In 1979, Shenzhen — then a group of farming and fishing communities along the Hong Kong border with a total population of a few hundred thousand — was designated the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The plan was to create a sealed off enclave to experiment with market reforms and performance incentives without posing a threat or risk to the established political and economic system elsewhere in China. Shenzhen won the honor because of its proximity to the abundant capital resources and management expertise across the border in Hong Kong. Since then, it has been a real boom town and today is a bustling city of 14 million.
A 2010 study conducted by Forbes magazine ranks Shenzhen's population density as the 5th highest in the world. Shenzhen also boasts the highest per capita GDP in China, pulling in an impressive USD 13581 in 2009, but this is hotly disputed due to the method whereby the population figure is derived. But many observers also point out that, given the preponderance of privately held companies in Shenzhen and the widespread avoidance of tax, it is highly likely that the GDP figure is also severely understated. A walk around Shenzhen's leafy western suburbs will quickly allay any doubts as to the wealth in the city.
Although little visited by international tourists, Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists. They were originally attracted by its famous theme parks but as the city has developed and become richer they are increasingly drawn by Shenzhen's famous architecture, shopping, bars, restaurants and active art scene. Shenzhen's beaches have become famous throughout China. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen's best beaches, was nominated by the China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. Visitors are also starting to recognize some fascinating historical sites, particularly those related to the Hakka culture and Hong Kong's annexation after the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area.
From a climate perspective, the best time to visit Shenzhen is October to December when the weather is pleasantly cool. Shenzhen has a sub-tropical climate with incredibly high humidity combined with soaring temperatures in the summer. For many, this is a season to avoid. The long intense summer also coincides with the typhoon season from June to October. Spring is cooler but is often afflicted by fog and heavy thunderstorms.
The question of the population of Shenzhen is a hotly discussed one. Official Chinese population figures have been traditionally affected by the fact that the basis for reporting is those who have official registration or "hukou" in the city. Shenzhen has many immigrant workers whose hukou are for their home town or village, so "official" numbers are wildly low. An advance on this front came a couple of years ago when, for practical purposes, "hukou" was replaced by a residents' registration certificate. This certificate, which is cheap and easy to administer, and which allows for travel to Hong Kong without returning to one's place of origin for passport application, has made population counting easier. The Shenzhen Statistics Bureau  in April 2010, as of end 2009, says that Shenzhen has an official resident population of 8.91 million, out of which 2.41 million have legal household (hukou) status. The official Family Planning Bureau which bases its figure on police registration data gives the population as 14 million. Note that unlike Shanghai and Beijing which have large rural populations, all of Shenzhen's population is classified as urban
In most cases, a visa should be obtained from a Chinese embassy or consulate before arriving anywhere in China. See the China page for more information.
Certain nationalities arriving from Hong Kong can obtain a single-entry five-day Special Economic Zone Tourism Visa on arrival for ¥168-1,000. At the Luohu border (罗湖口岸), the office is on the Chinese side of the river, and is accessible by using the escalator the one's left upon reaching the Chinese side of the river. It is open 09:00-23:30 seven days a week and accepts RMB and credit cards (Union Pay, Visa and Mastercard). The telephone number of the office is +86 755 8232-7700 for enquiries. In theory, the visas are available for most nationalities (with the notable exception of French and Americans), though it should be noted that no nationality is guaranteed a visa and some nationalities (Filipinos and Indians, for example) seem to have had issues. In March 2014 it was observed that Dutch, Australian, Irish and Colombian passport holders were obtaining visas without issue. Note that the charge for UK passport holders is much higher at ¥469 for a five-day Shenzhen-only visa, while it costs only ¥168 for most other nationalities.
Note that there are reports of US passport holders being denied the visa and being fined for entering the Chinese side of the border without a visa/eligibility to obtain a visa. Don’t get fined for arriving without a valid visa! There are conflicting reports regarding the availability of the same five-day visas at other border points between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. There is no visa-on-arrival office at the Futian border. The reason for the differing fees is that Chinese visa fees are set on a reciprocal basis.
It is worthwhile to point out here that even though the Huanggang (皇岗口岸) and Futian (福田口岸) borders are only a few hundred metres apart, they are different land crossings that connect to different points in Lok Ma Chau on the Hong Kong side. Huanggang connects to the 24-hour Lok Ma Chau Control Point and has bus service on both sides, while Futian connects to the Lok Ma Chau MTR station and the MTR in Shenzhen. On the Shenzhen side, there are large buildings between the two points making it impractical to move between the two points. Unlike the Luohu border crossing, there is extremely limited shopping at both Huanggang and Futian.
Besides the five-day SEZ visa, you may also apply for a full China visa (single and double entry only) at the Luohu border. This visa can be obtained only between the hours of 09.30-16.30. Again, UK passport holders are expected to pay more and US passport holders are not entertained at all. It is better to apply for a one year multiple entry visa at any consulate in the US for $140. For US passport holders, the length of the visa will depend on the previous visas that have been issued. The first visa will be double entry, the second will be six month multiple entries, and so forth. US citizens who were originally Chinese citizens or are married or children of Chinese citizens are eligible for two year multiple entry visas. If you have an old Chinese visa in another passport, it will be helpful to include the old passport in the visa application.
Getting a tourist visa in Hong Kong takes from 1 to 3 days and costs HK$150-1,100. A list of costs  is available. Macau's visa office is less crowded and the hotels are a bit cheaper, but it takes just as long. In general, only single and double entry visas are granted to visitors without HKID cards, although foreigners with previous entries into the mainland and Hong Kong student or work visa holders have been known to be approved for multiple entries.
You can get a taxi van from HK International Airport to Shenzhen via the Huanggang border for HK$150. This fee includes ferrying you onwards to some destination within Shenzhen (e.g. hotels) after you have cleared the China immigration, but do clarify with the airport service counter staff first. Well worth it if you have a valid visa.
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport  has domestic and international flights. Metro line 1 connects the airport to downtown Shenzhen in 50 minutes, (¥5.7).
If you arrive on a domestic flight into the domestic flight terminal, follow the signs for buses and take bus M416 (¥2) This bus will bring you to Hourui station on Line 1. The bus takes around 10mins and departs frequently from outside the terminal building.
In addition to domestic flights, the airport also serves limited international flights from the following destinations:
Air Asia flies direct from Bangkok, Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
Silkair and Tiger Airways fly direct from Singapore.
There is also a helicopter service from Terminal Marítimo in Macau to Shenzhen Airport , though it is very expensive.
Taxis to central Futian are approximately ¥100 and to Luohu approximately ¥150 including tolls.
Airport Shuttle Bus You should mark down the Schedule Table, so as not to miss the bus.
From Luohu check point to Hualian Mansion, in addition to taxi, one can take No. 215 and get off at the station of "Xinhua Hotel" or take No.25 and No. 12 and get off at the station of "Technology Gallery".
One who holds the ticket of FM, MF, 3C and HU gets off at waiting hall of terminal A. And the passengers who hold the tickets of ZH, CA, MU, SC and international fligts get off at waiting hall of terminal B.
Transportation from Hong Kong International Airport to Shenzhen
Public transport A cheap and quite comfortable way to Shenzhen is to take the Airport Express train from Hong Kong Interantional Airport to Tsing Yi, then the Tung Chung underground line to Lai King, then the Tsuen Wan Line to Prince Edward, then the Kwun Tong Line to Kowloon Tong and then the East Rail suburban rail line to Lo Wu. This costs in total $60 (the Airport Express fare, no more because free transfers are permitted along the way) and takes 78 minutes to Lo Wu. Another option is to take the bus from the airport to Sheung Shui (Bus A43) and transfer to the East Rail line. Taking the bus is cheaper (HK$30.90), nearly never full so you are almost guaranteed a seat and a view of the outside for the whole journey. The bus terminus is to the right of the Airport Express station coming from Arrivals of HKIA. From Lo Wu, you pass through a long corridor and a large international border gate (make sure to have your visa ready for this) after which you'll find youself on the mainland, where the Shenzhen underground (Metro) will take you from Luohu station to the rest of Shenzhen and the airport.
There is also ferry service from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen, check at the information desk for their schedule. A further alternative is to take "Skypier". This service takes you direct from HKIA to the mainland (Shekou area in Shenzhen, Shenzhen Airport Fuyong Terminal or Zhuhai) without going through Hong Kong immigrations or customs or in fact the city itself. There is a booth before you get to immigration and you purchase your ticket and ask them to get your luggage transferred and then you go by skytrain to the ferry and then straight to China. When arriving in China you may find a long queue waiting for a taxi. It is often much faster to take the metro to get close to your destination in Shenzhen, and then take a taxi from there. Using the ferry to get from HKIA to Shenzhen is cheaper, easier, and faster than going into Hong Kong Central or Kowloon. If you exit China this way you get HK$120 departure tax given to you when you arrive at HKIA.
Private Limousine Van Service
There are a number of companies that operate luxury vans from HKIA to destinations in Shenzhen and Shenzhen Airport. They typically involve crossing via the Shenzhen Bay Bridge Customs Point. Passengers are often not even required to leave the vehicle at the border post, with the driver handling all the passports and details. Costs can be from HK$200 upwards. It is a unique experience, being driven on the left side of the road in Hong Kong and then the right side once on the mainland. All in all it takes about 2 hours. When using the van service from Shenzhen to HKIA, book it at your hotel, the price is usually 200RMB.
There are six land border crossings: Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang, Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou'an, Lo Wu/Luohu, Sha Tau Kok/Shatoujiao, Man Kam To/Wenjindu and Shenzhen Wan which is at the end of a long and elegant bridge across Shenzhen Bay.
Lo Wu/Luohu is one of two ports for train connections and the most popular crossing point, operating daily 6:30AM-midnight. Be aware that the last several trains do not go to Lo Wu, they terminate at Sheung Shui. Lo Wu is the last stop of the MTR East Rail Line. East Rail, which connects to downtown Kowloon at Hung Hom Station. Because Lo Wu is in Hong Kong's Border Restricted Area, MTR Eastrail is the only way to reach it. Lo Wu Station is only open for travel to Shenzhen or beyond, and a valid travel document is required to travel there.
For people travelling to Futian including the Free Trade Zone and other destinations in Central and Western Shenzhen, the most convenient rail route is the train from Hung Hom to Lok Ma Chau station, this is not the Lok Mau Chau/Huanggang border crossing, but the Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou'an crossing. It connects directly to the Shenzhen Metro line 4 Futian Kou An Station. The train follows the same route as the Lowu one but turns off at the last station. This service only goes til 9:30PM.
The MTR East Rail Line commuter train which connects Hung Hom to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau with several intermediate stops mainly serves Hong Kong locals. It interchanges with the urban section of the MTR at Kowloon Tong Station and East Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal. For those traveling to or from Hong Kong Island, it is recommended to transfer to Cross Harbor Bus in Hung Hom Station or the Tsuen Wan Line at East Tsim Sha Tsui.
The journey from East Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu takes 42 minutes and costs HK$33-36.50, first class is charged double. However generally you can save about HK$7 if you get off and exit the gates at Sheung Shui and get back on again from Sheung Shui to Lo Wu. Trains depart every few minutes but some short trips are operated in rush hour, so check the destination screen before boarding. The train can be crowded during rush hours (8-9 A.M. and 5-7 P.M.) as it serves millions of commuters. The line is also very heavily used by traders moving goods from Hong Kong to Shenzhen for resale.
Shenzhen is served by 3 domestic intercity railway stations with another under construction.
