Shenzhen Civic Center and the Futian District CBD from Lianhuashan Park
Shenzhen (深圳; Shēnzhèn) is a city in Guangdong Province in China. It lies immediately North of Hong Kong separated only by a narrow river. Shenzhen lies directly en route between Hong Kong and China's third-largest city, Guangzhou which is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) North West of Shenzhen. Shenzhen was a market town of 30,000 people until designated in 1980 as the first of China's five Special Economic Zones. It then became the fastest growing city in history to today become a thriving, well planned metropolis of 20 million people.
Being such a new city, Shenzhen's inhabitants and visitors have the advantage of planned street grids, modern construction at all but its historical buildings and excellent public transport among its infrastructure. Also considering the often flat terrain, Shenzhen is among the most disabled friendly cities in China. Shenzhen is on the list of UNESCO Creative Cities and ranked second on the list of ‘Top 10 cities to visit in 2019' by Lonely Planet.
Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists. They were originally attracted by its theme parks but as the city has developed and prospered they are increasingly drawn by Shenzhen's architecture, restaurants, shopping, bars, and active cultural arts 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, such as those related to the Hakka culture and Hong Kong's annexation after the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area. Shenzhen attracted relatively small numbers of international visitors prior to the Lonely Planet 'top 10 cities to visit in 2019' second placing.
The earliest known recorded mention of the name Shenzhen could date from 1410, during the Ming Dynasty. Local people called the drains in paddy fields “zhen” (圳). Shenzhen (深圳) literally means “deep drains” as the area was once crisscrossed with rivers and streams, with deep drains within the paddy fields. The character 圳 is limited in distribution to an area of South China with its most northerly examples in Zhejiang Province which suggests an association with southwards migration during the Southern Song Dynasty (12th and 13th centuries).
Contrary to a common misconception of Shenzhen being a fishing village prior to becoming a city, Shenzhen was a regional market town that had been the county town of Bao'an since 1953. Shenzhen train station was the last stop on the Mainland Chinese section of the railway from Guangzhou to Kowloon in Hong Kong. In November 1979, Bao'an County (宝安县) was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by Guangdong province. It was renamed Shenzhen, after Shenzhen town. The administrative centre of the county stood approximately around the present location of Dongmen.
Shenzhen was singled out to be the first of the five Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in May 1980. Initially, the SEZ comprised an area of only 327.5 km2 (126.4 sq mi) of southern Shenzhen, covering the current Luohu, Futian, Nanshan and Yantian districts. The SEZ was created to be an experimental ground for the practice of market capitalism within a community guided by the ideals of "socialism with Chinese characteristics". In 1982 Bao'an County was re-established, though this time as a part of Shenzhen. The county was converted to become Bao'an District, which was out of the Special Economic Zone. Shenzhen was promoted to a Sub-provincial City in March 1983 and was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988. With a population of 30,000 in 1980, economic development has meant that by 2008 the city has had 12 million inhabitants.
Shenzhen became one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, which itself is an economic hub of China, as well as the largest manufacturing base in the world. By 2001, as a result of Shenzhen's increasing economic prospects, increasing numbers of migrants from Mainland China chose to go to Shenzhen and stay there instead of trying to illegally cross the border into Hong Kong. There were 9,000 captured border-crossers in 2000, while the same figure was 16,000 in 1991. On 1 July 2010, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was expanded to include all districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.
Shenzhen is one of the nine prefectures within the Pearl River Delta megalopolis. Shenzhen borders Hong Kong to the south, Huizhou to the north and northeast, Dongguan to the north and northwest. Lingdingyang and Pearl River to the west and Mirs Bay to the east. Shenzhen is roughly 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the provincial capital of Guangzhou. Shenzhen is much flatter than adjacent Hong Kong.
Over 160 rivers or channels flow through Shenzhen. Notable rivers in Shenzhen include the Shenzhen River, Maozhou River and Longgang River. Shenzhen is surrounded by many islands. Most of these islands fall under the territory of neighbouring areas such as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Huiyang District, Huizhou. Several islands are under Shenzhen's jurisdiction, such as Nei Lingding Island, Dachan Island (Tai Shan Island), Xiaochan Island, Mazhou, Laishizhou, Zhouzai and Zhouzaitou.
Skyline of Shenzhen from Nanshan District.
View East of Luohu District. The distinctive Shun Hing Square "Di Wang Tower" with green lighting near the top is at 5002 Shennan Road.
