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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

深圳市龙岗区布吉镇大芬油画村

 

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

OCT-Loft

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

深圳市南山区华侨城恩平路LOFT_F1栋101

Idutang

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

深圳湖贝路1006号锦湖宾馆地下室

 

The Istanbul Restaurant

Room 07 Langjuyufeng, block 1010 Wenjin Road ,LuoHu District, shenzhen
罗湖区文锦南路1010号朗御风庭07号地铺

  

Milano

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

深圳市福田区(车公庙)深南大道6007号创展中心,安徽大厦,首层

 

Sheraton Dameisha Resort, Shenzhen

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

中国深圳盐田区大梅沙盐葵路(大梅沙段)9号 

 

 

BAIA. Restaurant. Bar. Grill

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

深圳市蛇口望海路8号海上世界船尾广场B301

 

Mission Hills Golf Club

1 Mission Hill Golf Boulevard, Bao'an District

宝安区观澜湖高尔夫大道一号

Sand River Golf Club

Shahe East Road ,Nanshan District ,Shenzhen 518053

深圳市南山区沙河东路

 

Galleon Bar and Restaurant

Intercontinental Shenzhen, 9009 Shennan Road, Overseas Chinese Town

深圳南山区深南大道9009号,华侨城洲际大酒店三楼

La Casa

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

深圳市福田区福华路购物公园139号

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
深圳福田区福华路城建购物公园140号地铺

 

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

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

深圳南山区蛇口工业区招商路34号招北商铺1栋1层

 

The Terrace

Seaworld Square, Shekou (above Starbucks)

蛇口太子路海上世界(星巴克上面)

 

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

 

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