Shenzhen Station (Shenzhen Zhan 深圳站), Luohu (Luobao Line, Luohu Metro Station). Immediately north of the HK border. It's a fairly small, but clean and well-organized station serving mostly Guangdong regional trains and just a handful of long-distance sleeper trains to other major cities. A high-speed shuttle service runs every 10-15 minutes to Guangzhou East Station (with alternate services continuing to Guangzhou main station - both GZ East and GZ have much more long-distance connections) - it takes approx 1 hour and costs 80RMB one way. Tickets for this service are available from a separate ticket office or from self-service machines and there is a separate platform entrance. For those only visiting the city for a day and then heading somewhere else, on the ground floor of this station there is a luggage storage facility located all the way at the end of the station (opposite to the direction you just arrived from Hong Kong).(22.531407,114.117969)edit
Shenzhen North Station (Shenzhen Bei Zhan 深圳北站), MinZhi (Longhua & Huanzhong Line, Shenzhen North Metro Station). New and modern station in the northern Bao'an district, with ultra high speed services to Guangzhou South and beyond to Wuhan. Future high speed link to Fujian province has started trial operations. This station is not to be confused with an older freight station of the same name in Luohu district as still marked on some maps.(22.61096,114.029453)edit
Shenzhen West Station (Shenzhen Xi Zhan), Shekou (Shekou Line Chiwan Metro Station). A few & limited services to other parts of Guangdong and some other Chinese provincesedit
Futian Station (Futian Zhan), Shekou (Longhua & Luobao Line Futian Metro Station). Fully underground high speed station. Due to open in 2014 it will be an extension of the services currently stopping at Shenzhen North Station but in the more convenient central city location. Will also serve as a high speed train link to Kowloon in HK from 2015edit
There are several long-distance bus stations - the most convenient is Luohu Bus Station - adjacent to the rail station and the border crossing. It has regular services to Dongguan, Guangzhou (Tianhe, Liuhua and Guangyuan stations), Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Shantou and many other cities in Guangdong. Unlike most bus stations there is no ticket office - instead bus station employees will ask you where you are going and will direct you to the bus and you buy your ticket from the conductor on board. NOTE if you are going to Guangzhou it's important to check which bus station you will arrive at (qu na ge zhan? - lit. Go to which station?) - if you arrive at Tianhe or Liuhua bus stations then both have direct subway connections, but many go to Guangyuan bus station which is in Baiyun district and requires a long connection by bus to the city centre.
Be sure to watch out for scams at the Shenzhen bus station. For example, if you are traveling between Hong Kong Airport and Shenzhen Airport, you may need to transfer between vehicles when crossing the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Your bus or limo company may supply you a sticker to attach to your shirt. When you cross over to the Shenzhen side of the border, a scam artist may spot your sticker, claim to work for the bus or limo company you are using, and demand that you pay an additional fee to complete the journey. To prevent this from happening, go to the actual counter or stall that represents the bus or limo company you are using. The bus or limo companies are aware of this problem but have no incentive to correct it, nor do the local authorities care, so you need to be extra careful when crossing the border.
There are ferries from Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui, Central (also know as HongKong/Macau Ferry Port) and HK airport), Macau, and Zhuhai. Most services land at the ferry terminal at Shekou. The Shekou ferry terminal is connected by subway and bus services to the rest of Shenzhen. There is further information available online: Hong Kong Ferry Info , Ferry service to Macau is frequent, but ferry service to HK is rather limited. Ferry services to HKIA are frequent, but you will need a ticket to be able to use them. The Shekou Ferry terminal itself is small and has extremely limited restaurant terminal services, and there is no direct passage between the ferry terminal and the MTR forcing you to walk a small distance to transfer.
Shenzhen Ferry Info  (site only in Chinese, English version under construction). As with buses, be extremely careful about scams (such as one in which a vendor will cut a large piece of candy and charge you a large amount only after they have cut it). The ferry police only have authority over the ferry and the parking lot and cannot do anything about scams that happen just outside the parking lot.
There is also a ferry port at Shenzhen Airport Fuyong which features a bonded service to HK Airport avoiding HK customs and immigration plus check-in facilities for some flights leaving from HKIA. There are also limited services connecting the airport to Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.
The Shenzhen Metro (深圳地铁)  is the most convenient and easy to understand method of transport around the Shenzhen city area. Fares are ¥2-9. Trains come every 3 minutes or so and the metro runs until 11PM. Note that there is a relatively high standard of public courtesy on the Shenzhen Metro. Some customs are unusual to foreigners. For example people will often give their seats up to young children. The system is being rapidly expanded and the numbering system for the lines has been replaced by names. The Shenzhen Metro currently has 5 lines, 137 stations, and 178.44 km (110.87 miles) of total trackage in operation
Luobao Line - East-west line from Luohu (HK Border/Shenzhen Station) to Shenzhen Airport. Most convenient line for many tourist sites
Longhua Line - North-south line from Futian Checkpoint (HK Border) to Qinghu
Shekou Line - East-west line from Chiwan to Xinxiu, best for ferry connections and Shekou Seaworld
Longgang Line - From Yitian running north east to Shuanglong
Huanzhong Line - East-west Line through Shenzhen's northern surburbs from Qianhaiwan to Huangbeiling
Buy your ticket at the ticket machines on the concourse. The machine will dispense a round green plastic token. Touch it on the reader on entering the station and deposit it in the slot on the turnstile on leaving. The machines often reject old or worn notes. The most convenient way to travel is to buy a Shenzhen Tong (深圳通) card at the ticket window. This is a stored value ticket. Touch it on the turnstile reader on entering and leaving the station. It can also be used for purchases in convenience stores.
Note that unlike most subways, the exit-guide signs in the station are only written in Chinese except for a handful of major attractions. There are also a limited number of maps of the local area (often in Chinese) in the station so finding the right exit can be a problem. But this has since been changed in most places in reponse to hosting the 2011 Universiade Games.
Taxi meters start at ¥10.00 for the first 2 kilometers, then ¥0.60 for each 250 meters. Late night costs slightly higher. There is a ¥3.00 fuel surcharge added to all fares.
Taxis are unusually (for China) well regulated and managed in Shenzhen. It is very rare to have a driver give you problems or take you the long way to your destination. However, be sure that the cab has a licence prominently displayed in the plastic stand provided for this purpose on the right hand dashboard of every cab. If there is no licence, get the next cab. Unlike in neighbouring Hong Kong, it is rare to find any drivers who speak English, so be sure to have the names and addresses of your destinations written in Chinese to show your taxi driver.
Driving is notably incompetent and terrifying. If you think your life is in danger, do not be afraid to get out and get the next cab. Sadly there is little assurance that the next driver will be any better. If you have a major problem, threaten to complain. (use the word "tousu" (toe-soo) meaning "complaint"). We don't know what happens when you complain but it is expected to be BAD (usually a 200RMB penalty per complaint - 5 complaints and their license will be revoked!). On the receipt you should get when the driver prints out the ticket is a phone number and his taxi license. Use this if you want to file any type of complaint.
Unless you are extremely familiar with local conditions (in which case you will not be reading this) or an expert Chinese negotiator, avoid like the plague illegal unlicensed taxis of the type which proliferate in places such as border crossings. You are just calling down trouble in infinite variety on your head. If you ask for a driver from a hotel it is likely they will get a private driver. Negotiate the price before you leave.
There are still a few gold colored cabs which can only operate inside the SEZ. Green colored cabs can only operate outside the SEZ. They cannot enter the SEZ. Red cabs can operate anywhere.
Tipping is not expected at all. Round up to the next Yuan
There is a fleet of 800 electric taxi in service. These taxi are blue (normal taxi are red). There is no fuel surcharge for blue taxi.
Local buses run everywhere and start at ¥2 for most trips. The longest bus trip in the city will cost ¥10. There is an attendant on the bus that can give change. Buses are comfortable and almost always air-conditioned. Bus stops are signed in Romanised Chinese. The next bus stop is always announced although it may not be particularly comprehensible. Buses usually stop at all stops so counting stops is a viable alternative for finding out where you are. All announcements are made in Mandarin and English. You can pay with your Shenzhen Tong card (see Metro Section).
Mini-buses have been phased out within the Special Economic Zone but are still operating outside of it. Most bus lines operate every couple of minutes.
Free shuttles run from the basement of Luohu's immigration building to and from various attractions such as spas in the area.
Cycling is not as popular as in Beijing for example but Shenzhen is nearly as cycle-friendly as neighbouring Guangzhou, and much more cycle-friendly than most of neighboring Hong Kong, Macau, and Humen. Downtown is relatively flat and traffic is not as heavy as in other cities (thanks to a good road infrastructure, although bicycle lanes can be sporadic which means bicycles have to run in the vehicle lanes or sidewalks).
There is a new bike path that runs along a new park the length of the Shenzhen Bay, opened up for the Universiade in July 2011. From there you can go up along the Shahe (Sand River canal) most of the way to the GZ Greenway without crossing any vehicular traffic. Unfortunately the GZ greenway is not well marked, so it can be difficult to find your way from Shenzhen to neighboring cities such as Guangzhou. Another small canal also runs north from the southwest of Shenzhen Bay Port, connecting to the bayfront park bike path.
The Bike rental is not easily available but a cheap bicycle from a major supermarket or a second-hand bike shop will get you around easily. Note that electric-bicycles and motorcycles are banned within the SEZ area.
Because of Hong Kong's obsolete Frontier Zone policy, you cannot bike between Hong Kong and Shenzhen at the Hong Gang port because the road is closed except to public busses and taxis. You can, however take your 20" folding bike across to take the green public light bus #75 between there and Hong Kong's Yuen Long for HKD$7. Hong Kong's MTR is unusually expensive at border terminals, but bikes are allowed on the trains. 20" folding Bikes are also allowed on Shenzhen Metro trains.
Get a card from your hotel with the name and address in Chinese characters (if you are lost and no one understands your Mandarin or Cantonese)
Get your hotel staff to write down the destination names for you on paper. You may also learn some phrases from the Chinese phrasebook. Keep in mind that although English is more widely understood than in most other places in China, outside of establishments which specifically cater to Westerners, few people know English.
As a migrant city Mandarin has become the lingua franca of daily communication and is more widely spoken than the Cantonese common elsewhere in the region. Taxi drivers are much more likely to speak Mandarin than Cantonese.
Shenzhen is a linguistic melting pot. In addition to various accents in Mandarin or Cantonese, the other Guangdong languages — Teochew, and Hakka — are fairly common, and you may hear languages from other parts of China.
Shenzhen has many theme parks, which are popular with Chinese tourists, many of whom go to Shenzhen mainly for these. Reactions of Western visitors vary widely, from enjoying them immensely to finding them amazingly tacky. Most of them are owned and operated by the Shenzhen OCT (Overseas Chinese Town) Group :
Window of The World (世界之窗), 南山区华侨城深南大道 (Window of the World (世界之窗) Metro Station, Luobao Line), . 9am - 10 pm.
