In Shenzhen, skyscrapers and hectic commercial districts stand in contrast to picturesque parks and scenic beaches and theme parks. Whether you stay in the city or head to the beaches on the Dapeng Peninsula, you’ll see hordes of Chinese holidaymakers but few Western families. This is partly due to the relatively high crime rate in this metropolis on the southeast coast of China. However, the experienced traveller can still have a good time at Shenzhen’s many attractions by hiring a guide or taking a taxi to get around safely.
Until the 1970s, Shenzhen was a rural fishing village called Baoan County. It became Shenzhen in 1980 and, ever since it was declared a “Special Economic Zone”, millions of business people and migrants have settled here. Despite the rapid growth, plenty of green pockets remain. These spaces include Fairy Lake Botanical Garden and Lianhua Mountain Park.
Stop at Dongmen Pedestrian Street, with its lively markets and malls to shop for anything from tailored suits to comic books. Have a pot of tea with dim sum at a traditional teahouse or visit one of the city’s many “Eat Streets” to try the pork soup and dried bean curd of the local keija cuisine.
See representations of Niagara Falls, the Egyptian pyramids and other marvels at the Window of the World miniature park. Discover China’s history and culture at Splendid China and China Folk Culture Villages or at Minsk World. Ride the roller coasters and water slides at Happy Valley.
To see the area’s natural attractions, visit Mangrove National Park, where you can spot rare birds, or lay on the golden sands of Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches.
Shenzhen has its own airport and can also be reached by land and sea, though you may need a special visa to get in. From Shenzhen’s Shekou terminal you can take a ferry to Zhuhai, Macau and neighboring Hong Kong.