Chocolate Theme Park to Open in Beijing
Confectioners are putting the finishing touches on 80 tons of Belgium chocolate sculptures that will be on display. Some features include a mini-army of 560 Teracotta Warriors and a 33-foot-long replica of a section of the Great Wall.
Five temperature-controlled indoor areas and two outdoor sites will house the 16,600-square-foot chocolate theme park.
Inside, master chocolatiers will lead chocolate making seminars where visitors can taste their creations. Sweet tooths will be able to sample various types of chocolate, and purchase chocolate souvenirs to take home.
"Even though chocolate in China is not as popular as it is in Western countries, we hope to promote the chocolate culture and market in China,'' general manager Zheng Yaoting told China's Global Times.
The chocolate theme park will open its doors on January 29 on the Olympic Green, just north of the Bird's Nest stadium. Creators anticipate one million chocoholics will visit the park before the weather gets warm, closing the park on April 1. Organizers are planning to build all-new displays and reopen the park next January.
Here are a few other chocolate travel options to satisfy your sweet tooth:
Chocolate Walking Tour - New York, New York: A truly gourmet experience, this walking tour takes you to the finest candy stores in town. The two hour tour takes place Thursdays through Saturdays and costs $70 per person.
Chocolate Cruise - Disembarks from Rome, Italy: Famed chocolatier Fran Bigelow will be hosting a seven-night voyage aboard Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf. The ship sets sail May 2, making port calls in Porto-Vecchio, France; Messina, Italy; Sorrento, Italy; Capri, Italy; and Ischia, Italy. Fares start at $1,749 per person.
Hershey's Chocolate World - Hershey, Pennsylvania: The "Sweetest Place on Earth" is the visitor's center for Hershey's Chocolate, featuring a 10-minute factory tour simulation, an animated 3-D musical show, and other interactive exhibits that are open year-round. The tour is free, and the other attractions cost less than $10 per person.
The Chocolate Museum- St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada: Located in the original Ganong candy factory in downtown St. Stephen, this museum is less than 3 blocks from the United States border. Inside, you can watch chocolate hand dipping demonstrations on video, pack a box of chocolates, or play a game of "Guess the Chocolate Center." Rates for the museum are $7 per adult, and a heritage chocolate tour can be added for an additional $13.