Nightly Show, Windows of the World
Travel around the world in one day. This 480,000 square meter park has a beautiful natural landscapes and wonderful lighting at night. Inside, you can climb the 1:3 ratio Eiffel Tower, Egyptian Pyramid, Pisa Tower, Taj Mahal of India, Grand Canyon, and other famous places of interest. There is also an indoor ski slope, paddle boats, and a flume ride. Every night there are spectacular dance shows based on themes of Chinese and world history. Hundreds of dancers perform on the enormous outdoor stage. The performance finishes with a procession and fireworks at 9PM.¥180. edit
Splendid China & Chinese Folk Culture Village (深圳锦绣, 中华中国民俗文化村; Shēnzhèn Jǐnxiù Zhōnghuá, Zhōngguó Mínsú Wénhuà Cūn), (Hua Qiao Cheng Metro Station, exit D, about 200 meters), . In two sections: The first part is a miniature park of famous Chinese sites. You can find the famous Forbidden City, Terracotta Soldiers, Tibet Potala Palace, Huangshan Mountains, Yunnan's Stone Forest, and of course the Great Wall of China. This park is huge and covers 300,000 square meters, fully forested with beautiful greenery. The other part consists of 56 houses, each representing one of the 56 nationalities in China, such as Miao, Yi, Bai, Mongol and Uygur. You can find here real people, culture, fashion, habits, religion and language. Uygur women twirl to Turkish music, Miaos dance, a miniskirted Ming Dynasty troupe performs electronic versions of Ming music and dance. Do not miss the Mongol horse battle held daily. But the final Phoenix show is mind-blowing (ticketed on holidays). Afterwards near closing time there is a somewhat strange, spontaneous techno-light water splash fight in the splash area.¥150. edit
Happy Valley Theme Park (欢乐谷 huanle gu), Qiaocheng W Rd OCT 南山区华乔城乔城西路 (Shi Jie Zhi Chuang Metro Station, walk about 500 meters), . 9am - 10pm. A classic fun park. It is a lot bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland and many would say a lot better. Divided into theme areas it has the usual fun rides. There are several levels of roller coasters, ranging from tame kiddie coasters to the Snow Dragon which holds you upside down with your feet dangling and the Shangra-La which has a 4G drop, and the Magic Castle which has carnival games. Try the flume ride but be prepared to get wet. And speaking of wet, the Playa Maya, which is open in the summers, is an excellent water park built around a Maya architectural theme. There are shows all day and well into the night. The park is crowded on the weekends and holidays, but there are few people on the weekdays.edit
Minsk World (明思克航母; Míngsīkè Hángmǔ), Jinrong Rd, Shatoujiao 盐田区沙头角金融路海滨明思克大厦; Yántián Qū Shātóujiǎo (opposite the Yantian District Government Bldg, Buses 103, 202, 205 or 430; or taxi from Lo Hu), ☎ +86 755 2535-5333, . 09:00-19:30. A military theme park centered around the former Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk. You can tour the island, flight deck and second and fifth decks of the carrier. There is a short film on the carrier's history in a small theater to the left of the entrance from the shore. Many key captions and display boards are in English, but Chinese is predominant. There are tour guides stationed at various exhibits that will give brief explanations of them in Cantonese only. There are periodic performances with a military theme on the flight deck and fifth deck. For ¥30, you can take a 5 minute motorboat ride around the starboard side of Minsk and get a good view of it that is not possible from the shore. There are also several exhibits of PLA military equipment on the grounds.¥110. edit
OCT East (东部华侨城). 09:00-22:00. This is a new amusement park built by the same company that brought you windows of the world. located at the valleys and Hills behind Dameisha (beach), it features thrill ride, shows and replica of Europeans town. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs or escalators to reach all the different rides or attractions. there is also a few themed hotels under constructions. I say the whole theme park is only 70% completed. Oh yes, if you are a avid golfer, there is an amazing golf club on the hill top admist the clouds. its called wind Valley Golf. Please do note that there are certain safety issues about the park. mainly an electrical problem. in June 2010, 6 people died when a electrical failure threw them off a ride. several was injured as well. the park was plagued with other small electrical outages which have resulted in people trapped in cable cars etc.¥120. edit
Sea World Shekou China (蛇口海上世界中国). There are no shortage of international chain restaurants. It is called sea world, because it has a big ship named Minghua that is now used for a hotel. Before, it was used in the sea, but now the have docked it on shore. In the ship, there is also a restaurant/sports bar named X-Ta-Sea. In that restaurant, there are pool tables, a Foosball table, live sports on television, and live music Tuesdays through Saturdays. Out in the plaza you can also rent a electronic animal ride or a triple seated bike. Behind the ship, there is a golf course that you could also visit. Almost every night, there are people having fun, eating, and buying new things. In the center of sea world, is a really smooth tiled center where people are riding their bikes, S boards, skateboards, and scooters.edit
Shenzhen is famous in China as being one of its greenest cities. Only nearby Dongguan has a greater percentage of its area given over to parks and gardens.
Lianhua Mountain Park (Lotus Mountain Park; 蓮花山公園; Liánhuāshāngōngyuán), Hongli Rd W, Futian Central (Shaoniangong Stn (Line 4) Bus 25 from Shenzhen Railway Stn. Bus stop is “Lian hua shan gong yuan” 莲花山公元). This is Shenzhen's main and most central park. Set at the northern end of the Futian central access it is 150 ha of urban bushland. The gardens themselves are extremely beautiful and meticulously cared for. But to really enjoy the mountain, you need to be there with Shenzhen's middle calsses early in the morning or on Sundays when large family groups gather to have fun. At the top of the mountain, which you can reach via a twenty minute, not too challenging walk, is a large bronze statue of Deng Xiaoping striding out over the city. Large aerobics groups operate to loud music, people play badminton, a man walks down the path inscribing Tang Dynasty poetry in ever evaporating water with an enormous brush. Further down the mountain, ballroom dancers do the tango, a group of belly dancers wiggle and large men lay into each other with bamboo staves and swords. A famous and totally spontaneous group of singers of revolutionary opera sings by the lotus lake every Sunday morning, a must-see if you are even remotely in the vicinity. They are just past the laughter therapy group and the marriage market. And in season (Autumn), do not forget your kite.(220.127.116.11N,18.104.22.168E)edit
Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens (仙湖植物公园; Xiān Hú Zhíwù Gōngyuán), Lian Shi Rd, Lian Tang Rd, Luohu District 罗湖区莲塘村莲十路 (Bus 218, 220 to the garden gate (for bus 218 get off at Foreign Language School stop and walk up Xian Hu Rd to the main gate). On return, Bus 220 will take you to Guomao station). 07:00-22:00.
Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens
This is Shenzhen's most beautiful park and surely one of the most beautiful in China. It sprawls over miles of foothills, valleys, rivers and lakes before climbing half way up Wutong Mountain. Main attraction is the Hong Fa Temple (see entry above) but there are beautiful and peaceful lakes surrounded by teahouses and pavilions which could inspire great poetry. Don't miss the azalea garden, the pertified forest, the paleontology museum or the medicinal plants garden. From the main gates to the various attractions within, there is a bus (¥3 each way) that will drop you near the temple (400 m away). Purchase the bus tickets before joining the queue. If you choose to walk instead of the bus, be prepared for a 30 min gentle inclined walk on awkwardly crowded pavements, next to jammed country roads. It's also worth noting that on public holidays, weekends and great weather the parks and the temple will be flooded with the locals, becoming more of a family and fun affair, rather than a place of relaxation. Careful of the burning incense sticks at the temple!¥20. (22.34.17.01N,22.214.171.124E)edit
Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center (园博园), Zhuzilinxi, Futian District (at the intersection of Shennan Ave and Qiaocheng E Rd) (深圳市福田区竹子林西 (深南大道与侨城东路交汇处); Fútián Qū Zhúzilín Xī (Shēnnán Ddàdào Yú Qiáochéng Dōng Lù Jiāohuì Chù)) (Qiao Cheng Dong Stn, exit A), . 09:00-22:00. This park started life as the site of an international garden exhibition in 2004. It is an enormous garden with an area of 660,000 m². It ranges from gently undulating to quite steep and contains gardens in many different styles, not only Chinese but from all over the world. We love the Jiangnan style gardens built aroubd lakes in the north-east corner. Make sure you visit the hot houses and climb the hill past the waterfall to the pagoda on top of the hill. Views back to Hong Kong are spectacular on a clear day. A further 242 steps will take you to the top of the pagoda.¥50. edit
Mangrove National Park (红树林生态公园), Binhai Freeway Futian 福田区滨海大道. China's smallest national park. Hong Kong's Mai Po Marshes are one of the world's great birdwatching paradises as birds migrating from Siberia rest in the fishponds. The same birds also rest in the mangroves on Shenzhen Bay a scant two miles north of Mai Po. In the late 1990s when the Binhai Freeway was being built, there was public outrage at plans to route the freeway through the bird habitat of the mangroves. The freeway was moved 200 metres north and China's smallest national park was founded. The bird watching is legendary, but if you are not into birds, the park provides coconut palm shaded walks and views to die for across Shenzhen Bay.Free. (126.96.36.199N,188.8.131.52E)edit
Wutong Mountain National Park (梧桐山Wutong Village Luohu District 罗湖区捂桐村), . At just over 900-m tall, Wutong Mountain is the second tallest mountain in the Pearl River Delta after Hong Kong's Tai Mo Shan and it is a Mecca for hikers and climbers. This has been a recognised beauty spot since at least the Ming Dynasty when it was included in the Eight Great Views of Xin'an County and was celebrated in poetry. There are several routes to the top varying significantly in difficulty. The broad road will be a gentle climb. But be prepared for a good 5 hours if you intend to go to the top and back. There are two peaks, Lesser Wutong where the Shenzhen TV Company has its handsome transmission tower, and Greater Wutong which is reached via the notoriously difficult Hao Han Slope. On a clear day, the views from the summit over Mirs Bay and the mountains of Hong Kong's New Territories are indescribably beautiful. Night views over the city set against the sweep of Shenzhen Bay are also to die for.Free. edit
Yangtai Mountain Forest Park (羊台山森林公园), Longhua Town Bao’an 宝安区龙华镇 (NOT easy to get to and advise to combine the hot springs with a visit to Yangtai Mountain. That way you can take advantage of easy public transport connections between them. Take the Metro to Windows on the World, Shi Jie Zhi Chuang. Next to Exit B there is a large underground bus station. Take bus no 392 to its terminus which is the Shiyan Hot Springs. When you’ve finished, take bus no 769 from the place where you got off. This terminates at Yangtai Mountain). This is a forest park administered by the water and forestry administrations of Guangdong Province. The mountain, 500-m high, lies around an attractive reservoir. It is heavily wooded with native and exotic vegetation and abounds with wild life. The climb to the top is moderately difficult and very rewarding.edit
Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Resort (石岩湖温泉度假村; Shíyánhú Wēnquán Dùjiàcūn), Shiyan Town, Bao'an District (宝安区石岩镇; Bǎo'ān Qū Shíyán Zhèn), ☎ +86 755 2716-4148. 06:00-21:00. This has been a popular attraction since the 16th century when it was named as one of the "Eight Great Views of Xin'an County" (the county of which Hong Kong and Shenzhen were part). Situated on a man-made reservoir at the back of Yangtai Mountain, it is not easy to get to but it is worth the trouble. Water springs from the ground at over 60°C, but is cooled to about 40°C before being fed into pools. Pools are both public and private and indoor and outdoor.¥15. edit
Safari Park Shenzhen (深圳野生动物园; Shēnzhèn Yěshēng Dòngwùyuán), Xili Rd, Nanshan District (南山区西丽路; Nánshān qū Xīlì Lù), ☎ +86 755 2662-2888 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 755 2662-2333), . 10:00-17:00. Billed as a safari park where the animals stare at the humans. It is dirty, disorganised and a bit of a dud but kids might like it.¥160. edit
CITIC Minsk aircraft carrier(中信明思克航母) The park by the sea and on land Minsk aircraft carrier Minsk CITIC Plaza is composed of two parts.
