BEIJING (AFP) – China plans to cater to the country's rising number of chocoholics with the opening next year of a Willy Wonka-style theme park in Beijing, complete with a replica Great Wall, state media said Thursday.
The 'world chocolate dream park', reminiscent of Roald Dahl's beloved book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", will feature a life-size edible Terracotta Army, Great Wall and versions of famous paintings, the China Daily said.
"Our 'chocolate wonderland' will be beyond the imagination," Tina Cheng, general manager of the company that will operate the park, was quoted as saying.
The park, due to open in January 2010, will be located in the Olympic Green, which also includes the iconic Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube aquatics centre used during the Beijing Summer Games last year.
The site will include five pavilions and two outdoor sites where chocolate-made objects, such as the replica Great Wall, will be on display, the report said.
Chocolate is not as popular in China as it is in Western countries, but the sweet treat is increasingly popular with the nation's younger generation.
Cheng was quoted as saying that a number of prestigious chocolate makers from Europe, including Belgium and Switzerland, wanted to participate in the project, but she would not reveal their names.
"There is the potential for a huge market in China with regards to chocolate consumption," she said, according to the report.
"That's why many overseas chocolate producers are vying to join our project."