Looks like Texas has lost yet another of its great roadside attractions. Before, it was Austin's Cathedral of Junk. This time, it's Forbidden Gardens, the Chinese tiny town that's quietly stood outside Houston for the past 15 years.
It was the pet project of reclusive millionaire Ira Poon, who spent a reported $20 million recreating the extensive imperial palace in Beijing known as the Forbidden City in one-tenth scale, as well as a one-third-scale recreation of the awe-inspiring 6,000-piece, terra-cotta army of Emperor Qin.
Throughout its life, the park has seen little attendance due to Poon's unexplained aversion to advertising. Couple that with the staff's struggle to keep the park in shape due to the region's harsh heat and humidity, and the attraction has long seemed destined for an early closure.
Unfortunately, I didn't find out about Forbidden Gardens' demise till the last minute, and even then I was out of the state. So, with great regret, I was unable to attend the park's swan song, a mass sell-off that occurred over the weekend. ... Continued