Dafen Oil Painting Village (大芬油画村; Dàfèn Yóuhuà Cūn), Dafen Village, Buji, 龙岗区布吉街道大芬社区 (Dafen (大芬) Stn, Longgang Line), . In 1988, a Hong Kong businessman called Wong Kong, who had a business specialising in reproduction art, decided that there was no future in Hong Kong and set up in Dafen, even though it was not in the SEZ. Soon he was joined by artists from all over China, some classically trained but many just talented amateurs fresh from the paddy fields. And so Dafen was born. It is set in an old Hakka village and consists of street after street of shops selling oil paintings, watercolors, and embroidered paintings. Examine things carefully, as some of the artwork is machine printed, rather than hand made. Much of it is rubbish but some of China's best artists also have studios in Dafen. For a few hundred Yuan you can commission an artist to copy your favorite piece of art, your wedding photo, or photos of your family. Insist on "A" quality - it costs a little more but it's worth it. You can also get incredibly rapid framing while you wait and inexpensive art supplies. There is a handsome modern gallery exhibiting works by Dafen local painters. And don't miss the experience of the Qi Xing teahouse, built round several 300 year old Hakka houses with beautiful courtyards.edit
He Xiangning Art Museum (何香凝美术馆; Hé Xiāngníng Měishùguǎn), 9013 Shennan Blvd (深南大道9013号; Shēnnán Dàdào) (Get off at Huaqiaocheng Stn (华侨城), exit C, walk W past the InterContinental hotel), . 10:00-17:30, closed M. China's second national modern art museum, after the National Art Gallery of China. He Xiangning was the widow of Liang Zhongkai, the leader of the pro-Moscow left of the Kuomintang during the 1920s. Liao was expected to become KMT leader after Sun Yat-sen's death but he was assassinated by gangsters probably hired by Chiang Kai-shek. He Xiangning then became an important leader of the leftist wing of the KMT and after 1949 stayed on in Beijing. Her son, Liao Chengzhi was a leading Communist and head of the organisation which originally controlled the area where the He Xiangning Art Gallery is located, Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) in Eastern Shenzhen. This is why the galllery was built as a memorial to her. The gallery has shifting exhibits mainly of avant garde and modern Chinese art. Some of China's best known painters regularly exhibit there and it is definitely worth a visit.¥20, free F. edit
OCT Art and Design Gallery (华美术馆), Shennan Ave OCT 南山区华乔城深南大道 (Bus nos. 21, 26, 54, 59, 101, 105, 109, 113, 204, 223, 338, 373, 390, Huaqiaocheng Stn (华侨城), exit C, walk W past the InterContinental Hotel). Shenzhen is famous throughout China as a centre of design and the OCT Art and design gallery is where you go to see it exhibited. Set in a restored industrial building, the gallery holds regular exhibitions showcasing Shenzhen and China's industrial, domestic and fashion design.¥15. edit
Guan Shan Yue Art Gallery (关山月美术馆), 6026 Hong Li Rd, Futian 福田区红荔路6026号 (Bus 25,215,105 Shao Nian Gong Stn (少年宫)), . The Guan Shan Yue Gallery is dedicated to the works of Guan Shanyue, a modern master of the Ling Nan school of Chinese ink painting. The Ling Nan (Ling Nan is the Tang Dynasty name for Guangdong and Guangxi provinces) originated in the early 20th century inspired by Japanes westernising schools. Guan Shanyue studied under the masters of the school and produced some very competent art in that style. He had revolutionary associations and, after the communist takeover, became an arts bureaucrat until he was attacked during the Cultural Revolution. He donated his paintings to the Shenzhen City Government in 1993 and the gallery opened in 1997. It contains exhibits of Guan's work and hosts regular special exhibitionsedit
Shenzhen Museum (深圳博物馆; Shēnzhèn Bówùguǎn), Jintian Rd Entrance, Shenzhen Civic Centre, Futian District (福田区市民中心东座) (Central Futian (Shi Min Zhong Xin Stn)), ☎ +86 755 8210-1044, . 10:00-18:00, closed M. In the East Wing of the Shenzhen City Hall Centre, the City Government's spectacular wing-roofed building. This is a must-see. The ground floor gallery has exhibits from some of the most famous museums of China. So far since its opening in December 2008 it has played host to exhibits of jade burial suits, bronzes from the Shu Kingdom and Shang Dynasty bronzes. The upper floors have exhibits of the founding and development of the SEZ revealing details of some of the most significant events of recent Chinese history. There is also an exhibit of the history of the Pearl River region including the incredible number of ancient relics unearthed during construction in Shenzhen, and an exhibit of the Qing and Republican periods in Shenzhen.Free. edit
OCT Contemporary Art Terminal and Loft Area (OCT当代艺术中心), Behind Konka, OCT, 南山区华乔城康佳集团北则 (Qiao Cheng Dong Stn, Exit A. Walk back 150 m to Enping Rd), . edit
Shenzhen Art Museum (深圳美术馆), 32 Donghu St, Donghu Park, Aiguo Rd, Luohu 罗湖区爱国路东湖一街32号 (Bus 3, 17, 360, 351, 300. Take the bus to the Shenzhen Reservoir (Shenzhen Shui Ku) station and go to the East Lake (Dong Hu) Pk), . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00, closed M. edit
Hong Fa Buddhist Temple (弘法寺; Hóng Fǎ Sì). Not particularly old but it is always packed with pilgrims from all over China and beyond. Its attraction is its 104 year old abbot, a famously holy man who has a fascinating history in the destruction and revival of Chinese Buddhism. The temple is spectacularly sited half way up Wutong Mountain in the Fairy Lake Botanical Garden - Southeast Gate (仙湖植物园站), Shenzhen's largest and most beautiful park.edit
Chiwan Tin Hau Temple (赤湾天后宫;). This is one of China's biggest and most splendid temples to Tin Hau, the Goddess of Heaven who guards over sailors and fishermen. It was founded in the early fifteenth century by the famous eunuch admiral Zheng He who, during one of his voyages of discovery, was saved from shipwreck here during a typhoon by the intercession of Tin Hau, this despite the fact that Zheng He was a Moslem. It has been restored many times during its lifetime, most recently during the 1980s after the ravages of the Cultural Revolution. It was built in the style of the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th centuries) and is a magnificent example of this style.edit
People, even long time Shenzhen residents, will confidently tell you that "Shenzhen has no history". However there is a surprising number of sites, some of great national significance, dating back to the twelfth century. Shenzhen, it seems, was critically involved in a number of historical events, especially the collapse and final stand of the Southern Song Dynasty (13th century), the last stand of the Ming Dynasty (17th century) and the Opium War (19th century).
Tomb of the Young Song Emperor (宋少帝陵; Sòng Shǎo Dì Líng), Chiwan (赤湾; Chìwān). This is putatively the tomb of the last Emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty (d. 1279). There is little doubt that he died in this general area after fleeing from the Mongols who had taken the dynastic capital Hangzhou. Modern knowledge of the tomb dates back to the latter years of the 19th century when the Zhao (Cantonese Chiu) Clan of Hong Kong (Zhao was the Song Imperial surname) researched the tomb and declared it to be in Chiwan near the great Tin Hau Temple Certainly there are folk tales of the Emperor's demise current in the Chiwan area and very large numbers of people claiming Imperial descent in the district. But the claims remain debatable. The tomb was restored in the early 20th century and subsequently fell into disrepair. It was rediscovered by a military cook during the Cultural Revolution but left alone. The Shenzhen City Government further restored it in the 1980s. It is in the form of a normal Chinese upper class tomb and the focus of much popular devotion.edit
Xin'an (Nantou) Ancient City (新安(南头)古城; Xīn'ān (Nántóu) Gǔchéng). This is the original county town for the county which originally encompassed Hong Kong and Shenzhen. There has been a town on this site since the fourth century. Much of the old town has been demolished and replaced by eight storey residential buildings in the "urban village" style, but Xin'an has still maintained the flavour of a Cantonese town throughout the ages with vibrant street life along narrow streets. The Ming Dynasty wall and gate remain magnificently preserved as do the Guan Yu Temple outside the gates, the naval and civil headquarters, a silver shop, an opium den and even a brothel. Visit the eighteenth century "Flower Street" or street of brothels, a narrow alley with an eighteenth century official stele denouncing the evils of prostitution.edit
Dapeng Ancient Fort (大鹏所城; Dàpéng Suǒchéng). Dapeng Fort is yet another amazingly well preserved Ming Dynasty Fort. Founded in 1394, it shared with various other forts the duties of guarding the entrances to the Pearl River and was prominent in the defense of the river during the Opium War. It is extremely well preserved and currently undergoing restoration as a museum. You need to take bus M362, which starts at Futian Bus Interchange (Nearest subway is Zhu Zi Lin - Line 1. As the bus will pass Luohu area, maybe worth asking at the hotel if they know the nearest M362 stop. When on the bus, ask for Dapeng when paying. Should be ¥10. The journey will be to the last stop and will take around 1.5 hours You'll pass by Yantian port and some crappy theme parks. Once at Dapeng Bus Station (its very small), wait for bus 928 which will take you there at 1RMB, but keep an eye open for the stop. Alternatively, you can ask one of the motorcycles with the umbrella to take you there at ¥10. To get back, take bus 928 or B756, back the way you came. Once back at Dapeng Station, take bus E11 and ask for Shenzhen. It will stop at many stations in the city, so you will need to try to guess the best place to stopedit
Crane Lake Fortified Hakka Village and Hakka Culture Museum. Half of Shenzhen City was originally Hakka. This came about after the 17th century Kangxi Emperor depopulated the coastline to a depth of 30km as part of his campaign against Ming loyalists in Taiwan. When the coast was reopopulated, the Hakka, descendants of 13th century immigrants from north China, were quicker. Relations between the Hakka and the Cantonese were often strained. During the 19th century, half a million people lost their lives in civil strife between the Hakka and the Cantonese. Accordingly, most Hakka settlements of any size were heavily fortified. The most common form of fortification in south China is the rectangular "wei" or "wai" and the biggest of them anywhere is the Crane Lake Wei in Longgang. It doubles as a museum of Hakka culture. Take Line 3/ Longgang Line to NanLian. From the metro station take Exit C1 into BiXin Rd. Turn left from the station following BiXin, until you hit LongYuan Rd. Then turn right where the village is 200m along on the right hand side through a small streetedit
Dawanshiju Hakka Fortified Village. Similarly a well preserved and enormous Hakka wei. It is of a similar scale to the Crane Lake wei.edit
Chiwan Left Fort (赤湾左炮台), Chiwan First Rd, Chiwan, Nanshan 南山区赤湾一路. 8am - 5.30pm. Chiwan was one of the prime defensive spots on the Pearl River . The Chiwan Fort was divided into two parts, the Left Fort and the Right Fort. Originally they had twelve gun positions but now only the Left Fort is in any reasonable degree of repair. Perched on Ying Zui Mountain, at over 500 feet above the Pearl River, they commanded a full field of fire. Their failure to make any impression on British ships as they entered the Pearl was one of the first great disasters of the Opium War. There is also a statue of Lin Zexu, the Viceroy of the Two Guangs, whose decision to try to destroy the opium trade was one of the causative factors leading to the Opium Waredit
Shenzhen Library (深圳图书馆), 2016 Fuzhong 1st Road, Futian 福田区福中一路2016号 (either Shi Min Zhong Xin (Civic Centre) or Shao Nian Gong (Children's Palace) Stns on Lines 2 or 4. Bus 25, 228, 65, 111, 71, 64, Shao Nian Gong bus stop), . Shenzhen Library and Concert Hall together make up another of the architectural masterpieces of the city. Architect Arata Isozaki designed the buildings with a back of almost featureless black granite and a front of brilliant folded glass. It is a must see for architecture freaks. The library has four million books.edit
Shenzhen Concert Hall (深圳音乐厅), 2016 Fuzhong 1st Rd, Futian 福田区福中一路2016号 (either Shi Min Zhong Xin (Civic Centre) or Shao Nian Gong (Children's Palace) Stns Lines 2 or 4. Bus 25, 228, 65, 111, 71, 64, Shao Nian Gong bus stop), ☎ Tickets +86 755 8284-1888 (09:00-20:00), . See Shenzhen Library above. The Concert Hall hosts international standard artists in a stunning glass-wrapped setting.edit
Portofino (波托菲诺; Bōtuōfēinuò). Shenzhen housing developments are often built around beautiful tropical gardens with luxurious club house amenities and one of the most famous of these is Portofino. It is built around a surprisingly attractive imitation of an Italian Piazzetta along a lake which has cafes, bars and restaurants without outdoor seating. Shenzhen's best Cantonese restaurant chain, Laurel, justly famed for the quality of its dim sum, has a branch with outdoor seating here. Be sure to be early. Sunday morning dim sum queues are long.edit
IdeaXchange, ☎ 186 7677 3510, . This is a non-profit English speech event similar to TED in Shenzhen which occurs on the last Sunday of every month. If you want more information, you can go to their website, or join their Public WeChat group: ideaxchange.edit
Poly Theatre (保利剧院), Baoli Wenhua Square, Houhaibin Rd, Nanshan District (南山区后海滨路保利文化广场; Nánshānqū Hòuhǎibīn Lù Bǎolì WénhuàGuǎngchǎng) (Bus 70, 80, K113, 204, 217, 226, 230, 245, 369, 39), ☎ +86 755 8637-1698, 8637-1699 (email@example.com, fax: +86 755 8628-7308), . This is a more or less middle brow theatre specialising in musical theatre and often hosting Russian Army theatre troupes. The futuristic silver egg-shaped building alone makes it worth a visit.edit
Shenzhen is a popular place for Hong Kong people to go to get a massage. Prices are low compared with Hong Kong, though generally higher than elsewhere in China. (洗脚 xǐ jiǎo) (which actually often consists of massaging your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and feet!) costs ¥25-50 for 60-80 minutes depending on the location, time of day, and quality of the establishment. A full-body massage (按摩 àn mó or 松骨 sōng gǔ) costs ¥50-150 for 90-120 minutes.
