Christophe Charlot, co-author of Travelling With A King, walks you through seven must-see MJ attractions around the world
Time Out Dubai staff
Neverland Ranch (US) Once you arrive on Figueroa Mountain Road in the small town of Los Olivos in California, you will see a place that looks like no other. We have all seen pictures of the gate, but pay close attention, because some GPS trackers place the Neverland address a bit further away than where it is actually is; the entrance is at the right hand-side of a school. Neverland is where Michael lived from 1988 to 2005. In the early ’80s, he was looking for a place to shoot his video, Say Say Say, with Paul McCartney and that is how he ended up visiting the Sycamore Ranch. In 1988, Michael finally bought it. Neverland contains a zoo, a cinema, an amusement park and its own train station. (10km from Santa Ynez), 5225 Figueroa Mountain Rd, Los Olivos, California.
HIStory statue (The Netherlands) A few kilometres away from Eindhoven in The Netherlands, there is a small town called Best. The owner of its McDonald’s decided to buy one of the 12-metre-tall HIStory statues and put it in the car park. Since 2009, it has been a gathering place for MJ fans. Inside the fast-food restaurant is an autograph from the King of Pop. In his message, Michael thanks the owner for buying the statue. The benefits of the sale were given to charities. Eindhovenseweg Zuid 59, 5683 PW Best.
Michael Jackson wax statue (France) The French equivalent of Madame Tussauds, the Grévin museum, has its own wax statue and autograph of the King of Pop. MJ was present for the inauguration on April 20 1997 along with French artist, Marcel Marceau. Michael particularly loved the Mozart statue and posed next to it. 10, boulevard Montmartre, Paris (metro line 8 and line 9, Grands Boulevards station).
MJ Mansion suite (Macau) Check-in at Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16, where there is a special Jackson-themed suite called the MJ Mansion. The bed is decorated with MJ-printed sheets and pillows. Or, head to the MJ Café on the second floor, where there are 40 artefacts dedicated to the man, including a glove, shiny socks and his signature fedora hat. The King of Pop’s videos are also broadcast on screens dotted around the café. And that’s not all. The owners have also recreated the set from the Billie Jean video, so you can walk on an illuminated dancefloor. Rua do Visconde Paco de Arcos, Macau. (Pak Kong Public Car Park station).
HIStory video (Hungary) Budapest’s monumental Heros’ Square (Hosök tere), a Unesco World Heritage site, is noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders. It hosts the Museum of Fine Arts and the Mucsarnok. In 1994, accompanied by Lisa Marie Presley, the King of Pop dropped by Heroes’ Square to shoot scenes for the HIStory video. Hosök tere, dozsa György ut (Hosök tere station), Budapest.
They Don’t Care About US (Brazil) The video for They Don’t Care About Us was shot in Salvador da Bahia and the favela of Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro. A statue representing the King of Pop was erected on top of the favela. Michael signed a wall in the neighbourhood and his signature can still be seen there. It’s safer to visit the favela these days, but you should still remain cautious. The favelas are located between the Botafogo and Laranjeiras zones. Morro Dona Marta (Subway lines 1 and 2, Botafogo station), Rio de Janeiro. MJ Theater (Las Vegas) Located on the Strip, this luxurious 43-storey building uses Burma as its design inspiration and has more than 3,300 rooms. The Mandalay Bay Resort offers a show room that can contain 12,000 people. Since May 28 2013, Canadian company Cirque du Soleil’s One is the hotel’s permanent show. Inspired by Michael’s life and music, it pays tribute to the King of Pop. You’ll also get to see some of Michael’s memorabilia including some loafers, Swarovski socks, jackets, and signed merchandise. 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd (Mandalay Bay station), www.mandalaybay.com.