The city is elongated measuring 81.4 kilometers from East to West while the shortest section from north to south is 10.8 kilometers. Shenzhen's mostly flat terrain includes the downtown Luohu and Futian districts. Being such a new city, Shenzhen benefits from planned street grids. The quality of the urban planning contributes to excellent local transport infrastructure (see separate Get Around section). This includes its friendliness to wheelchairs (see Wheelchair Access sections below).
Shenzhen is subdivided into 9 districts and 1 "New District" as of the 2016 government plan. The 9 districts are:
- Bao'an District (宝安区 Bǎo'ān Qū)
- Futian District (福田区 Fútián Qū)
- Guangming District (光明区 Guāngmíng Qū)
- Longgang District 龙岗区 Lónggǎng Qū
- Longhua District 龙华区 Lónghuá Qū
- Luohu District (罗湖区 Luóhú Qū)
- Nanshan District (南山区 Nánshān Qū)
- Pingshan District (坪山区 Píngshān Qū)
- Yantian District (盐田区 Yántián Qū)
Dapeng New District despite being a peninsula at the East of Shenzhen comes under the jurisdiction of Longgang District in central Shenzhen to which Dapeng is separated by Pingshan District. A New District is a management area and an not administrative division registered under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Part of Shennan Middle Road.
Shennan Road (Chinese: 深南路; pinyin: Shēnnán Lù) is a major east-west thoroughfare within Shenzhen's elongated layout. Spanning all over Luohu, Futian and Nanshan Districts, the road measures 25.6 km in length. It is divided into three sections:
- Shennan East Road (深南东路) from Yanhe Road to Hongling Road
- Shennan Middle Road (深南中路) from Hongling Road to Huanggang Road
- Shennan Boulevard (Chinese: 深南大道; pinyin: Shēnnán Dàdào; Jyutping: Sam1 naam4 Daai6 dou6) from Huanggang Road to Nantou Checkpoint
The road is named after the two former settlements (of which both would later be integrated as part of the city of Shenzhen) it links on each end:
- Shenzhen Town (深圳镇) in Luohu
- Nantou (南头镇) in Nanshan
Prior to the designation of Shenzhen as a city in 1979, the road was but a 2.1 km gravel path linking Shenzhen and Shangbu planning area. It is known for its skyscrapers flanking its sides but also with greening in some areas. Because of its length and the districts it passes through, Shennan Road is near a great number of Shenzhen's places of interest making it an obvious orientation point for many people.
Shenzhen, China - Weather forecast
Although Shenzhen is situated about a degree south of the Tropic of Cancer, due to the Siberian anticyclone it has a warm, monsoon-influenced, humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa).
- Winters are mild and relatively dry, due in part to the influence of the South China Sea, and frost is very rare; it begins dry but becomes progressively more humid and overcast. However, fog is most frequent in winter and spring, with 106 days per year reporting some fog.
- Early spring is the cloudiest time of year, and rainfall begins to dramatically increase in April; the rainy season lasts until late September to early October.
- The monsoon reaches its peak intensity in the summer months, when the city also experiences very humid, and hot, but moderated, conditions; there are only 2.4 days of 35 °C (95 °F)+ temperatures. The region is prone to torrential rain as well, with 9.7 days that have 50 mm (1.97 in) or more of rain, and 2.2 days of at least 100 mm (3.94 in). The annual precipitation averages at around 1,970 mm (78 in), some of which is delivered in typhoons that strike from the east during summer and early autumn. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 0.2 °C (32 °F) on 11 February 1957 to 38.7 °C (102 °F) on 10 July 1980. Incredibly high Summer humidity combined with soaring temperatures make Summer for many a season to avoid.
- The latter portion of autumn is dry. From a climate perspective, the best time to visit Shenzhen is October to December when the weather is pleasantly cool.
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. However, the Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee estimates that the population of Shenzhen is about 20 million, due to the large unregistered floating migrant population living in the city. Note that unlike Shanghai and Beijing which have large rural populations, all of Shenzhen's population is classified as urban. The Shenzhen metropolitan area has an official population of 23 million. A 2010 study conducted by Forbes magazine ranks Shenzhen's population density as the 5th highest in the world.
Shenzhen is a leading global technology hub, dubbed by media as the next Silicon Valley. Shenzhen is also an extremely fertile ground for startups, be it by Chinese or foreign entrepreneurs. Shenzhen boasts the highest per capita GDP in China, pulling in USD13,581 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.