In recent years many large spa and massage complexes have appeared in Shenzhen. For an entrance fee of around ¥100 (waived if you purchase around ¥160 of spa and massage services) you get 24 hours of access to a spa pool, saunas, showers, baths, and other amenities depending on the facility such as a gym or pool. Paid services often include Internet access, billiards, and rentable "multi-purpose rooms" with KTV/karaoke and games. Complimentary items include drinks (sometimes restricted to juice) and fruit; food can be bought for ¥20–50 a plate. For around ¥50 for 45 minutes (not including a ¥10–30 tip and often a 10% service charge) you can have head, foot, leg, shoulder, back, or hand massage while lying in one of the many reclining chair-couches — two types at once if you wish — and watch personal TV, read a book, or relax. For around ¥150 you can have 90 minutes of full-body Chinese, Thai, or Hong Kong-style massage in a private room or with your friends. Chinese Medical Massage and aromatherapy oil massages are usually available at a premium. Masseuses and masseurs hail from various regions around China and are listed with pictures and statistics in catalogues and can be selected by number. Very few of them speak any English.
Spa complexes can be found around the border crossings with Hong Kong, so as to cater to the relatively rich Hong Kong population looking to unwind. In the basement of the Luohu customs and immigration building (not the LCC mall) free shuttles are available to various spas, some of which also have themed waiting areas with price lists and pictures of the facilities. Some spas have representatives standing around to give out discount tickets (often ¥20) as an enticement.
Massages can be rather painful, especially on the feet! If you can endure it, you'll notice the lasting benefits. But if it is too much, you can say "Teng! Teng!" (pronounced like "tongue") to express your pain and make them ease up.
Oriental Palm Spring International Spa Club, . Refurbished with a strong Thai themed interior decor, you almost think you are in a Thailand resort especially on the new first floor. One of the many big spas in the Futian area and well worth a try if you're not into the hanky panky business. OPS is famous for providing excellent service, massages and really good Chinese cuisine. The food is excellent although a little pricey for local standards.edit
SLF International Spa Club, . Branded as Water Cube is brand new, hence in excellent condition, and tastefully designed with an interior resembling a luxury hotel. Although English is barely spoken by anybody, the staff are clearly trained to be first class and they try their best to be helpful — and sell massages, which cost ¥48 for 45 minutes of lounge-chair massage through ¥128–238 for 90 minutes of full-body massage in the usual styles, 10% service charge and tip separate. The spa is visible from the main street outside Lok Ma Chau border crossing and metro stop, and shuttles are available to Luo Wu and Huanggang border crossings. Gym, fruit, full drink menu including iced lemon tea and coffee, gym, and videogames complimentary; internet, karaoke and VIP room rental, billiards, table tennis, and of course food all charged separately.edit
Queen Spa. This spa is showing its age like an old resort hotel in Las Vegas, although it remains a popular tourist destination in part because it has the notable advantage of having English-speaking staff on duty and identified with clearly visible tags year-round. The entry fee of ¥98 is waived after ¥168 of spa services paid, not including the 10% service charge and tips of ¥10-30 per 45 minutes. Foot/head/leg massage is ¥56/45 min and Chinese massage ¥168/90min. Perks include a swimming pool, a gym, videogames, and free ice-cream and juice and fruit. Free WiFi and five-minute Internet terminals are available in the shared area. The spa has a range of VIP services available such as private Royal Club rooms with a semi-private second swimming pool and Rolls Royce transfers from Luohu (¥30) or the airport.edit
Gold Coast Club, Bldg 1-4, Kaili Hotel, 2027 Jiabin Rd E, Luohu, . Beautiful interior, entry fee of ¥138 with 10% service charge. Party room rental for ¥60/hour to ¥120/hour depending on size with karaoke and chess and games included.edit
Sentosa International SPA Club. Shuttle available, offering in March '09 four hours of Chinese massage for ¥108 and ¥88 for any three types of foot/head/leg/etc massage.edit
Zense. Shuttle available. Look for desk at Luo Ho station. Basically same prices as Queen Spa but a little bit neweredit
Shenzhen is one of China's and indeed one of the world's great golfing Meccas. It boasts some of the earliest golf courses in China and, in Mission Hills, the world's largest golf course which is the scene of leading international tournaments.
Mission Hills Golf Course (观欄高尔夫), (Along the intersection of the Meiguan Expressway, the Guanshen Expwy and the Jinhe Expwy), ☎ +86 755 2802-0888, . The world's biggest golf course with 216 holes. Each course is designed by a different world champion golfer. The Golf World Cup has granted a 12-year franchise to Mission Hills.edit
Shenzhen Golf Club (深圳高尔夫俱乐部), Shennan Blvd, Futian District 福田区深南大道, ☎ +86 755 3308-888 (fax: +86 755 3304-992), . This is one of China's two oldest golf courses. When it was established in 1985 it was way out in the country but now it is surrounded by skyscrapers, providing a pleasant oasis in the heart of Futian. This is where the locals prefer to play.edit
Shahe (Sand River) Golf Club (沙河高尔夫会), Shahe E Rd Nanshan (南山区沙河东路) (From the Huanggang Border crossing travel along Binhe/Binhai freeways to Shahe E Rd), . Another favorite with the locals. It has 27 holes plus a nine hole night course under lights. Gary Player designed the course.edit
Xili Golf Club, Tanglang Village Xili, Nanshan (南山区西丽针塘郎村), ☎ +86 755 2655-2888 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 755 2655-9793), . This is a private club owned and managed by the Kuok family of Shangri-La fame. You will need an invitation to play here. It is worth getting it.edit
Longgang Public Golf Course (龙岗高尔夫), Next to the International Velodrome, He Keng, Henggang Town, Longgang District, ☎ +86 755 2893-7188, . This course was the brainchild of a former official of the Shenzhen Government who wanted to bring golf to the masses. It is as an 18-hole 72 par course, situated on rolling hills in the Longgang District. The founders of the course wanted to keep green fees at 20-30% of commercial golf courses.edit
OCT East Golf Club (东部华乔城高尔夫), OCT East, Dameisha (盐田区大梅沙东部华乔城) (Bus 53, 239, 103, 360, 364). Shenzhen's newest and poshest golf course. It has two 18-hole courses, each with its own luxury clubhouse. Set in spectacular mountains overlooking Dameisha and Mirs Bay.edit
Century Seaview Golf Club (世纪海景高尔夫求会), Yangchou Bay, Nan' ao Town, Longgang (龙岗区南澳洋畴湾), ☎ +86 755 8440-0888, . An 18-hole PGA golf course set in beautiful mountain and sea surroundings near Nan'ao Town, Dapeng Peninsula.edit
Shenzhen has some of China's best beaches, many of them untouched stretches of National Park. In 2006, China-edition National Geographic Magazine named the Dapeng Peninsula, where most of Shenzhen's beaches are situated, as one of China's top ten most scenic coastlines.
Jin Sha Wan Beach (金沙湾). From Shenzhen take one of several buses (e.g. 364, E11, or H92) to Dapeng Stn (大鵬站) in Wangmu (王母虛) Village in Dapeng. Then you can take a quick shuttle bus south to JinSha Beach. Entry is ¥10. On weekends and holidays the beach can be quite crowded. The sand is rather coarse and not particularly clean, but it can be fun to go here and people watch. Also it is interesting that you can look out and see East Ping Chau (東平洲) island just two miles off the coast, which is part of Hong Kong's New Territories.edit
Xichong Beach (西冲海滩). Beautiful Xichong beach is located 30 minutes from the downtown core, just past Dameisha. Less developed, this beach is much more peaceful and clean than other beaches in Shenzhen. Visit Sun Sailing for watersports or local fine dining.edit
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Major credit cards i.e. Visa, Masters, HSBC are accepted throughout Shenzhen. But note that in many establishments only local Chinese and not International Visa etc cards are recognised. Ask first if they accept international cards. JCB and American Express have limited coverage. Cirrus, Plus & Maestro facilities allow owners to withdraw money from banks (but not all bank ATMs. Bank of China ATMs at all Metro stations accept foreign cards). Remember to activate your card for the pin usage. MixC has ATMs for some of the international credit cards, where cash can be withdrawn in those ATMs against your credit limit.
Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, and many but not all Chinese banks accept foreign cards. You may check with your bank to see if they have a local branch here. Most ATMs are open for 24 hours. Some are only opened if you swipe the card at the security doors.
At places in Luo Hu, cash is highly recommended. Some places charge an extra 10% for credit card purchases. The shop assistants will bring you to shops that have credit card processing machines. At shopping centers, remember to check with the cashiers to see if they accept credit cards before making purchases. There are few shopping centers that accept credit card with passport verification, though you may lose your discount on the purchase.
Be careful when getting change from large notes as people may try to give you Hong Kong dollars instead of yuan. The Hong Kong dollar is worth less than yuan. Counterfeiting of the 100-yuan note is also a big problem, so familiarize yourself with the security features of Chinese currency. Also expect that most stores will check your notes carefully for counterfeiting, and if you are in a big hurry, have a lot of smaller notes.
