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City Guides / Guides

Explore the charms of Shenzhen

By Teng Mu

September 11

Shenzhen is the site of China’s first Special Economic Zone and birthplace of modern China.

Shenzhen is the site of China’s first Special Economic Zone and birthplace of modern China.

Shenzhen, known as the center of China’s reform and opening up, has much more than modernization. Here’s a list of the eight best places in the city selected by its residents.

1. Roc City

The Roc City [Image Credit: CFP]
The Roc City [Image Credit: CFP]
Established in the Ming Dynasty, the Roc City used to be an important military fortress along China’s southern coast for resisting Japanese invaders. It’s now a place for people to learn the history of Shenzhen and appreciate antiquities from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The most famous spots are Dragon Well, Lai Mansion, Liu Mansion and the four city gates.

2. Lotus Mountain

The Statue of Deng Xiaoping on the top of Lotus Mountain. [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
The Statue of Deng Xiaoping on the top of Lotus Mountain. [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
Lotus Mountain got its name from its lotus-like shape. With an area of 166 hectares, it is the largest public green space in Shenzhen and is topped by a statue of Deng Xiaoping, the general architect of China’s reform and opening up.

Best time to visit: All year round

Entry: 40 yuan/person

Transport: Take the No.25, 105 or 228 bus to get there.

Opening hours: Access all day.

3. Overseas Chinese Town

Windows of the World Theme Park [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wu Debing]
Windows of the World Theme Park [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wu Debing]
The “Overseas Chinese Town” in the western part of Shenzhen is a large scenic area containing a range of theme parks like the Splendid China, China Folk Culture Village, Windows of the World and the Happy Valley. They integrate Chinese and world cultures and also feature great natural scenery.

Splendid China:

Best time to visit: All year round

Entry: 180 yuan/person

Transport:  Take subway Line 1 to Huaqiaocheng Station.

Opening hours:

Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m.

Holidays: 09:30 a.m. – 06:00 p.m.

China Folk Culture Village:

Best time to visit: All year round

Entry: 150 yuan/person

Transport: Take the subway Line 1 to Huaqiaocheng Station.

Opening hours:

Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Holidays: 09:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Windows of the World:

Best time to visit: All year round

Entry: 180 yuan/person

Transport: Take the subway Line 1 or Line 2 to the Windows of the World Station.

Opening hours: 09:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Happy Valley:

Best time to visit: All year round

Entry: 200 yuan/person for full ticket, 100 yuan/person for evening show.

Transport: Take the subway Line 1 or 2 to Huaqiaocheng Station.

Opening hours: 09:30 a.m. – 09:00 p.m.

4. Shennan Avenue

cover
Shennan Avenue [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Liang Xiashun]
Spanning Shenzhen’s downtown area, Shennan Avenue has become a symbol of the city.  It has a total length of 17km with eight two-way lanes and a broad green belt of vegetation in between.

5. Wutong Mountain

The sea of azalea on Wutong Mountain [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
The sea of azalea on Wutong Mountain [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
Wutong Mountain is close to the downtown area, with its main peak topping all the mountains in Shenzhen. The mountain is also a conservation base for rare plant species like eaglewoods, pangolins and rasses. When spring comes, the mountain slope becomes a sea of azalea.

6. Dameisha and Xiaomeisha Beach Parks

Dameisha Beach Park [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Liu Guifang]
Dameisha Beach Park [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Liu Guifang]
Dameisha and Xiaomeisha Beach parks are the two most popular beaches in Shenzhen, both located in Dapeng Bay. Dameisha is larger and boasts Shenzhen’s longest beach. It also has horse riding, motor boating, an open-air ball room and a barbecue zone. Xiaomeisha is surrounded by green hills, but is much smaller. You can walk from one park to the other.

Best time to visit: Summer

Entry: free for Dameisha, 50 yuan/person for Xiaomeisha.

Opening hours: Access all day

7. Chung-Ying Street

Chung-Ying Street [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
Chung-Ying Street [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Deng Fei]
Chung-Ying Street is known as “the street of two systems” because before 1997, when Hong Kong was returned to China, the east part of the street belonged to China while the west part to Britain. Afterwards, the east part was transferred to Shenzhen and the west to Hong Kong. Known as a “special zone” of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, people who want to enter have to buy a 10RMB passport. Though not very large, the street is booming in trade, boasting a wide range of merchandise imported from around the globe but at cheaper prices than in the rest of the Chinese mainland.

8. Yangtai Mountain

Yangtai Mountain [Image Credit: southcn.com]
Yangtai Mountain [Image Credit: southcn.com]
Yangtai Mountain, also called “Hero Mountain” because of a victorious rescue during the anti-Japanese War, has lush forests that come alive during rainy season. It is also the headstream of Shenzhen’s many lakes, with dozens of reservoirs surrounding the mountain.

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