Shenzhen hosts the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous multinational companies such as JXD, Vanke, Hytera, CIMC, SF Express, Shenzhen Airlines, Nepstar, Hasee, Ping An Bank, Ping An Insurance, China Merchants Bank, Tencent, ZTE, Huawei and BYD. Shenzhen ranks 12th in the 2018 Global Financial Centres Index. It has the third busiest container port in the world after Shanghai and Singapore as at 2017. Nearby Hong Kong and Guangzhou placed fifth and seventh respectively.
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 mainland Chinese side of the river, and is accessible by using the escalator signed "Port Visa" to the left just before immigration control. It is open 09:00-23:30 seven days a week (the opening time may now be 8AM or earlier) and accepts RMB and credit cards (Union Pay, Visa and MasterCard). Some credit cards do not process, try to have RMB or back up credit card. 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.
As of February 2019, fees for a U.K Passport holder are ¥304 at the Luohu crossing from Hong Kong.
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 Futian Checkpoint. The reason for the differing fees is that Chinese visa fees are set on a reciprocal basis.
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 ten year multiple entry visa at any consulate in the US for approximately $140 (ten year visa recently introduced for US citizens). 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.
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport  has domestic and international flights. Metro line 11 connects the airport to downtown Shenzhen in 50 minutes, (¥8).
Follow signs to the Ground Transportation Center, and take the metro downtown. Note the metro closes at 11-12 PM, and during rush hour it gets very packed. Line 11 is an express line, so you can purchase business class tickets if you don't want to get squished.
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 Scoot  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 flights 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 (ie: the Airport Express fare with no additional cost because free transfers are permitted with your Airport Express Octopus usage; if you pay by cash, the total fare would be $107.5) and takes 78 minutes to Lo Wu. Another option is to take the bus from the airport to Sheung Shui (Deluxe Express Bus A43) and transfer to the East Rail line. Taking the bus is cheaper (HK$30.90) and faster (1 hour vs 90 minutes by rail), and saves you the hassle of carrying luggage around the crowded MTR network during the multiple interchanges. Moreover, the buses are 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) and buses 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 HKD120 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 CNY200.
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 destinations within Shenzhen (e.g. hotels) after you have cleared the China immigration, but do clarify with the airport service counter staff first.
Hong Kong land border crossings
As at April 2019 there are six pairs of land border crossings with another under construction. The existing six includes two accessible via urban rail networks on both sides of the border.
In Shenzhen even though the Huanggang (皇岗口岸) and Futian checkpoints (福田口岸) are only a few hundred metres apart, they are different land crossings paired with different control points in Lok Ma Chau on the Hong Kong side. On the Shenzhen side, there are large buildings between the Huanggang and Futian checkpoints making it impractical to walk between the two. On the Hong Kong side the two Lok Ma Chau border control stations are over 2 km apart by road and linked by bus. The pairs of land border crossings are (listed by order of location, East to West):
- Sha Tau Kok/Shatoujiao (in Yantian district)
- Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang (in Luohu district) scheduled to open mid 2019
- Man Kam To/Wenjindu (in Luohu district)
- Lo Wu/Luohu (in Luohu district). Lo Wu railway station in Hong Kong is the only public access to Lo Wu control point. Luohu in Shenzhen is accessible to the public by urban rail (metro green line 1) and road (see "By Bus" section below)
- Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang (in Futian district). This is the only 24 hour border crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. This crossing is accessible via bus services on both sides. Also, Huanggang Checkpoint metro station is on Shenzhen metro blue line 7. Huanggang's paired control point at Lok Ma Chau has a bus interchange and is connected by bus to Lok Ma Chau railway station 2 km away
- Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian (in Futian district). This crossing connects with urban rail on both sides. Futian Checkpoint station is on the red metro line 4 and is also accessible by bus / road. Futian Checkpoint metro station should not be confused with Futian station elsewhere in Shenzhen (See "By Train" section below for info on the separate Futian station accessed from Hong Kong by high speed rail - high speed trains from Hong Kong do not stop at the border). Futian's paired control point at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line is accessible via Lok Ma Chau railway station. Lok Ma Chau Spur Line is connected by bus to Lok Ma Chau bus terminus 2 km away
- Shenzhen Bay/Shenzhen Wan (in Nanshan district) which is at the end of a long bridge across Shenzhen Bay connecting Ngau Hom Shek in Hong Kong with Dongjiaotou in Shenzhen. Hong Kong passport control and customs are located on the mainland China side of the bridge
The Shenzhen Bay Bridge forms part of the Shenzhen Bay Port.
