Tourist and travel information for China: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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Beijing Manhole Covers

Though not as distinctive and colorful as manhole covers in Japan, Beijing's manhole covers are nonetheless artistically pleasing and certainly valuable objects.

Beijing manhole cover

Over 240,000 of the city's 600,000 cast iron manhole covers were stolen by thieves in 2004 and sold as scrap. The value of the metal used in each manhole cover averages around US$160 per piece.

Beijing manhole cover

To combat the crime wave, city authorities experimented with a variety of non-metal alternatives to the traditional cast iron manhole cover. A cement glass fiber composite manhole will be used in the Olympic Village to save on non-renewable iron.

Compare the two manholes pictured. The gray manhole is made from traditional cast iron whereas the green manhole is a non-metal cover.


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