What do you get when you merge nine mega-cities and two regions? A combined population of over 67 million and a GDP that's predicted to reach US$4.6 trillion by 2030.
If you are visiting, day touring or moving to Shenzhen for work or business then this is the must-have guidebook, Essential Shenzhen.
A relaxed morning with a table full of delicious sweet and savory treats, with trolleys passing at regular intervals offering up even more, sound like your kinda thing? Then for sure you’ll be a fan of Dian Xin, also referred to as Yum Cha.
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Shenzhen was a city that I spent a lot of time in, living there for more than two years. It’s convenient, with it’s metro system, and offers a lot of western comforts. It is mainly visited for its significant electronics industry, proximity to Hong Kong, and job opportunities but it also offers tourist attractions and value shopping.
Some months back, while in Shenzhen, I had the opportunity to visit an Electric Balance Scooter factory, or if you like, Hoverboard factory.
A lot of the LED factories, e-cigarette factories in Shenzhen are located in the sub-districts, such as Shajing which is where we headed. Now, when the word factory is mention you may have conjure up images of large sheds or warehouse type buildings, yes there is those, but actually many manufacturers start out in industrial bases which are simply row after row of multi-level concrete slab buildings, nothing glitzy nor glamorous.
This is a spectacular place, beautiful, peaceful and simple. I was truly fortunate to have an old friend in town who offered me a chance to tag a long with a family trip to this beautiful spot. this trip was to Sanmen Dao (Sanmen Island) which is off the coast of Shenzhen, but I think technically its part of Huizhou.
Here’s a hot tip. Don’t overstay your visa, they really don’t like it. Over the four years or so of staying in China I was always on time with renewing my visa, in which case I would travel to Hong Kong and get it renewed, or, go to the local PSB (Public Security Bureau) in the mainland and get it renewed there.
Respite from the heat.. Without many other options the metro station is a popular place to cool down and rest…
The Spring Festival is a fifteen day celebration where most Chinese people have at least seven days holiday, and within the festival is the beginning of the Chinese New Year. It’s a very special time for Chinese.
Without a doubt the most important date on the Chinese calender – the Lunar New Year and the beginning of the Spring Festival. This year it falls on February 3. Most all workers will get 7 days off work and head home for celebrations and reunion with family.
Here is another one of those traditional Chinese shopping districts that I’ve come to admire, they span for block after block, most of them have been operating for centuries, they’re vibrant, teaming with life, and they’re packed with keen sellers waiting to do deals. These traditional marketplaces have soul, and character that the modern shopping complexes just don’t have. And the Dongmen, aka Laojie, market area of Shenzhen is no different.
The city of Shenzhen is already well known for it’s shopping options and it’s big modern malls but there’s now a new one on that list, the KK Mall.
The city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong is starting to become very well known for it’s hi-tech industry base which has been a big part of the city’s success so appropriately it’s also home to the China Hi-Tech Fair which is claimed to be the number 1 tech show in China. So, how could I not go for a look!
Need an oil painting? Heres the perfect place to find one amongst what is an ‘Oil Painting Village’, artists live and work pumping out all sorts of original pieces and the odd replica. How many artists? No one seems exactly sure but many say there could be a staggering 10,000 artists and nearly 1000 galleries operating within this very special enclave.
UPDATE: The Minsk has now closed and is in process of relocating to Nantong, Jiangsu. So where do you go when you want to explore a second generation Soviet aircraft carrier? Shenzhen China of course.
In China there seems to be plenty of privately run bus services running here, there and everywhere but for a foreigner it’s usually much easier and simpler to just buy a train ticket. But in some cases the going via bus can provide huge time savings.
Shenzhen is one of China’s more modern cities and it’s a place where there’s a strong focus on clean energy sources and on reducing pollution. It’s also where one of China’s more well known car makers resides, BYD. So what do you get when a bus company, a car company and some government help come together?
UPDATE: the ferry terminal has moved to a new, nearby building, see here for updated info.
There are multiple ways to get from Shenzhen to Macau including via bus, ferry or even a helicopter. Being in Nanshan District of Shenzhen I chose to go via the ferry at the nearby Shekou Port.
Lots of tasty things, thats what! Theres a little bakery at the bottom of the Maple Leaf Nanshan hotel which I often visit to grab some lunch, the staff are friendly and the food is tasty. Even better is how amazingly cheap it is!
Kempinski is a European luxury hotel chain and they have a hotel in Nanshan District of Shenzhen, and it’s one of the citys leading 5 star hotels. I haven’t had the pleasure of staying except to say that its in a great spot close to the new Coastal City Shopping Center which features a mix of retail shops, luxury brand retail shopping and many restaurants.
I was heading to the trade fairs that are held every year in Guangzhou, in particular, the Canton Fair and lucky for me there’s a regular fast train between Shenzhen Railway Station and Guangzhou East (Guangzhoudong).
It had been a hectic schedule from the start of my trip back in Kuala Lumpur then to Chengdu and then around some of Chinas great cities and sights, so it was time to take it easy for a while. Plus I was a little keen to spend some time with a new friend, so Shenzhen was a perfect place to settle for a while.
After leaving the China Sourcing trade fair and I headed back to Mong Kok and picked up my passport with its new visa, then from there to Tsim Sha Tsui to get my bag from the Cosmic Guest House. Then in a taxi over to Hung Hom Station to catch the train to Lo Wu (note its called Lo Wu on the Hong Kong side and Luo hu or Luohu on the Shenzhen side) which is the entry point to China mainland leading into the city of Shenzhen.
Update 2018: there is now a High-Speed Rail service between Shenzhen and Hong Kong which runs between Shenzhen North Station, Futian Station, and to Hong Kong at the new West Kowloon Station. Regardless, the below method is still an option especially if you are travelling to destinations on the East Rail Line such as Sheung Shui or Tai Po areas.
I found and booked this place via the cTrip website and it seemed to be a reasonable compromise between price and comfort at just under 200RMB ($31AUD) and still in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. I stayed here just before heading over to Hong Kong.
So I’m told if your after electronics or digital products there’s no better place to buy than in Shenzhen, China. This is backed up by the large number of electronics factories in the city, many global brand name products like the Apple iPhone and iPad are copied, I mean made, right here in Shenzhen too.
The Shenzen OCT East is is a combination of two large theme parks, resort hotels, three small scenic towns, golf courses and more covering an area of 9 square kilometers. It’s huge. I guess you could call it destination tourism, a man-made one-stop holiday wonderland.
The Holiday Inn is an American hotel chain, so, it’s guaranteed that the prices are going to be higher than your run of the mill Chinese hotel. But what do you get for the extra cost?
Shenzhen is an interesting city as it is another city that tells a story about the Chinas economic transformation. Shenzhen was not much more than a fishing village until about thirty years ago when a man named Deng Xiaoping had taken the reins as China’s leader from Mao Zedong in 1978.