The China High Speed Rail service from Hong Kong is not included above since passport control and customs services are actioned at West Kowloon station in Hong Kong and not at the land border (see By Train section instead). Visitors to Shenzhen via the above land border crossings are likeliest to use Low Wu and/or Lok Ma Chau crossings.
Lo Wu/Luohu is one of the two rail border crossings and is the most popular crossing point. Operating daily, 6:30 am - midnight, the last train to Lo Wu departs Hung Hom a few minutes after 11 pm. Subsequent trains terminate at Sheung Shui. Lo Wu is the last stop of the MTR East Rail Line. East Rail runs from downtown Kowloon in Hong Kong at Hung Hom Station. Because Lo Wu is in Hong Kong's Border Restricted Area, MTR East Rail is the only means of public access. Lo Wu Station is only open for subsequent travel to Shenzhen or beyond, and a valid travel document is required to travel there. It is usually very crowded especially on weekends and holidays.
For travelers to Futian District including the Free Trade Zone and other destinations in Central and Western Shenzhen, the most convenient Hong Kong MTR route is to Lok Ma Chau station. Lok Ma Chau connects directly across the border to Shenzhen Metro red line 4 Futian Checkpoint station. The MTR train follows the same route as the Lo Wu service but turns off after the penultimate station. The last train to Lok Ma Chau departs Hung Hom a few minutes after 9:30 pm.
Hong Kong's MTR East Rail Line connects with the other lines on the MTR. For travelers from Hong Kong Island, it is suggested to transfer from a cross harbor bus outside Hung Hom Station exit A. Alternatively, take KMB route 968, and changing from route B1 at YOHO Mall I, Yuen Long - it's cheaper.
The journey from Hung Hom to Lo Wu takes 45 minutes and costs HK$40, first class is charged double. (However generally you can save about HK$4 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 operate 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 heavily used by traders moving goods from Hong Kong to Shenzhen for resale.
For more details, see the MTR web site .
Road border crossings (such as Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang) are accessible by coaches from en route from various locations in Hong Kong including Kam Tin (Kam Sheung Road), Kwun Tong, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsu, Tsuen Wan and Wan Chai. As examples, the Tsim Sha Tsui service stops en route in Yau Ma Tei; the Wan Chai service stops en route in Sheung Wan and Central. Huanggang Checkpoint metro station exit is approximately a 8 - 10 min walk by footbridge over a Shenzhen urban bus station from where the actual border checkpoint is located. After passport control and customs when traveling to Hong Kong, passengers buy a ticket from the ticket office for one of the eight routes listed. Coaches then take passengers across the bridge over the river to Hong Kong where passengers disembark for Hong Kong passport control and customs. Coaches then re-unite with passengers near the exit point from customs. Ticket prices vary by route but are around 50 HKD as at April 2019.
There are yellow coloured cross-border shuttle buses between Huanggang checkpoint and Lock Ma Chau. Shuttle buses between the control points run 365 days per year, every 5 - 15 mins depending on time of day. The shuttle bus ticket cost is 10 hkd.
As well as the cross border coaches mentioned above, public transport is available from Lok Ma Chau Control Point bus terminus to other parts of Hong Kong:
- Franchised KMB buses 76K, 276B, B1, N76, N277
- Green Minibus routes NT 44B, 44B1, 75, 78, 79S, 605, 616S
- Red minibus from Kwun Tong (via Tai Wai, Sha Tin, CUHK, Tai Po, Fanling, Sheung Shui)
MPV style vans fitting 6 people leave from HK island and Kowloon to Shenzhen and back. 790 CNY.
Shenzhen is served by numerous intercity railway stations including one such station serving high speed trains from Hong Kong that do not stop at the border.
