Shenzhen is bustling metropolis and is also best known as the city right next door to Hong Kong. The city is a tourist haven, offering a diverse range of activities to satisfy whatever kind of adventure you might prefer such as shopping, theme parks, and even beaches.
If you want to ditch the usual tour package and want to explore Shenzhen at your own pace, there are tons of places to go and things to do. Here are some destinations that you should not miss during your Shenzhen visit.
Visit Shenzhen Window of the World
The Shenzhen Window of the World theme park is a must-visit for the first-time visitor to the city. The 480,000-square-meter park is basically a miniature global village showcasing some of the most recognizable landmarks from all over the world.
With a little touch of your imagination, the Window of the World theme park is probably the quickest and cheapest way to tour the entire world. You can visit Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, Champs Elysees and even the Tower of London if you prefer European destination. If you want a more Asian ambiance, the spending temple complex Cambodia Angkor Wat beckons, as well as Japan’s Mount Fuji, India’s Taj Mahal, and the world-class Sydney Opera House.
If you prefer to visit an American destination, you can admire the magnificence of Manhattan’s skyline as well as visit Mount Rushmore. Of course, these are all just replicas of the actual landmarks but, with over 140 landmarks to visit, you’ll end your day satisfied and with the vague feeling of having toured the entire world in a day.
Shop At Luohu Commercial City
Okay, not everyone is exactly into theme parks. If that’s the case, perhaps shopping will do the trick. Incidentally, if you travel to Shenzhen by train, you’ll find yourself dropped into the Luohu Commercial City, one of the most well-known shopping locations in the city.
You’ll find everything you could want in the shopping complex. Tailors can magically reproduce that pricey outfit you are wearing at a fraction of its cost. You’ll also find accessories, DVDs and every electronic gadget you can dream of, some even sporting brands you’ve only encountered for the first time in your entire life.
Just a friendly reminder though. There is a reason why all the stuff is affordable to your eyes. The shopping complex has a reputation for selling replica goods so keep that in mind if you enter into those unavoidable price negotiations. Yes, haggling is not only allowed; it is necessary. If the shop assistants manage to detect that you’re a foreigner, they’ll likely give you an over-inflated price at first. When this happens, the only way to get a deal is to haggle. And be sure to remember to check on the quality first before purchasing.
Take A Stroll At The Lianhua Mountain
Is shopping to chaotic for you? Shenzhen also offers a lot of activities to soothe your mind. One of these is to take a walk in a park to calm your frayed nerves. Fortunately, you don’t have to go very far to experience a change of scenery. Right in the middle of Shenzhen is the Lianhua Mountain Park.
Don’t worry, the peak of the Lianhua Mountain is not very high, and you won’t need any climbing gear to get there. In fact, it only takes around 15 minutes of leisurely walk to reach the top. Aside from getting the excise you sorely need, reaching the peak will give you a splendid panoramic view of the city below. And of course, there is a statue of former Chinese leader and city founder Deng Xiaoping, a perfect photo opportunity to prove to your friends that you’ve been to the top.
Arts and Culture
If you are into art, you won’t regret your decision in visiting Shenzhen City. In fact, the city has established itself as the center of the art and design scene in China, which explains why international art powerhouses are busy gaining a foothold in the city.
For instance, London’s V&A Museum has entered the scene with its display located at 1187 Wangai Road, Shekou, Nanshan, Shenzhen, which houses a gallery that is part of Design Society. Called the Values of Design exhibition, it will run until August 2019 and will explore the inescapable link between design and culture.
If you want to immerse yourself in Shenzhen’s art scene further, you can head off to OCT-LOFT complex; a 37-acre area dubbed as the focal point of the city art and design movement.
The sprawling area houses numerous shops were you can browse and buy locally produced art pieces. This is also where artists love to hang out with its trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants. A perfect place to unwind during weekends.
For painting enthusiasts, a must-visit location is the Dafen Oil Painting Village at 247 Busha Road, Buji Town. You can watch artists work their magic in producing original artwork. However, if you want a replica of a particularly famous painting such as Van Goghs and Monets, they’ll only be too happy to oblige. In fact, the place has produced 60 percent of the world’s replica oil paintings during its peak in the 2000s.
Relax at the Beach
If you’re the beach kind of guy, Shenzhen will definitely surprise you. Despite being an urban area, you can still find stretches of coastline home to peaceful beaches and parks, places perfect for that well-deserved relaxation time.
For instance, the Xiaomeisha Beach is located 28 kilometers from Shenzhen’s city center. Located on the eastern side of the city, Xiaomeishe Beach has a crescent-shaped shoreline framed by mountains on three sides. It’s easy to enjoy the sun and waves at the beach and will make you forget that you’re actually just a stone’s throw away from the city. With its tropical ambiance, no wonder locals call the place the ‘Oriental Hawaii.’
Just four kilometers from Xiaomeisha is another well-known destination – the Dameisha Beach. Aside from swimming, you can also enjoy a host of fun water activities such as parasailing and jet skis. There are also horse riding facilities for those brave enough to mount them.
Border Crossings By Bus And Car
There are a lot of ways to travel between HongKong and Shenzhen. You can go by train, by ferry or by bus and car. Actually, a lot of people prefer to travel by bus or car as it is also very convenient. Here are some helpful contact numbers of operators who offer border crossing services covering different crossing points.
Huanggang Border Crossing – They operate 24 hours while you can choose between a bus or a car from your transportation. They drop you at the Futian District. Call +86 755 83395171 for bookings.
Border crossing Check Points (Luohu Check Point) – With this operator, you’ll end up at the Luohu District, They open from 6:30 AM and closes at 24:00 PM. You’ll choose between bus, car or MTR as your mode of transport. Contact them at +86 755 82339585.
Wenjindu Border Crossing – Contact them at +86 755 25115272 if you want to book a trip that will drop you in the Luohu District. The operator opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 22:00 PM. Available mode of transport is cars and buses.
Shatoujiao Border Crossing – If you want to be dropped at the Yantian District, contact +86 755 25550690 between 7:00 AM and 22:00 PM. You can choose either go to Shenzhen by car or by bus.
Shenzhen Bay Border Crossing – This operator drops you off at the Nanshan District by car or bus. You can get in touch with them at +86 755 86289222 during their office hours which starts at 6:30 AM and ends at 24:00 PM
Shenzhen’s subway network, which has been operational since 2004, is also an economical and relatively fast way to cross the border. Foreigners won’t encounter language barriers as the announcements inside the train as well as on the stations are broadcast in three languages – Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
Shenzhen’s network is comprised of six lines offering you plenty of options. There is a route that starts at Fu Tian passing through Long Hua and eventually ending in Qing Du. Another line starts at Luo Hu until it ends at Airport East. Visit here to view the Shenzhen lines map.
Enjoy Hassle-free Travel with the Shenzhentong Travel Card
One of the most dreaded aspects of commuting, whether by train or bus, is the inevitable queuing just to buy your tickets. Thankfully, the smart traveler can bypass the long lines by purchasing the Shenzhentong Travel Card.
Also, you can even get a discount on every train or bus trip if you use the card for payment. Purchasing the card is easy; you can just get one from the ticket booth or, at 7-11 stores. You will be asked to deposit of 100rmb, but you will be reimbursed when you eventually surrender the card.
Just remember to keep the receipt of your Shenzhentong Travel Card purchase. This will come in handy in case you lose or misplace the card. Just present your receipt to the ticket booth to cancel the lost card. You will be given back the balance of the card minus the 100rmb deposit (because you lost the card).