The Xilu open mine is massive, in production, and a true wonder to behold, with gigantic historic trucks, locomotives and excavators lined up as if in salute.
Even better, though, is the amazing display centre adjacent to the mine itself. Here you find coal of all types displayed and find the uses of the different types. You find coal as fuel, of course, and coal as sculpture you have to see to believe; you also find the world's largest piece of coal. More than this though, you see China's enemies' avariciousness as they 'plundered' millions of tons of coal to feed the insatiable steel plants of Japan at times and Russia at other times. The word 'plundered' is chosen by the writer of the English script to perfectly describe what happened. Then came the cultural revolution, and now a modern, successful mine keeping the region reasonably prosperous.
The displays are phenomenal; beautifully arranged, chronologically sequenced and compellingly presented.
When I heard I was being taken to a coal mine, my Yorkshire heart fell somewhat -how could this match Hatfield Main? Match it? It blew it away -this is how to engage people, teach people and, yes, honour people.
Put this on your bucket list now!
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