- Futian Station (Futian Zhan), Shekou (Longhua #4 (red) & Luobao #1 (green) Line Futian Metro Station). Futian station (Chinese: 福田站; pinyin: Fútián Zhàn; Jyutping: Fuk1 Tin4 Zaam6) is a station on the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High Speed Rail link, and the first station in mainland China after the train leaves Hong Kong. Futian station should not be confused with Futian Checkpoint metro station elsewhere in Shenzhen. Travelers from Hong Kong are required to fulfill passport control and customs requirements at West Kowloon station in Hong Kong before boarding the train; the high speed train does not stop at a border crossing point. Futian is in the southern district of Shenzhen, where the central business district is located. The station opened on 28 June 2011 serving the Shenzhen Metro, and since 30 December 2015 it has been the first underground high speed railway station on a long-distance line in China. It serves as an interchange station between the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High Speed Rail link (simplified Chinese: 广深港高速铁路; traditional Chinese: 廣深港高速鐵路) and Line 2, Line 3 and Line 11 of the Shenzhen Metro. The first level underground is a concourse for reaching both the metro trains and the high speed intercity trains. Passenger lounges and customs and immigration facilities are located here. The second and third underground levels serve Shenzhen Metro trains. At the fourth underground level are the platforms for China Railway High-speed (CRH) intercity trains arriving from Guangzhou and cities farther along the line.
Platform 2 of Guangmingcheng Station
- Guangmingcheng Station (Chinese: 光明城站) in Guangming district is a railway station on the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
- Shenzhen Station (Shenzhen Zhan 深圳站), Luohu (Luobao Line #1 (green), Luohu Metro Station). Shenzhen station (Chinese: 深圳站; pinyin: Shēnzhèn Zhàn, formerly Shum Chun station) or Shenzhen Luohu station (Chinese: 深圳罗湖站; pinyin: Shēnzhèn Luóhú Zhàn), is located across from Luohu Commercial City in the Luohu district of Shenzhen, Guangdong and is the southern terminus of the Guangshen Railway. Shenzhen station was first opened as Shum Chun, as the last stop of the mainland Chinese section of the Canton-Kowloon Railway in 1911. This station situated in Dongmen, in what was then the market town of Shenzhen/Shum Chun. It was relocated near its current location on the China-Hong Kong border, opposite Lo Wu station, in 1950. This station was in turn demolished in 1983 and successively rebuilt and re-modelled multiple times to its current scale. The station is located immediately north of the border from Hong Kong in a north-south alignment. The Guangshen Railway joins the East Rail Line in Hong Kong just south of the station, where Lo Wu Station on the Hong Kong MTR is located. The Shenzhen Metro system has Luohu Station nearby on a lower level connected with Shenzhen Station. 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)
The Hong Kong to Guangzhou East train (previously referred to by many in English as the Kowloon - Canton Railway) passes through Shenzhen station but does not stop here nor at any other station on Shenzhen. The only scheduled stop en route for passengers on this service is at Dongguan Changping station. This train does not stop at a border checkpoint.
Shenzhen East Railway Station
- "Shenzhen East Station" (simplified Chinese: 深圳东站; traditional Chinese: 深圳東站; pinyin: Shēnzhèndōng Zhàn), formerly Pu Kut station and Buji station (布吉站), serves the town of Buji in Shenzhen. It is a stop on the Guangzhou–Shenzhen Railway. The new Shenzhen East serves lower speed trains of middle and long-distance; e.g. trains to Sichuan, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces. Long-distance trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guilin and Fuzhou relocated to Shenzhen East from Shenzhen station.
The station opened in 1911 as a freight and Level 3 passenger station (三等站) on the Kowloon–Canton Railway. Initial renovation works commenced in 2004. The station building was demolished in April 2008, and work began on the construction of a new passenger hub that was completed by the end of October 2012. In September 2012, it was announced that the new station would be named "Shenzhen East Station". The Shenzhen East name was originally assigned to a proposed Longgang Station on the Xiamen–Shenzhen Railway, currently named Shenzhen Pingshan Station.
Shenzhen North Station during construction
- Shenzhen North Station (Shenzhen Bei Zhan 深圳北站), MinZhi (Longhua #4 (red) & Huanzhong #5 (purple) Line, Shenzhen North Metro Station). Like Futian station, Shenzhen North is part of China's high speed rail network. This new and modern station in the northern Bao'an district, has 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)
Shenzhen Pingshan Rail Station East Square
- "Shenzhen Pingshan Station" (Chinese: 深圳坪山站; pinyin: Shēnzhèn Píngshān Zhàn; Jyutping: sam1 zan3 ping4 saan1 zaam6) is a high-speed railway station on the Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway.The station is located in the Pingshan New District of Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China. The station opened to the public on 28 December 2013.
