Golden Bus Adds Bling to Nanjing's Gritty City Streets

The streets in the Chinese city of Nanjing may not be paved in gold, but at least one of the buses that roll on them sure is. Not paved, exactly, more like plastered... with 24-karat gold leaf!

The distinctive "Golden Bus", which began rolling on April 25th of 2011, is the centerpiece of a rather expensive promotion by a Nanjing jewelry store... expensive meaning 200,000 yuan (about $30,800). Usually bus promotional ads involving an entire bus cost 1/10th as much.

Now thirty grand isn't all that much when you're talking pure gold, but gold leaf is another story entirely. The beauty of the metal (well, one of it's beauties) is its ability to be pounded to an exceptionally thinness without tearing, shredding or losing its reflective golden appearance. As such, a little gold can go a long way, like 60 percent of a regulation-sized city bus's exterior - most of the remaining 40 percent being glass windows.

While shiny and gleaming on the outside, the interior of the bus wasn't modified for the promotion and the bus itself seems to have trundled along its regular route through Nanjing. One wonders, though, if like the kids in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, passengers need a golden ticket to ride? (via China Net Story, images via CFP)