We tried this once before and it turned out to be all welts, mud, and a bit of crying (we won’t say who) and so it wasn’t without a bit of trepidation that the team once again mounted the xianease-mobile and headed south to investigate a hot-tip about paintball…yes paintball, a pastime that’s about hunting, shooting, and laughing at your friends as they lay on the ground, usually in pain and covered in…well paint, it’s something of an obsession with the team since our last failure in finding a place and while it would be great to say that we persevered and hunted down our query with vigor and determination…but no…really we sat around and whined to our friends until one of them happened to have a lead (by lead we mean they said it was “AWESOME” and gave us the business card) that was easy to follow.
Anyway back to the story, so after calling them on the phone and setting up an appointment it was South-Bound-and-Down for us in the little xianease BYDwith hesitant expectations and planned disappointment. The first pleasant news was when we saw that it wasn’t actually that far from the city, just a bit south of the East Third Ring Road. The second bit ‘o joy was finding that they actually had paintballs, they do also have those little hard plastic balls but the team steered away from them after what happened to us last time (one of us ended up face down in mud crying with welts all over our back).
Getting out of the car we found ourselves in a wooded area apt for a foray into the dark world of paint spattered battle. The excitement was growing and when we went into their reception framed by military paraphernalia, weapons, and knives it was almost reassuring in the feeling that we had arrived at the right place. Upon meeting the owner he is an enigmatic man who used to be a solider has retired and now spends his time impressing the weekend warriors with his shooting ability, survival knowledge, and all around jovial demeanor. All in all he was a good guide to show us around the weapons, the fields, and the rules.
First off the weapons, these were not the paintball rifles you used back home (most likely) they don’t have that funny urinal looking thing on the top and the spindly barrel and stock. The rifles were replicas of US M14s (if you don’t know what that is just picture an M16 but shorter…if you don’t know what an M16 is…google it), they are almost 100% accurate in that they are magazine fed, gas activated (not the same way of course), and weight proportionate, where they differ is that with this one shooting your friends is hilarious and doesn’t involve 25 to life in prison. For those of you looking for a bit lighter they also have a pistol that looks like a more traditional paintball gun but isn’t any less potent (speaking from experience on that one).
After a familiarization fire at some targets it was off to see the courses, and these bad boys didn’t disappoint. They have three fields one CQB (Close Quarters Combat – means buildings and urban fun), a mockup of the initial Counter Strike Video Game (apparently it’s pretty cool because the team squealed with delight at this one), and a massive forested battle field with trenches, trees, trails, towers, and defilade (an amazing field that can hold teams of more than 30 on 30). Their courses are great, so great in fact that the Xi’an police and a few military units use them for training.
The team hid, ran, shot, and yelled for about two hours and by the end we were all covered in paint, smiling, and feeling great overall it was a great day in an amazing location. The only downside that we could come up with was the price, it’s 148.00 RMB for one hour of course time and 40 paintballs, in other words it’s not enough time or ammunition but more of both can be purchased.
On the way home when all of us were getting sleepy (except the driver of course) we all got thinking about the June issue and since we had such a great time we decided that this place would make quite an event for the month, so check out the ad in the beginning of the magazine or on our website and sign up!
地址: 汉风台 Han feng tai