It was originally designated as Shenzhen East railway station in initial government announcements. However this former name has now been used to rename Buji railway station as of December 2012. In February 2013, the name of Shenzhen Xincheng Station was adopted by the local railway bureau, however this was dismissed by national railway authorities in October, 2013. This was due to existence of another Xincheng Station on the Chinese rail network. In order to avoid any repetition of names and to reflect localities better, it was deemed that the new station would be named Shenzhen Pingshan railway station, after the district of Shenzhen that it is located in.
Shenzhen West Railway Station
- Shenzhen West Station (Shenzhen Xi Zhan), Shekou (Shekou Line #2 (orange) Chiwan Metro Station). Located in Nanshan district offering few & limited services to other parts of Guangdong and some other Chinese provinces.
There are several long-distance bus stations. The most convenient is Luohu Bus Station adjacent to Luoho rail station and the border crossing. Luoho has regular buses 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 Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport is a new terminal complex, opened in November 2016, that caters for ferries across the Pearl River Delta and is China's first purpose built cruise ship terminal. It is located 1.5km South-West of the previous Shekou Ferry Terminal. There are free shuttle buses from the old terminal where the Shenzhen Port Metro Station is also located. The new terminal is large and spacious, overcoming the cramped and lack of facilities at the old site.
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 Hong Kong International Airport are frequent, but you will need an air ticket to be able to use them, as it bypasses HK immigration at the HKIA Skypier. There are regular ferries to Zhuhai too.
The cruise terminal is set to become the homeport for several cruiseships targeting the Chinese market. Initially Virgo Cruises and Silver Shadow Cruises will operate from the port.
Shenzhen Ferry Info . As with buses, be extremely careful about scams, don't accept a "taxi" ride from the men who walk up to you, just walk straight out to the taxi line or the metro stop behind 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.
Shenzhen being such a new city has the advantage of a planned street grid. The quality of the urban planning is reflected in excellent transport infrastructure. The often flat terrain is advantageous for bicycles and electric vehicles.
A review of Shenzhen in January 2019 reported, "Shenzhen wheelchair access travel is superior to most other Chinese cities, largely as a result of the recent construction of so much of the city." Wheelchair friendliness is another beneficiary of Shenzhen's often flat terrain.
All Shenzhen's metro lines are wheelchair accessible. Physically disabled passengers are among those to whom the Shenzhen metro is free.
Shenzhen's first 25 buses specially disabled friendly buses went into operation in 2006 on route No. 59 (and the corresponding N6 night service), running between Bu Xin bus terminal in Luohu District and Window of the World in Nanshan. Many of the Shenzhen's new-energy buses include wheelchair friendly facilities such as:
- lower floors
- wheelchair ramp
- wheelchair parking space
- cushioning behind the wheelchair space
- wheelchair safety belt
- bells to signal need for assistance
The Shenzhen Metro (深圳地铁)  is the most convenient and easy to understand method of transport around the Shenzhen city area. Reliable, regular, clean, efficient, inexpensive and safe. Since Shenzhen hosted the 2011 Universiade Games, signs, exit guides and announcements at metro stations as well as trains are also in English. Hence it is fairly easy to get around the system without Chinese skills.
Trains come every 3 minutes or so and the metro runs until 11PM. Fares are ¥2-9. Children under the height of 120 cm or aged below 6 may ride for free when accompanied by an adult. The metro also offers free rides to senior citizens over the age of 65, the physically disabled and military personnel. Tickets for children between 120 cm and 150 cm, or aged between 6 and 14 years, or middle school students, are half priced.
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, was replaced by names, then reverted to numbers again. The Shenzhen Metro currently has 8 lines, 199 stations, and 286km (178 miles) of total trackage in operation
| Line 1
|| Airport East
| Line 2
| Line 3
| Line 4
|| Futian Checkpoint
| Line 5
| Line 7
|| Xili Lake
| Line 9
|| Hongshuwan South
| Line 11
Chegongmiao station (simplified Chinese: 车公庙站; traditional Chinese: 車公廟站; pinyin: Chēgōngmiào Zhàn; Jyutping: Ce1 Gung1 Miu2 Zaam6; literally: 'Che Kung Temple station'), downtown in Futian District is the passenger nucleus of the Shenzhen Metro system. It is the first metro four-line interchange hub in Shenzhen, and the second in mainland China after the Century Avenue station in the Shanghai Metro. Chegongmiao is on lines 1, 7, 9 and 11 of the Shenzhen metro. It is located underneath Shennan Road, at the west of Xiangmihu Road. It is near China Merchants Bank Tower and Donghai Pacific Mall.
