Friday, September 11, 2009

Paradise on a Hanger

Who says you have to go to the tropics to enjoy a tropical vacation?

Open since 2004, Tropical Islands is an indoor resort, built inside a large aircraft hangar, an hour’s drive from Berlin. It’s a man-made micro-ecosystem complete with hundreds of species of plants, sandy beaches, crystal-clear waterfalls and even bird and insect sounds made by speakers disguised as boulders. It spreads over 5 million cubic meters and it is taller than the Statue of Liberty; when the sun shines outside, visitors can actually get a tan, thanks to the effect of the sunbeams penetrating the hangar’s transparent roof, even if the weather is freezing outside.

Designed by a British engineering company in Brand, south of the German capital, Tropical Islands is the latest brainchild of a Malaysian entrepreneur, Colin Au, 55, who made his money cruises and Asian resorts. He has invested £48 million in the project.


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