A few months ago a friend suggested that we explore an abandoned, subterranean shopping zone in one of the most developed parts of Chengdu. This sector of the city, a few blocks from the Ritz Carlton, is a zone of elite commercial development but still has many forgotten-about pockets like this one. There were some lights and fans still on in this area, and some water pumps which were preventing the area from flooding. It was dark, wet, and definitely dirty. We brought particulate masks to ward off the mold and dusty air. China is one of the best places on the planet for urban exploration adventures like this one.