Chengyu for World’s Biggest Parking Lot

You probably know Hangzhou for its beautiful and historic West Lake.

But if a Chinese netizen has his way, it may also be known for the world’s biggest parking lot.

To solve Hangzhou’s traffic problem, Jiang Biao conceived of a parking lot that would be 28 stories high and be able to house 11,200 cars.

Jiang Biao’s post (replete with 3D drawings) has attracted over 100,000 hits and nearly 1,000 comments, which range from positive to critical.

My take? I think they’re some great drawings, but the whole idea is 异想天开 (yì xiǎng tiān kāi).

异想天开 (yì xiǎng tiān kāi) means that an idea is fanciful and unrealistic. Literally, it more or less means “a strange thought, like the sky being split open.” It can also be used to refer to a person in terms of they’re thinking.

Here’s a breakdown of the characters in 异想天开(yì xiǎng tiān kāi):

异 (yì): weird, bizarre (eg. 奇异 – qí yì)

想 (xiǎng): to think

天 (tiān): the sky

开 (kāi): to open (eg. 打开 – dǎ kāi)

Here are some examples of how Chinese people use 异想天开(yì xiǎng tiān kāi):

Usage 1) As a Verb.

Example 1 A)


“bié yì xiǎng tiān kāi le, nà yì tiān yīng gāi bú huì hěn kuài dào lái”

Get your head out of the clouds, that day won’t arrive soon”

Example 1 B)

很多人认为我异想天开。。。 “

“hěn duō rén rèn wéi wǒ yì xiǎng tiān kāi…

“Many people think I have my head in the clouds…

Usage 2) 异想天开 + 的 + Noun.

Example 2 A)


“zhè duì yú dà bù fen rén lái shuō jiǎn zhí jiù shì yì xiǎng tiān kāi de wèn tí “

“For most people this is a fanciful question”

Example 2 B)


“…nà xiē lìng rén jīng tàn, shèn zhì shì yì xiǎng tiān kāi de gài niàn chē…”

“…those concept cars that make people sigh, and are even a bit fanciful…

Usage 3) 异想天开 + 地 + Verb.

Example 3 A)


“hái shì bié yì xiǎng tiān kāi de rèn wéi yuàn wàng bì rán huì shí xiàn ba “

“You shouldn’t fancifully assume that your wishes will necessarily become realized”

Example 3 B)


“wǒ yì xiǎng tiān kāi de yǐ wéi tā zài tōng guò tā de jiā rén xiàng wǒ àn shì shén me “

“I fancifully imagined that she was hinting something at me through her family members”

What do you think of that parking lot?

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