The Shenzhen Metro is the sixth rapid transit system in mainland China and second such system in Guangdong.
Buy metro tickets at ticket machines on station concourses. Note that single ticket vending machines only accept notes of 5 and 10 yuan. 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. 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. The card can be bought from a separate stand at metro stations, as well as special machines. At Luohu station, the stand is located at Exit A. The stand displays the Shenzhen Tong cards and they cost 50 yuan.
In an world leading step against global climate extreming, all 16,000 Shenzhen buses are electric. This makes standing at a Shenzhen bus stop a very different experience to inhaling the choking pollution at a bus stop in nearby Hong Kong.
There are three kinds of city buses: orange short route buses, green longer route buses, and express buses.
The orange buses usually cost ¥1 and have no conductor.
The green buses cost ¥2+. Some have no conductor and a flat fee, on the fare machine. Some have a conductor who will calculate your fare for you.
The express buses are express like the E19 from Xili to Shenzhenwan Border. The E19 is ¥9 and generally the express buses cost more.
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 card is a bit of a hassle to get. You need to go to the fourth floor of the hotel by Shekou Wal-mart on XingGong Road. Go to the fourth floor, where the bike rental office is located. Bring your passport, a copy of your passport and 215RMB (115RMB deposit, and 100RMB credit). Ask for option 3. You will need to fill out a form with basic information such as your passport number, date of birth, address, telephone number etc. You will get a receipt to keep if you want to cancel the bike service. After you have filled out the form and paid the deposit the receptionist will give you a demonstration of how to use your new card. How To Get a Bike Rental Card
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 or Kowloon Motor Bus #B1 between there and Hong Kong's Yuen Long (the minibus charges you a HK$7 surcharge but the B1 bus does not, although your bike must be folded and/or packed before boarding). Hong Kong's MTR is unusually expensive at border terminals, but bikes are allowed on the trains (staff may ask you to take the front wheel off). 20" folding Bikes are also allowed on Shenzhen Metro trains.
A red petroleum fuel taxi, with an electric blue taxi behind it.
As of January 2019 electrification of Shenzhen's 21,689 taxi fleet has reached 99%.. Two kinds of taxis are able to operate in all areas of Shenzhen, distinguished by their color:
- Blue taxis are electric vehicles and fuel surcharge does not apply on them
- Red taxis and Green taxis are petroleum fuel taxis
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 ¥2.00 fuel surcharge added to all fares. Tipping is not expected at all. Round up to the next Yuan.
Unlike neighbouring Hong Kong it is rare to find any drivers who speak English. Hence be sure to have the names and addresses of your destinations written in Chinese to show your taxi driver if you do not speak Mandarin.
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 license prominently displayed in the plastic stand provided for this purpose on the right hand dashboard of every cab. If there is no license, get the next cab. 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.
Driving is 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"). Penalties are believed to be 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.
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 :
- 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 conventional fun park bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland. 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. If you try the flume ride be prepared to get wet.
- 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. Was a military theme park centered around the former Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk. It was closed on February 14th, 2016 and the ship was moved away for repairs in order to be reestablished as a theme park in Nantong, Jiangsu ¥110.
- OCT East (东部华侨城). 09:00-22:00. Built by the same company that brought you Windows of the World. Located at the valleys and hills behind Dameisha (beach), it features a thrill ride, shows, and replica of European towns. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs or escalators to reach all the different rides or attractions. There is a golf club on the hill called Wind Valley Golf. Please do note that there are certain safety issues about the park - mainly electrical problems. In June 2010, 6 people died when a electrical failure threw them off a ride. Several were injured as well. The park was plagued with other small electrical outages which have resulted in people trapped in cable cars etc. ¥120.
- Playa Maya. Water park open in Summer 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 few people on the weekdays.
- 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. In the center of sea world, is a really smooth tiled center where people are riding their bikes, S boards, skateboards, and scooters.
- 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 copies of well known Chinese sites; Forbidden City, Terracotta Soldiers, Tibet Potala Palace, Huangshan Mountains, Yunnan's Stone Forest, the Great Wall of China. This park covers 300,000 square meters with forested and 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. A simulated Mongol horse battle held daily. The final Phoenix show is ticketed on holidays. Afterwards near closing time there is a techno-light water splash fight in the splash area. ¥150.
Nightly Show, Windows of the World
- 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. 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 dance shows based on themes of Chinese and world history. Hundreds of dancers perform on the outdoor stage. The performance finishes with a procession and fireworks at 9PM. ¥180.
