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[Shenzhen]Have a Glance at This Incredible City

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Have a Glance at This Incredible City

One of the fastest growing cities in the world, Shenzhen has a population that no one agrees about. Facts vary from 10 to 15 million, though most of the population is migrant workers. The city is, however, one of the irrefutably largest manufacturing bases in the world. What’s surprising is that just 30 years ago, the locals were fishermen and farmers, not business owners and ex-pats. It all changed in 1979, when it became the country’s first Special Economic Zone. As China began opening its doors to trade with the West, the government leveraged the Shenzhen’s proximity to Hong Kong to launch a demonstration of successful government-controlled capitalism.

Today, the city is becoming one of the most cultural in all of China, boasting entertainment acts, architectural design, and new businesses from the world over. The results make for a good trip, whether you’re here on business or on a family trip.

Go Native

Make a day of the Dafen Painting Village. This artisans colony consisting of hundreds of art galleries and oil painting spaces lies on the outskirts of Shenzhen in Buji, but it is worth the trip. It’s fun to watch artists mass produce world-renown paintings, which may sell for sometimes exorbitant prices. Take a break from browsing the artisans spaces by ducking into one of the many restaurants or shopping for calligraphy and its relevant paraphernalia, kitschy and collectible Chinese knickknacks, sculpture and art supplies.

Au Natural

  • Xianhu Botanical Park at the foot of the Wutong Mountain provides endless hours of serene walks. It’s the perfect spot for a family day or for a first date. The whole area is divided into six major scenic spots. Chiefly of interest may be the botanical garden center, a collection and research center offering more than 7,000 plant types. Other scenic spots, such as one featuring large sculpture monuments to revered Chinese scientists, provide optimum grounds for a picnic.

Inside the botanical gardens one can commence a city tour of Buddhist temples. The gardens’ temple, Hongfa Temple, is quite likely the most popular temple in Shenzhen. It’s built on a series of terraces with its back to the cliff and with a full face toward the Xianhu Lake, also known as “Fairy Lake”. Here, visitors can dine on a light, traditional vegetarian meal. Beyond Xianhu, some of the other popular temples includes Tianhou, also known as the Matzu Temple in honor of the patron saint of seafarers, in the Shekou area of Nanshan. It’s said to have been originally erected around 1410 A.D. as an offering to Matzu for sparing the fleet of the world-navigating eunuch Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, though the temple has been rebuilt numerous times.

East Meets West in Arts

Those looking for the artsy side of Shenzhen will be delighted with the Overseas Chinese Town Loft, better known as OCT Loft. Developers took environmental advantage of the factories abandoned after the government moved them out of the city, turning factory space into art galleries and exhibition spaces for fashion, interior, and architectural design. Take a moment to engage in conversation with an architect from a firm in the Loft at one of the coffee shops. Take a break from shopping at one of the many scrumptious restaurants. At night, enjoy a cocktail over jazz or rock at Idutang, a quiet music joint that features bands from across China as well as bands formed by ex-pats. Especially popular with the young and the artistically inclined, one might liken this area to the SoHo of Shenzhen.

A Bite to Eat

Several varieties of food are available from around the world. For instance, consider the Indian or Middle Eastern restaurants such as Punjabi and The Istanbul Restaurant in LuoHou; the Malaysian eatery, Pokok Kelapa, in CocoPark; Korean and Italian restaurants like Xin Dan Yang and Milano near the Che Gong Miao Metro stop in Futian; and the Japanese restaurant, Banzai-Ya, in Shekou. All are family friendly and most are moderate in price.

Tee Up

Shenzhen is also a golfer's paradise. It’s been open for less than a dozen years but Shenzhen’s Mission Hills Country Club is touted as the largest golf club in the world, complete with 180 holes spread out among ten courses. There’s also plenty to do for the family while dad’s playing yet another daily round. Mission Hills boasts two luxury hotels and a spa, 50 tennis courts and numerous restaurants, real estate, and conference rooms. Those who want to improve their swing or their serve can take classes at the golf or tennis academies.

Another popular golf course in Shenzhen is the Sand River Golf Club.

An Evening Out

Once the kids are in bed or the work day is complete, it’s time for a cocktail. In OCT Loft, the Galleon Bar and Restaurant in the InterContinental Shenzhen entertains with live music and panoramic views of the city. For a pub crawl, however, you will be more than satiated with CocoPark. This is where most foreigners new to Shenzhen mingle with Chinese along Bar Row. The business crowd can be found at before heading over to La Casa, McCawley’s. For clubs, the most popular names are Club Viva in CocoPark, TrueColor in LuoHu, and The Terrace in Shekou.




Dafen Painting Village

Oil Painting village, Buji, Longgang District



Xianhu Botanical Gardens

No.160 Xianhu Rd, Liantang, Luohu District

深圳 市罗湖区仙湖路160号仙湖植物园


101, Building F1, OCT Loft, Enping Rd, OCT



F3 Block, Idutang, Enping Road, Oversea Chinese Town

深圳市 南山区华侨城恩平路OCT-LOFT(华侨城文化创意园)F3栋一渡堂(OCT当代艺术中心左侧)


Punjabi Restaurant

No.1006, Hubei Rd., Shenzhen Jinhu Hotel Basement



The Istanbul Restaurant

Room 07 Langjuyufeng, block 1010 Wenjin Road ,LuoHu District, shenzhen



1/F,Chuangzhan Center Anhui Building,No:6007 Shennan Road,Chegong Miao,Futian District, Shenzhen



Sheraton Dameisha Resort, Shenzhen

9 Yankui Road, Dameisha, Yantian, Shenzhen 518083, P.R. China




BAIA. Restaurant. Bar. Grill

B301,Sea World, 8 Wanghai Road Shekou, Shenzhen, China



Mission Hills Golf Club

1 Mission Hill Golf Boulevard, Bao'an District


Sand River Golf Club

Shahe East Road ,Nanshan District ,Shenzhen 518053



Galleon Bar and Restaurant

Intercontinental Shenzhen, 9009 Shennan Road, Overseas Chinese Town


La Casa

139 Coco Park, Futian District, in the Garden across from Coco Park


McCawley’s Irish Bar and Restaurant

Unit 151-152 North Of COCO PARK 138,Ming Tian Road,Futian (Facing Coco Park-Starbucks On Fu Hua Road)

深圳市福田区民田路138号购物公园北区151~152号商铺(coco-park 星巴克对面)



Club Viva

Shopping park No.140, Futian road, Futian district


Shui Zhu Yu Xiang ( The Best Beijing Duck in Shekou)

Shenzhen Nanshan District, Shekou, Industry District, Zhaoshang Road, No.34, Zhaobeishangpu, Building1, First Floor,



The Terrace

Seaworld Square, Shekou (above Starbucks)



By Nichole L. Reber, a Shenzhen-based American freelance writer and writing coach.


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