Luohu (Cantonese Lo Wu) Commercial City, (Just across from the Hong Kong border; Luohu Metro Stn, exit A). Offers a very different experience to shopping in Hong Kong and is therefore worth a visit if only spending a short time in China. Spread over several levels are many small stores, each selling similar products: watches, jewellery, handbags, clothes and DVDs. These products are rarely authentic but they are often very well made and detailed fakes. There are many stallholders pressuring shoppers to part with their money but the atmosphere is one of enjoyable bartering. This is the place to go for Western sizes in clothing and shoes. This is also the place to go to have massages and nails done dirt cheap as well. But remember, this is not really Shenzhen. It is rough, dirty and infested with touts. Take the plunge and go another hundred yards into the city and you will find that your Luohu experience is not representative of the rest of the city.edit
Dong Men Pedestrian Street (东门步行街; Dōngmén Bùxíng Jiē), (Lao Jie Stn, exit A). The place to go for clothes and small-ticket items. This place is better than Luohu Commercial City in terms of price and range of items. Other than several department stores, most are smaller stalls. The price is cheap, even at local standards. You can easily spend a day there.edit
Carrefour 家乐福, . You will find food, wine, appliances, clothe, etc...There are 8 stores in Shenzhen and you just need to say "Jia le fu" to a taxi driver to take you there.edit
Walmart. Currently there are 8 stores but more are being built all the time. Also check out Sam's Club (山母会员店). Sam's is a favorite shopping choice for Shenzhen's enormous and ever growing bourgeoisie and it's fun watching them. Be warned. They can be scary on a busy Sunday evening. Sam's membership is ¥150. Walmart's China HQ is in Xiangmi Hu (香密湖), above an enormous mall/cinema complex which includes a Sam's Club. Make sure you check out the crocodile of which there is always one at the fish counter.edit
B&Q 百安居. This English chain offers DIY supplies and goods for the home and garden. B&Q in Chineseedit
Decathlon 迪卡侬. The French sports supplies retailer Decathlon has got more than 30 stores in the country in all major cities. You will find 2 stores in Shenzhen. Find Decathlonedit
MixC Shopping Mall, (Da Ju Yuan Stn, exit C-3). The largest (and easily the most expensive) shopping mall in Shenzhen. Highlights include the following: Olympic size indoor Ice Skating Rink, Golden Harvest Cinema movie theater, Ole (high end supermarket with many imported items), Spaghetti House and Starbucks. Good optionedit
Hua Qiang Bei, (cnr of Huaqiang Bei and Shennan; Hua Qiang Lu Stn, exit A). Much like Dong Men, this is the place for anything electronic. This is the absolute epicentre of the world's electronics industry and you can buy anything electronic here. There are dozens buildings each with many floors of small stalls selling electronics items. Most of the buildings are set up so that there are two floors with wholesale components and the rest is dedicated to consumer goods. Accessories like keyboards are mice usually on the top floors, and there a many recycling, cell phone, and electronics repair centers. This area is especially interesting if you are a geek since its is also a manufacturing center, wholesale distribution area, and recycling center so you can see cell phones get made from parts. Some of the buildings have a particular type of item. One famously devotes itself to stealth and security. Local smart phones, Android tablets, LED's, and cables each have an entire building devoted entirely to them. If haggling isn't your thing, you can also get good prices on consumer electronics at Suning. Gome, Sundan and branded cell phone stores at the northern end of the street. There are good small restaurants in the streets crossing Huaqiang Bei. Starbucks, KFC, McDonalds and local knockoffs are all here too. Most of the smaller stores will close at around 5 or 6 p.m, but the name brand shops will be open until 9 p.m. Generally speaking the price for global brands are the same as in other places. There are deals to be found in local non-branded smart phones and tablets which are often 50% the price of global brands. Accessories are extremely cheap, and you can buy thinks like cables, LED's, and flash cards in bulk. The chain stores will offer upfront/no-haggle prices and international warranties. The small stalls do not list prices so you should use the web to look up prices for goods before you buy. In addition, most of the merchants are in the wholesale business, and would be delighted if you buy in bulk for resale back home. Also, there are products here that you can't find anywhere else (like a computer keyboard made of bamboo or a cell phone shaped like a racing car). edit
SEG Electronics Market, (At the corner of Huaqiang Rd and Shennan Blvd, Huaqianglu Stn). A huge market for all things electronic. The first two floors are components (ICs, wires, switches, etc.) and the other 4 floors will supply you with any electronic device your heart desires.//edit
Mingtong Electronics Market, (Few minutes from the SEG market). Houses watch parts, electronic toys, and mobile phone parts.edit
ÆON (永世). The Japanese supercenter and supermarkets. It has several locations in Shenzhen, next door to the CITIC Mall (中信广场), Metro: Ke Xue Guan, exit D, at Coco Park (Metro Gou Wu Gong Yuan) and in Coastal City (海岸城) Nanshan.edit
KingGlory Plaza, (Guo Mao Stn, exit A). A mall, along the lines of MixC. It is fairly high priced. It includes a movie theater as well as the "IN" bar/nightclub (that's the name of it) and "Yellow" bar. Eight floors connected by criss-crossed escalators give you enough stores to stay occupied for a few hours. Lots of restaurants in the sub-ground levels. Connected by a walkway to Rainbow Mall. There's a Pacific Coffee on the ground floor.edit
Shekou, (Buses 113, K113, 204, K204 and 328 to the end of the line (to the west)). The expat hangout with everything Western that you might be accustomed too.edit
Shenzhen Book City, Fu Zhong Rd 1, Futian District (Shao Nian Gong Stn (少年宫站), a.k.a. Children's Palace, exit C or D). This is a huge bookstore with a great selection of books, music, movies, and multimedia products. It bills itself as the biggest bookshop in the world. There is a small shop which specialises in English books, Eon Books. The DVD and CD section sells more or less legal versions of excellent movies at prices slightly higher than you will pay to street vendors. This often reflects better quality (but not always). Make sure you go on Sunday mornings when story telling competitions are held for children between the ages of 4 and 8. You may not be able to understand a word but they are cute.edit
Coco Park, (near Gou Wu Gong Yuan Stn (购物公园)). New shopping mega complex. Sports, clothing, fashion, coffee, some restaurants, including "Norway.Oslo" which has some outdoor seating. When you get bored you can go outside and hit up McCawley's or the Mexican restaurant for dinner, then visit any of a number of bars just across the street from the mall. Coco Park is close to the Shenzhen Convention Exhibition Center.edit
Central Walk, (1 block away from the exhibition centre on Fuhua Rd. Take Metro to Exhibition Centre stop and Central Walk is located at exit B. 5-min walk from Coco Park). Another Shopping complex in Shenzhen. Base tenant is Carrefour, but also has usual shops, restaurants and a cinema. Three floors of shops arranged in a circle. Mostly women's clothes. Starbucks and Italian Best Coffee (Illy Coffee) are located here. Subway (Sandwiches) also has opened here.edit
Tea World Terminal Market, (Close to Lo Wu/Luohu Stn, from Shenzhen railway station, walk up Jian She Rd, and it will be on your right side, outside stairs leading up to 1F). A whole warehouse with many stores selling all things related to tea. Wonderful selection of everything from Pu'er-teas to tea-ware. They seem not to be focused on selling to tourists, which is very nice, but they still take time with you if you want to go through the tea ceremonies. A slightly smaller warehouse, still with at least 50 shops over two floors, is at the other end of town, near Houhai metro station - just walk from Houhai metro station to the pedestrian zone stretching east about 1 km until you reach MOI department store / Shenzhen Book City book store (on Haide 2nd Rd, between Nanhai Ave and Wenxin 2nd Rd), then walk into in the small street (Wenxin 1st Road Pedestrian St) opposite Shenzhen Book City, after about 200 on the left, you'll find the tea warehouse.edit
Jiahua Foreign Trade Clothing Market, 广东省深圳市福田区华强北路2007号 No.2007, Huaqiang N Rd, Futian District (How to get there: take the subway to Huagiang Lu, and take exit a. Walk north along Huaqiang Lu and once you cross Zhenhua Road go past NICO Womens World and in between NICO/KFC and MOI/Starbucks you’ll see a wide lane way that leads to the market. (from shenzhenshopper.com)). Series of stalls selling lots of cheap clothing. It's not quite as huge as Luohu Commercial City, but it's worth a look. low. edit
Shun Hing Square ((Diwang Building)). On Shennan Road, across from the MixC. Go to the Da Juyuan (大剧院) metro station. You won't miss it, because Diwang Dasha is the second-biggest building in Shenzhen after the Kingkey building. The shopping center is actually very small, with just a few stores on three small levels, but it's in a nice area of town with lots of other attractions, so you might dart in to see what's to be found. Starbucks on the ground floor, McDonald's in the basement level. edit
OCT Loft Market, OCT Loft (Get off at Qiaocheng East Station 侨城东站. Go out exit A. Turn right and walk till you reach a gas station. Turn right again and keep going straight for about 3 blocks.). Morning to Early Afternoon. The first Sunday of every month, OCT Loft holds an open air market for local artists. There are some regulars, but stalls change every month. People sell hand made jewelry, clothes, photographs, prints, post cards, and other crafts. Not the cheapest place to shop, but you can get a set of hand drawn post cards for about 20 RMB which make great souvenirs. Some artists will let you bargain.edit
Because Shenzhen is a migrant city, all of China's regional cuisines are represented here. Restaurants range from hole-in-the-wall establishments for homesick working class arrivals to opulent food palaces for businessmen and politicians entertaining clients. If you are a foreigner, spending ¥100 on a fantastic meal is no problem (though, you can spend ¥35 or less on a fantastic meal in Shenzhen). Treat yourself, and enjoy the wonderful food and variety of Shenzhen! In the early morning, vendors sell egg cheung fun for as little as ¥2.5 per order having two vegetables and 2 egg cheung fun noodles - enough to fill you up. There are a lot of bars and restaurants in Shekou which is the main residential zone for Shenzhen's sizable Western expatriate community. There are plenty of international chain eateries in the Hua Qiang Bei area.
Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) is famous for its numerous dining options, including some of the best Korean restaurants in Shenzhen. All are within easy walking distance from Hua Qiao Cheng (OCT) Metro Station, behind the recently opened InterContinental Shenzhen Hotel.
Just north of the Shenzhen Sports Center next to Blue Bird cafe at Shahe W Rd and Gaoxin South 11th Rd in front of the market in the early morning are steamed dim sum like dishes such as steamed buns and egg cheung fun. You must order in Mandarin, as they don't speak English or even Cantonese.
