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Dwarf Empire Closed for Business

Off G56 Hangrui Expwy.
World Ecological Garden of Butterfly
Kunming, Yunnan, China
TEL: 86 8 71 572-6239

Located on a hilltop in southern China and opened in September 2009, this pint-size park is almost entirely staffed—from entertainers to janitors—by people less than four feet tall. The 100 or so employees live in miniature domed houses and eat on site, but this is no utopia: the for-profit enterprise puts on costumed spectacles (think break dancing, ballet, and gourd instruments) for the hundreds of tourists who flood the place daily.

Best of the Strange: The small town operates like it is, in fact, an empire, complete with an empress and emperor who oversee the commune's parliament.


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