ayer's Rock, and the Sydney Opera house (seen here).
This replica of Egypt's Abu Simpel Temples may be detailed, but it doesn't convey that the originals are in desert areas.
Casey says many visitors come to buy souvenirs from around the world. He finds that ironic because Shenzhen, as a major manufacturing hub, produces a large percentage of the world's souvenirs that are then shipped to the landmarks that the park is replicating.
This replica of Taj Majal is impressive, but the illusion cracks when you get closer. Casey says the paint on many of the landmarks is chipping away.
This is a replica of the Temple of The Emerald Buddha at the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
Much of the Americas section also includes natural landmarks like the Grand Canyon (where visitors can ride down the Colorado River) and Niagara Falls (seen here).
This log flume that goes through American National Park-themed areas was out of order when Casey visited. There is also an indoor roller coaster and an indoor alpine ski area.
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