As well as casual restaurants and fine dining, Shenzhen is famous for its "Eat Streets". These are agglomerations of cheap and cheerful restaurants serving food from all over China. They are not elaborate but they are friendly and fun and some of the food is to die for. Different Eat Streets often specialise in food from different parts of China. Some of the best known are set out below:
Bagua First Road Eat Street (八卦一路食街), Bagua First Rd, Futian 福田区八卦一路 (Bus 7, 13, 24, 105 Ba Gua Er Lu 八卦二路or Kang Tai Wu Le Cheng 康泰吴乐城bus stops). This was Shenzhen's first Eat Street. Food was originally Cantonese brought by homesick Hong Kong factory owners. Cantonese food is still good here but you can get food from all over China. Snake is excellent in season (October to January) here.edit
Che Gong Miao Eat Street (车公庙食街), Terra Industrial Zone, Futian District 福田区泰然工业区 (车公庙地铁站 Che Gong Miao Stn). Good Szechuan, Hunan and Taiwanese food here. There is also a good if unauthentic Macau style restaurantedit
Huaqiang Bei Eat Street (华强北食街), Huaqiang N Rd Futian 福田区华强北路. The food's in the streets and alleys parallel to Huaqiang Bei. Hunan and Chaozhou are specialities. There are several shops specialising in Uighur "nan" bread. An alley behind the main street specialises in Moslem foodedit
Xinwen Rd Eat Street (新闻街食街), Xinwen St Xiangmihu, just behind the Special Zone Press Tower 福田区香蜜湖新闻街 (Xiang Mi Hu Stn). This is where the journalists eat and just being there is fun. Good Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Northern and Hunan foodedit
Nanyuan Rd Eat Street (南园食街), Nan Yuan Rd, Nan Yuan Village Futian behind CITIC Plaza,福田区南园路南园村 (Ke Xue Guan Stn (Line 1)). Uighur food is very good here. This means lots of lamb and kebabsedit
Gangxia Village Eat Street (岗下村食街), Gangxia Village Futian 福田区岗下村 (Gang Xia Stn). One of the earliest and most diverse Eat Streets. It specialises in "northern" food, Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan (OK we know it's southern but.....) and Ningxia/Gansu Muslim minority foodedit
Shuiwei Village and Huanggang Village Eat Streets (水匡村, 皇岗村食街). We put them together because it's hard to know where one stops and the other starts. Cantonese is good hereedit
Hubei Village Eat Street (湖贝村食街), Hubei Village Luohu District 罗湖区湖贝村 (Bus 2, 10, 29, 104, 205, 220, 223, 311, 312). Hong Kong style seafood restaurants are the mainstay of this Eat Street set in the heart of an old Cantonese village in the heart of Luohu. But we also like the north-west China Moslem food of which there is plentyedit
Dongmen Food Street (东门食街), 2001 Jiefang Rd Luohu 罗湖区动门老街解放路标2001号 (Bus 102, 103, 113, 203. (Buses stop in Dong Men Zhong Lu. Walk along one of the pedestrian streets near the Dong Men footbridge to get to the shopping area.) Metro:Lao Jie lines 1 and 3). Shenzhen's favorite comfort shopping street also has lots of cheap and cheerful food. There's the usual Cantonese, Sichuan and Hunanese but there's also Thai, South=east Asian and even German. All the chains are represented.edit
Donghai Koreatown Eat Street (东海韩国城食街), East Pacific Gardens Blvd, Xiangmi Hu 福田区香蜜湖东海花园东海坊 (Che Gong Miao Stn). Shenzhen's leading Koreatown. Lots of kimchi, bulgogi and the rest.edit
Yantian Eat Street (盐田食街), Yantian Seafood St, Yantian 盐田区盐田海鲜食街. Dine amongst the container cranes. The theme is Hong Kong style seafood, allegedly fresh from the markets next door. You choose the fish from the tanks, they cook it how you like itedit
Warehouse, COCOpark atrium, L1-B2, 268 Fuhua 3rd road, ☎ +86 400-833-1128, . Shenzhen's largest, 24 inch pizzas, amazing New York style pizzas, fresh pasta, affordable beer, state of the art location. Enough said.¥40-300 for a pizza, and ¥40-60 for a fresh pasta. edit
The Kitchen Futian, Shopping Park Shop 144, Shopping Park Stn Exit B, Min Tian Rd, Futian 深圳市福田区民田路购物公园北园公交车接驳站路边站台 (Exit B of Shopping Park Metro Station, turn left when exited through B, then up 2 sets of escalators, then right, then straight down the narrow corridor, and then left when you reach the end of the corridor and it should be one of the places on your left. If you have got to the main road, you have gone too far. It is just next to Club Viva), ☎ +86 755 2531-3860, . Open for lunch and closes at 23:30 weekdays and 01:30 weekends. Really really good western food at a price that isn't too much. The "super burger" is ace and the steaks are great. The owner is really nice and friendly and it has certainly rubbed off on his staff. Also very good wine list for the size of the place and good coffee too.¥50-8 for a starter, and ¥70-220 for a main. edit
Milano Italian Restaurant, Anhui Building, Shennan Ave, Xiangmihu 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, . Good? Brilliant! Giulio's food is as authentic as any in Milan. And because he pays personal attention to it, the service is faultless. Great wine list. Recommendations include prosciutto con gorgonzola followed by the best saltimbocca that you'll get outside Rome.edit
10 Gong Guan (10号公馆), 10 Qiaochen W Rd, Nanshan District (侨城西路10号鸿波酒店). 07:30-23:30. Dim sum restaurant.edit
Laurel Restaurant (丹桂轩), 1/F, Portofino Club House,OCT Xiang Shan St, Nanshan District (南山香山街波托菲诺会所), ☎ +86 755 2600-3218. 08:00-23:00. edit
Xiao Fei Yang (lit. Little Plump Lamb). Lamb meat imported from Mongolia. It is a hot pot based on Mongol cuisine. There are other meats and vegetable ingredients for the hot pot on the menu as well. One type of hot pot is called Yuan Yang. The hot pot is separated into two halves, one half contains normal non-spicy soup stock and the other half contains Ma la (literal translation "numbing spicy") soup stock. There are several locations around Shenzhen, which appear to have varying levels of quality, service and English speaking waiters, albeit at the same price. Recommended restaurant (with English menus) would be 3 mins walk north of Guomao station, at the intersection of Shennan East Road and Renmin South Road. Be prepared to queue at peak hoursedit
Modern Toilet Restaurant, 2F Jiefang Lu 1004 Dongmen Buxing (Laojie Stn). Taiwanese chain's first branch on the mainland. Toilet themed restaurant, featuring toilets as seats and squatter toilet plates. Food is nothing special and costs about ¥25-35/dish, but come after dinner with a friend and bring the camera for the ¥10 chocolate ice cream. The surrounding Laojie commercial district goes from cosmopolitan to near-dystopian in the course of about two hours every evening.edit
Jordans Bar & Restaurant, Shop 55 Rose Garden II, Shekou | 深圳市南山蛇口南海玫瑰花园2门口55号, ☎ +86 755 2668-6040. Jordans Bar in Shekou has probably the best Shisha in Shenzhen and delicious assortment of food from all over the world. Specialties include Middle Eastern cuisine, excellent thin-crust pizza and delicious salads.edit
Celebrity Club (名人俱乐部; Míngrén Jùlèbù), 28 Nongyuan Rd, Futian District (福田区农园路28号; Fútián Qqū Nóngyuán Lù), ☎ +86 755 8370-1003, . Specializing in Cantonese food, and famous for dim sum.edit
Prince Kitchen, 5-6/F, CITIC Plaza, 1093 Shennan Zhong Rd. Serves fantastic mix of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Steaks. Even whilst being quite dark inside, you can still see it is very stylish.edit
Tap Water is safe to drink in the Meilin district and several nearby districts, but probably not in the area where you are staying. Use the free bottled water or distilled water provided by your hotel or buy some. It's easily available in all convenience stores. However, if you are buying water for 5 RMB a bottle, you are getting majorly ripped off.
If you want to drink beer, Tsing Tao is a popular Chinese beer, or try Shenzhen's own Kingway Beer (金威啤酒), brewed in two locations in Shenzhen and available in any convenience store, bar, or restaurant. In stores such as a.best, Carrefour or Walmart it will cost ¥3.50 per can, or ¥3.80 for a large bottle (you will need a bottle opener). 7-eleven sells Kingway for ¥9, and local restaurants about ¥12-35. Bars typically charge slightly more that restaurants, it will cost you somewhere in the ¥55-80 range, though many have specials such as 2-for-1.
XPats Bar, FL1016 St Lvl Eastern Sidewalk Central Walk Mall 福田取中心城大中华大厦对面 (Exit B Hui Zhan Zhong Xin Stn). This is where we go when we want a drink. It's in Central Walk, top floor on the right hand walkway (outside the building) directly opposite the Great China Building. Good beer and wine and food from the NYPD Pizza next door. Big screen sporting coverage.edit
Base Bar, 1019 Shangbu S Rd, Futian District (福田区上步南路1019号; Fútián Qū Shàngbù Nán Lù) (Accessible from Ke Xue Guan Stn, not far from Party City), . A live rock music venue. Great vibe and great interior deco. There are nice three-sided booths along the walls for larger groups. A variety of acts play into the early morning. Friendly waitstaff with Communist Star armbands.Door cover can sometimes run up to ¥100, cocktails from ¥30 (the Gin-Tonic is a must), bottles of Jim Bean ¥380. edit
Suzy's Lounge Bar, 120 Coastal City East Block, Wexin 6th Rd, Nanshan District (near the Kempinski Hotel), ☎ +86 755 8629-0169, . 17:00-03:00. A late night lounge bar serving local and imported drinks, light snacks, and also offers customers a pool table and plenty of TV sets to watch from. The female staff are very friendly and all speak English.edit
Ren Jian Du Hui In Club (人间都汇国际俱乐部), 深圳市春风路桂都大夏2F-5F (Upstairs CASH club), ☎ +86 755 8239-1111, . This is a KTV that has a lounge with performances on the 2nd floor, and private rooms on the rest of the floors. You can pay to have male or female hosts sit with you - for a tip. ¥200+ for the girls and ¥500+ for the gigilos. You can have them line up for you and you can pick the one you like.¥900+ small room. edit
3D Bar, Block B, Bar Street, Citic Plaza, 1093 Shennan Road (Futian). Guinness is available on tap. There are also many other international beers available (bottled mainly). The outside tables along the walkway are good for a relaxing pint, the inside tables and the outside tables closest to the front door are, if you're looking for a livelier atmosphere, betteredit
OCT LOFT - Redeveloped Arts Area by Qiaocheng Dong Metro Station.
C:UNION, (Metro to Qiao Cheng Dong, exit A, walk right and then take a right at Enping St, btwn Sinopec and the Konka building. Continue straight ahead and you will arrive at a courtyard). A great place to discover Shenzhen's surprisingly vibrant alternative community. A variety of live bands from around China and sometimes abroad perform here every Saturday night, followed by a dj playing electronic music. Shows start around 8PM. You can also check out the surrounding neighborhood whose restaurants and small art outlets create a hip vibe along the brick pedestrian roads.Drinks from ¥30. edit
Coco Park - the bar street of Futian, with all kinds of bars packed into the middle of the block.
Le Nest, 深圳市福田区民田路购物公园北园C区144号, ☎ +86 755 8338-8909, . Biggest club in shenzhenedit
McCawley's Irish Bar & Restaurant, (Shekou, Futian). Good Irish bar, with nice bar menuedit
Viva, (Coco Park). Just north of Coco Park shopping mall. It's in the middle of the block, though, so you might need to cut through the bus station or ask someone standing around where it is. It's usually packed. Lots of foreigners.edit
Plush ((Bling Bling)). Smaller bar on the bar street just north of Coco Park shopping mall. Sometimes quiet, sometimes has a nice mix of Chinese and foreigners. One thing that's nice about plush is that it's nice without being over the top, and you can always find a seat.edit
Shekou - The Peninsula that sticks out in the South Western region of the city.
The Terrace, Seaworld Square, Shekou, ☎ +86 755 2682-9105 (fax: +86 755 26828157), . Live music and Authentic Thai food - prepared by Thai chefs. Considered on of the best live-music bars in Asia. Indoor and outdoor seating. edit
The Beatles, (SeaWorld, Shekou). Pool table, DJ & Live band everynight & KTV Room.edit
X-Ta-Sea Sports Bar & Restaurant, Shekou, Sea World (Inside the Minghua ship at Sea World in Shekou, next to the Cruise Inn Hotel lobby), ☎ +86 755 2686-7649, . Features live rock music Tuesday through Saturdays by house band Kaktooz. Amenities include multiple TV screens, Foosball, darts, pool tables a full restaurant menu of mostly Western-style food, and free Wi-Fi.edit
Beer Paradise, (Shekou). Serves lots and lots and lots of beer.edit
Vrumm (威隆), Houhai metro station, exit E (facing Poly Theatre). Attractive new bar in Nanshan CBD.edit
Shekou Sports and Social Club (The Snake Pit), G16, Taizi Square, Shekou (Sea World Stn, Exit D), . The Snake Pit is the longest established expatriate bar in China founded in Shekou, over 20 years ago, when it was just a small fishing village. The birth of the Snake Pit was due to China's first Joint Venture with multi-national oil drilling and rig service companies, which came from as far away as Texas, Scotland and Scandinavia. The most hardened, tough, weather-beaten engineers were sent over to start drilling in the South China Sea in the mid 80s. The Pit is known as The Shekou Sports and Social Club which is now more family orientated and is the home to many clubs and organizations such as The Shekou Hash House Harriers, Snake Pit Sitting Hash, Shekou Rugby Club, and The Chubby Riders, just to name a few. The Club also raises donations by holding charity events to help local orphanages, schools and hospitals. It is from the wild beginnings of those most hardened, tough, weather-beaten engineers and their wild ways 25 years ago to what it is today – a pillar of the local community, having a membership of over 5,000 from 52 different countries. So come check out where it all began, Welcome!(22°29' 15 N,113° 54' 34 E)edit
Note: At Spring Festival (late-Jan to Feb), prices usually double or substantially increase. Unlike other cities, however, the explosive development of hotels in Shenzhen means rooms, while more expensive, will generally still be available even at the busiest times, and hotels are much, much cheaper than HK or Macau.
Unlike other places, the rates offered by the online websites are usually higher (and in some cases much higher) than the rates you can get if you directly show up at the counter, but you should balance that with the convenience of having a booked room when you arrive. There is heavy competition between hotels and you will see hotels next to each other advertise specials.
