New to Shenzhen? 6 Places You Have To Visit…
Here are 6 places where you just kind of have to go, in order to be able to say that you’ve been there, and not seem like a complete Shenzhen noob… As for how great a use of your weekend time they are, your mileage will vary…
1. China Folk Cultural Village
Located at the west side of Shenzhen, China Folk Cultural Village was founded in 1991. An area of 158,000 square kilometers, the village is a kind of light-hearted park showing simplified versions of some of China’s 56 minorities. Lots of mini performances to see and about 56 gift shops.
2. The Window of the World
Often called “World Window” in Chinglish, this theme park located in western Shenzhen should probably more correctly have been called Window on the World… but anyway it has about 130 reproductions of some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world squeezed into 48 hectares. These include a 108-metre scaled-down replica Eiffel Tower, mini Egyptian Pyramids and the Taj Mahal.
3. Dafen Village
This suburb of a suburb [Buji] of Shenzhen was created in the early nineties by a group of twenty artists under the leadership of the painter and businessman Huang Jiang. They specialized in producing copies of paintings by famous artists like Van Gogh, Dali, Leonardo and Rembrandt. They often turned out sev aeral replicas a day from their residence in this town. More artists joined them, since the Chinese practice is to have lots of similar shops clumped together. Thousands now live here. The village sells both originals and replicas. It is possible to commission paintings for low prices. The village has a large sculpture of a hand holding a paintbrush outside its gates. This may or may not be for sale.
4. Happy Valley
Happy Valley is actually the brand of a Chinese national chain of amusement parks located in various cities. But Shenzhen’s was the first one, opened in 1998. Since then five more have opened in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Tianjin. So basically Shenzhen has something in its history that is older than these other cities now.
The 350,000-square-metre park is composed of nine themed areas including Spanish Square, Cartoon City, Mt. Adventure, Gold Mine Town, Shangri-la Woods, Sunshine Beach, Typhoon Bay, Playa Maya Water Park and Happy Times. All of these involve vast amounts of queueing for things. The Playa Maya Water Park is open for five months each year, and is themed after the Mayan civilization with buildings and statues in Mayan architectural styles. Outside of the park the “Happy Line” monorail train has a stop near the entrance of Happy Valley and is definitely worth ticking off your SZ bucket list.
5. Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
This is a multi-use stadium in Shenzhen opened in 2011 as one of many large projects for the universiade. The facility’s main use is table tennis, swimming and football competitions. The stadium holds 20,000 spectators.
6. Wutong Mountain
At 943.7m in height, Wutong is the tallest mountain in Shenzhen. One of Shenzhen citizens’ most popular activities is climbing the mountain on one of the many trails. The trails vary in difficulty. Along the way there are some breathtaking vistas, as well as large spiders, mosquitoes, and snakes. On a clear day you can see Hong Kong. Bring plenty of water.