Jilin Estates, June 2019 – click any image for full size
Jilin is the name of one of the provinces of north-east China that borders North Korea, whilst also sharing a border with Russia. It is a region rich in minerals (a total of 136) including gas, coal, iron, nickel, molybdenum, graphite, gypsum, gold and silver, and has China’s largest reserves of shale oil. As well as this, it is the garden of traditional Chinese medicine resources, with approximately 27,000 kinds of wild plants and 9,000 kinds of medicinal herbs.
A rugged place, with four major mountain ranges, Jilin is a richly diverse place. It also lends its name to a new, visually stunning residential Full region within Second Life operating under the title Jilin Estates. It’s a place that offers a considered balance between private rental properties and public spaces that are open to visitors to explore – a group joining fee of L$250 additionally gives visitors rezzing rights, if they desire.
The work of Li Zhu (JamaicasianBaby) and Jin Zhu (KidDreamz), the region offers, in the words of the website, “pre-landscaped private residential and community residential spaces, where tenants can enjoy scenic views from all angles of their respective homes.”
The majority of the residential spaces are places around the outside of the region, each to its own island space offering views out over the ocean. In addition there are three “community cabins” offering smaller rental space, but which are more integrated with the public / community areas of the region. What is interesting about the rentals is the eclectic mix of houses that are supplied; there is no central theme, instead the houses ranging from a Tuscan villa through to converted industrial units going by way of wooden homes in what might be considered “traditional” looks and far more modern units of wood or cement construction.
All of this makes for an interesting layout and visually appealing appearance those seeking a new Second Life home within a private estate might find appealing. The various style of home also make for an interesting and varied backdrop for photography. However, it is the public spaces that potentially offer greater interest to those who enjoy exploring second Life.
These occupy the large central land mass of the region, together with a couple of the outlying islands. With two large tables of rock rising from low-lying cinder-tracked roads and a rocky coastline, the primary landmass is rich in detail and finely laid out with much to discover and photograph. The landing point sits in the shadow of one of the rocky plateaus, a little garden / picnic space looking east to where the some of the private homes straddle their various islands.
A track winds through the area, bordering the landing point as it does so. This connects to the trails leading up to the cliff-top tables, and to the other points of interest: the garage and “secret garden”, the old docks, a bridge spanning the water to one of the “community cabins” and the walled garden of a second “community cabin”.
A third rental place sits at the top of one of the rock plateaus, while the second plateau is home to one of the region’s public events spaces: a space for music and dancing. Reached via a winding rocky path, this rises above the community “games cabin” and open-air theatre space to the north. These are linked one to another via wooden platforms, one of which offers a public seating area, and via a rope bridge that spans a narrow channel of water to the region’s beach lounge and dining space.
The latter is an impressive structure that sits astride a rocky waterway than tumbles to the sea channel, and which has an infinity pool fronting its ocean view. These public spots are the focus of special events within the region – DJ party nights up on the high plateau, movie nights at the cosy theatre and karaoke at the games cabin. In addition, the public spaces are available for hire with private events – contact the owners through the website for details.
Whether or not you’re looking for somewhere different to live in Second Life, or are looking for somewhere new to explore and photograph as part of your SL travels, Jilin Estates is an eye-catching, photogenic and enjoyable place in which to send time and explore (and there is more to discover than I’ve directly mentioned here: take the Games Mountain and the secret fishing spot for example). One that is as richly diverse as its Chinese namesake.
Our thanks to Miro Collas for the tip-off and SLurl.
- Jilin Estates (Peony, rated Moderate)