Chicago Suites International (深圳芝加哥国际公寓), 9 Yannan Rd (Yannan Lu) Futian shenzhen, . The Chicago Suites International is conveniently located in the heart of Futian District, near the Metro and Airport Bus, and only a 15-minute drive from the Luohu commercial area and Huanggang Port. edit
Pattaya Hotel (深圳大梅沙芭堤雅酒店), Inner Ring Rd (Neihuan Lu) Dameisha, Yantian District, . Located by Golden Dameisha Beach, and surrounded by the Wutong Mountains, facing boundless seas and set in the Dameisha Inner Circle, this hotel stands on some of Shenzhen's most prized real estate.This Shenzhen hotel has 288 rooms and suites ranging from presidential suites to sea-view rooms designed in a Thai style. Dining options include Thai and Western foods as well as Chinese cuisine. edit
Golden Central Hotel (深圳金中环酒店公寓), Golden Central Tower, 3037 Jintian Rd, Futian District, . Golden Central Hotel is ideally located in the Futian district, the core zone of Shenzhen Central Business District area. Its premier location is adjacent to the city's most prestigious shopping,entertainment, and convention centres. edit
Vienna Airport Hotel (维也纳酒店（深圳机场店）), 3, Alley 11, Xiasha Fuwei Community, Fuyong Town Bao'an, . The Vienna Airport Hotel (Weiyena Jiudian Shenzhen Jichangdian) is located on Bao’an Avenue across from the international departure terminal at Bao’an International Airport in Shenzhen, Nearby points of interest include Wanfu Square, Teigang Reservoir, the G-4 Jingang’ao expressway and G-15 Shenhai expressway. edit
* Railway Station (如家快捷酒店 (深圳火车站店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Huǒchēzhàn Diàn)), 罗湖区滨河大道交和平路渔民村小区内. edit
LOFT International Youth Hostel. Modern place in the YHA China franchise, with keycards, free wi-fi, and a nearby supermarket. The hostel can be a bit difficult to find as from the metro station it's on the far side of a redeveloped commercial estate.Dorm beds ¥50-60, Doubles ¥178, bigger suites under ¥400. edit
Guest House (深圳迎宾馆; Yíng Bīnguǎn), (At the center of the busy Dongmen Commercial Area). 3-star hotel with 584 well-kept guestrooms. Business and leisure facilities are also available.Listed rates for doubles from ¥260, discounted from ¥190. edit
Somerset Garden City (深圳盛捷花园城服务公寓), 1068, Nanhai Ave, Nanshan District, ☎ +86 755 2602-9988 (email@example.com, fax: +86 755 2602-9966), . . 147 residences from a large studio to three-bedroom residences. Each features modern fittings, a fully-equipped kitchen, an ensuite bathroom, home entertainment system and high speed wireless internet (WiFi) and broadband internet access.From ¥550. edit
Crowne Plaza Hotel, (near Window of the World Train station). A five star hotel with nice facilities, seasoned staff and excellent service.edit
Empire Hotel (深圳新王朝酒店; Shēnzhèn Xīn Wángcháo Jiǔdiàn), 1052 Aiguo Rd, Luohu District (罗湖区爱国路1052号; Luóhú Qū àiguó Lù), ☎ +86 21 6122-6688, ext. 7800 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A 4-star hotel featuring cozy, fully furnished guest rooms, multifunction conference room, business center, health club, and restaurant.Listed rates for doubles from ¥880, discounted from ¥248. edit
Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza (深圳东方银座美爵酒店), (In the Futian business district, next to Zhuzlin metro station and 20 minutes from the airport). edit
Holiday Inn. Very new and clean hotel, excellent services. Also includes free WiFi internet access. The staff speak English reasonably well.edit
InterContinental (深圳华侨城洲际大酒店), 9009 Shennan Ave (Shennan Dadao), Overseas Chinese Town Nanshan. A five star hotel with a fine selection of foods including Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian and Seafood.Basic ¥1,498-1,678, deluxe ¥1,648-5,678. edit
Jin Jiang Shenzhen Airlines Hotel, . A five-star hotel with elegant rooms with city views, banquet hall, conference rooms, health club with indoor pool, and room service.edit
Lee Garden Inn (深圳丽苑酒店; Shēnzhèn Líyuàn Jiǔdiàn), 2048 Dongmen Zhong Rd, Luohu District (罗湖区东门中路2048号; Luóhú Qū Dōngmén Zhōng Lù), . 3-star hotel with 100 guest rooms for business travelers. Conference facilities and broadband internet are available.edit
Master Hotel. A four-star hotel offering 130 guest rooms. Each room is fitted with a living room and kitchen, and boasts broadband internet connectivity and other upscale amenities. Facilities include a business center, restaurant, shopping arcade, and fitness center.edit
Novotel Westgate (深圳万德诺富特酒店), 1019 Middle Shennan Rd (Shennan Zhong Lu), ☎ +86 757 8828-6768, . Located in the heart of Shenzhen's well-known financial district and on the popular Shennan Zhong Road, the Novotel Watergate Shenzhen (Shenzhen Wande Nuofute Jiudian) is well positioned as an international business hotel.edit
Orient Fashion Hotel, Huafa Bldg, Zhenxin Rd, Futian District, . A 4-star business hotel with 140 guest rooms furnished with the essential amenities the traveling executive needs. The hotel also houses a multi-purpose conference room, that can accommodate up to 150 guests, and bar and restaurant.edit
Orient Sunseed Hotel (深圳东方山水酒店; Shēnzhèn Dōngfāng Shānshuǐ Jiǔdiàn), 88 Qianhai S Rd, Nanshan District (南山区前海南路88号; Nánshān Qū Qiánhǎi Nán Lù) (At the conjunction of Fuyong and Haoye Rds, Qiaotou Tongfuyu Industrial Area, Fuyong Town), ☎ +86 755 2991-2222 (email@example.com), . Air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, wet bar, hair dryer, electric kettle, telephone, private toilet and bath, shower, bathrobe, and complete bathroom amenities.Rates start at ¥311. edit
Oriental Ginza, Futian District. Four star hotel with excellent service, English speaking staff, and services for both business and leisure travelers. Also includes free internet access.You can get a huge room for less than US$60/night. edit
Windsor Hotel (温莎酒店), 2062 Nanxin Rd, Nanshan District. While a little far out of the way the staff is friendly (although English is limited) and the hotel is quiet and clean. It offers sizable doubles with air conditioning, private bathrooms and free internet (they provide the cable).From ¥168. edit
Golden Lustre Hotel (金碧酒店), 春风路3002号, ☎ +86 755 8225-2888, . checkout: 14:00. 4 star hotel, their cheapest rooms start at ¥300, they also have a pool.¥300. edit
Ascott Maillen (深圳雅诗阁美伦服务公寓), No 3 Yanshan Rd, Nanshan District, ☎ +86 755 2160-0188 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 755 2160-0199). The residence offers 199 apartments ranging from designer studios to luxury penthouses. Every apartment has private balconies, a kitchen, LCD television and an integrated home entertainment system. Work from home with high-speed broadband internet access and business support services. From ¥1,500. edit
Ritz-Carlton (深圳星河丽思卡尔顿酒店; Shēnzhèn Xīnghélìsīkǎ'ěrdùn Jiǔdiàn), 116 Fuhuasan Rd, Futian District (福田区福华三路116号; Fútiánqū Fúhuásānlù), ☎ +86 755 2222-2222 (fax: +86 755 2222-0088), . Rooms with mini-bar, ipod docking station, internet, television in bathroom, flat-screen television, cd/dvd players and safe. Business center, currency exchange, flower shop and beauty salon available. Chinese and Western restaurants as well as café and bar.Listed rates for doubles ¥4,600-5,750, disounted ¥1,288-1,638, breakfast ¥173 (included for more expensive rooms). edit
Futian Shangri-La (深圳福田香格里拉大酒店; Shēnzhèn Fútián Xiānggélǐlā Dàjiǔdiàn), 4088 Yitian Rd, Futian District (福田区益田路4088号; Fútiánqū Yìtiánlù), ☎ +86 755 8828-4088 (email@example.com, fax: +86 755 8828-4388), . Rooms with TV in bathroom, internet access, iPod connector, coffee-making facilities, mini-bar and safe. Business center, currency exchange, gift shop, ticket office, table tennis, fitness, massage and outdoor swimming pool available. Chinese and Western restaurants as well as cafë and bar.Listed rates for doubles ¥2,967-3,163, discounted from ¥1,581. edit
Grand Hyatt, 1881 Baoan Nan Rd, Luohu District,, ☎ +86 755 8266-1234 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The hotel has 491 rooms and suites and is part of a mixed-use commercial development. Facilities include: 5 restaurants, 2 lounges, pastry shop, a spa with 13 treatment rooms, fitness centre, swimming pool, business centre and extensive event space. edit
Shenzhen University(深圳大学),is situated on the coastline of Shenzhen Bay in South China. The total area of the campus is 1.44 square kilometers. It has its own lake which is named Wenshan Lake (文山湖), spreads across rolling hills covered with trees, an abundance of green space and sculptures.
Shenzhen Polytechnic(深圳职业技术学院 Shēn-zhèn-Zhí-yè-Jì-shù),is an educational institute in Shenzhen, China, founded in 1993.
Shenzhen Polytechnic is located in Xili in Nanshan District. It has four campuses (East, West, North and OCT). According to its site, it has 21,000 full-time and 6,000 part-time students enrolled.
Shenzhen Daily is the local English-language newspaper and is widely available at news kiosks. China Daily is surprisingly difficult to get. South China Morning Post from Hong Kong is also avaliable by subscription and in a couple of outlets. Eon Bookshop, Central Book City, sells a reasonable range of English-language magazines. See Book City above.
That's PRD is a local English-language magazine, published at the beginning of each month. 45,000 copies are mailed directly and displayed every month in carefully-selected public areas, including Starbucks, 5-star hotels, high-end restaurants & bars, villas and properties.
C atholic. St Anthony's Catholic Church 天主教深圳圣安多尼堂 Nonglin Rd, Zhuzilin, Futian 福田区竹子林农林路 and the Nantou Catholic Church Nantou Ninth Street, Nantou Cheng, Nanshan 南山区南头城南头九节 +86 755 2661-1334 offer Mass on Sundays.
Chabad of Shenzhen (Jewish), No. 4 Block A Guishan Xiaozhu, Yanshan Road Industrial Area Shekou Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518001 China 86-755-8207-0712 www.ChabadShenzhen.org
Chiho Medical Centre, Unit 203, Block B, International Chamber of Commerce Building, Fu Hua 1st Road. Phone 0755 8830 1468/1498 Email email@example.com - International Medical Centre in Shenzhen's CBD, have multilingual staff (English, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese) and are run by a medical team from Hong Kong.
Despite its sensationalized reputation from Hong Kong residents as being crime-ridden, Shenzhen is relatively safe by Western standards. It is no more dangerous than a major American city and violent crime remains rare. Nevertheless, as always, a little commonsense goes a long way.
The main problem is petty crime such as pickpocketing. Be careful in crowded shopping centres, subway trains, buses, stations and around the theme parks - keep your wallet in your front pocket.
Being scammed is not so common as in Beijing or Shanghai but be alert for people touting for business (massage, watches, shoes etc) around the Luohu area as they sell below-standard fakes at inflated prices. The 'touts' in Luohu bus station are not necessarily touts - there is no ticket office so they are simply there to direct you to your bus and don't require any payment - you should buy your ticket on the bus.
You will encounter beggars but they are confined to a few places. Notable amongst these places are border crossings, underpasses, Shekou and Christian churches. Ordinary Chinese rarely give beggars money so they concentrate in places where the punters are either ignorant or have just heard a sermon. They are not aggressive and are mostly harmless. Give money at your own risk - beggars are controlled by criminal gangs and your donation will be funding organized crime - giving food or a drink is more beneficial to them. Particularly avoid giving money to child beggars. There have been several high profile court cases in recent years against gangs who buy children from impoverished peasant families, mutilate them, and use them in the begging racket.
The standard of driving in Shenzhen is appalling. Care should still be taken when crossing the street - fortunately most major roads are crossed by over- or underpasses.
Prostitution is common - particularly around Luohu and Shekou - keep your wits about you and be wary of that scantily-clad, available-looking woman giving you the eye from across the bar.
Hong Kong touches Shenzhen and is easily accessible by foot, auto, subway or ferry.
Zhuhai and Macau can be reached by hovercraft ferry from Shekou.
Dongguan, a little known city of 11 million people is just twenty minutes north. Check the space age city centre and the Ming Dynasty gates. Visit the Opium War Museum and the great suspension bridge over the Pearl River at Humen
Huizhou is 40 minutes by freeway bus to the northeast. Visit the East Lake designed by 12th century poet/administrator Su Dongpo.
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