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Lucky Land Opens in Houston Featuring Terra-Cotta Army of 6K Familiar to Texans

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Back when the Forbidden Gardens closed in 2011 (an intricate mini version of ancient China which was established on the outskirts of Houston), many people wondered what the fate of the tiny soldiers that occupied court there would be. Nida Lee went as far as finding that out. And then she bought all 6,000 of the tiny terra-cotta warriors constructed to a one-third scale of the true Asian culture and history.

Lucky Land Opens in Houston Featuring Terra-Cotta Army of Six Thousand Familiar to Texans

Photo: Facebook/Lucky Land

Lee owned a flea market in Houston, and when Forbidden Gardens closed, she tracked down its owners specifically for the purchase. Many people assumed that due to the fact the soldiers were a permanent fixture in the Gardens, the likelihood of having them moved would be slim to none when the Grand Parkway expansion was set to take place. Feasibly, it wouldn’t make sense. But Lee and her husband had a plan for the army, 6,000 strong, and they dug a huge pit, filled it with the small soldiers, and surrounded it with other statues – ones of pandas, many of Forbidden Gardens’ prior assets, bronze kung-fu sculptures, and koi ponds.

Lucky Land Opens in Houston Featuring Terra-Cotta Army of Six Thousand Familiar to Texans

Photo: Facebook/Lucky Land

They called their project Lucky Land, and it has since formally opened in the Houston area, situated on three acres next to Lee’s flea market. Creating a serene environment reminiscent of Forbidden Gardens but with its own flare, its goal is to showcase Asian culture and history. Lee and her husband have worked to display the Terra-cotta Army together with more whimsical exhibitions such as Panda displays (again, statues) and great photo opportunities as well as educational spaces for visitors of all ages. Lucky Land also includes souvenir and specialty vendors, food and drink items following their theme, kung-fu and martial arts performances, and what appears to be a bright future of opportunities with Lee and her husband. It’s a feel-good story to come out of the closure of something loaded with nostalgia (and not just terra-cotta), and a great whimsical Texas oddity to add to the list of places that you and your family should visit in the Lone Star State.


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