Ping An Finance Centre, 2nd tallest building in China and 4th tallest in the world
The large-scale construction work carried out in Shenzhen over the past three decades almost completely destroyed some of the historical architecture that was prevalent in the city before its status of being a special economic zone. Some of the historical buildings in the city are either reconstructions or new models. Despite this, there are still a good number of historical buildings in Shenzhen (see Historical Sites and Religious Structures sections below).
There is a significant number of supertall skyscrapers (over 300 m / 984 ft) either proposed, approved, under construction or completed in Shenzhen. The tallest building in Shenzhen is the 599 metre, 115 floor Ping An Finance Centre, which is also the second tallest in China and the fourth tallest building in the world. More skyscrapers were completed in Shenzhen in the year 2016 than in the whole of the USA and Australia combined, such is the rate at which the skyline is being transformed. Five of Shenzhen's skyscrapers are among the 40 tallest on earth as at March 2019:
- Ping An International Finance Centre (also known as the Ping An IFC) (Chinese: 平安国际金融中心) is a 115-storey supertall skyscraper. The building was commissioned by Ping An Insurance and designed by the American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. It was completed in 2017, becoming the tallest building in Shenzhen, the 2nd tallest building in China and the 4th tallest building in the world. It also shares the record (with the Shanghai Tower) of having the highest observation deck in a building at 562 m. Nearest Metro - Shopping Park
KK100 (center) and Shun Hing Square (right)
- The KK100 (Chinese: 京基100), formerly known as Kingkey 100 and Kingkey Finance Tower, is a supertall skyscraper. The mixed-use building rises 441.8 metres (1,449 ft) and contains 100 floors for office space and a hotel. It is currently the second tallest building in Shenzhen as well as being the 22nd tallest building in the world. It is the tallest building ever designed by a British architect. There is a water fountain in front of the building, and an observation deck near the top. In December 2011, the Emporis Skyscraper Award awarded the building a fourth place. The building has a height-width ratio of 9.5:1, thus becoming one of China's slimmest buildings.
- China Resources Headquarters (Chinese:华润总部大厦), colloquially known as the Spring Bamboo (Chinese:春笋), is a 392-metre (1,286.1 ft) supertall skyscraper in Houhai, Nanshan. The building topped out on July 1, 2016 and surpassed Shun Hing Square as the 3rd tallest building in Shenzhen upon its completion in 2018. it is 33rd tallest on earth.
- Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1 is a supertall skyscraper 388 metres (1,273.0 ft) tall. It is 36th tallest on earth. The tower has a novel structural system called a "Ladder System" where the perimeter mega columns are connected to the central reinforced concrete core at every story as opposed to the typical configuration where they are only connected via outriggers at mechanical floors.
- Shun Hing Square (Chinese: 信兴广场), also known as "Di Wang Tower" (Chinese: 地王大厦) is a 384-metre-tall (1,260 ft) skyscraper. It is 36th tallest on earth.
Galleries and museums
- 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.
- 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 exhibitions (","114°)
- 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. (","113°58'35.62"E")
- 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. (","113°58'40.46"E")
- 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), .
- 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.
- 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 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.
Gardens and parks
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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,126.96.36.199E)
Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens
- Lianhua Mountain Park (Lotus Mountain Park; 蓮花山公園; Liánhuāshāngōngyuán), Hongli Rd W, Futian Central ("Shaoniangong). 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 classes 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 Autumn, do not forget your kite. (188.8.131.52N,184.108.40.206E)
- 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. (220.127.116.11N,18.104.22.168E)
- 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 ([email protected], 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. ¥160.
- 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. Jiangnan style gardens are built around lakes in the north-east corner. 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 visible on a clear day. A further 242 steps go to the top of the pagoda. ¥50.
- 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.
- 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 5 hours walk 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.
- 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.
People, even long time Shenzhen residents, will confidently tell you that "Shenzhen has no history". However there are a number of important 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).
- 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 War
- 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 repopulated, 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 street
- 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 stop
- Dawanshiju Hakka Fortified Village. Similarly a well preserved and enormous Hakka wei. It is of a similar scale to the Crane Lake wei.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dongshan Monastery (东山寺简史;), 龙岗区东山路, ☎ (0755)84319055, . , first built in 1394, is a monastery of the Zen Buddhism in Southern China. It is situated south of Mount Longtou (dragon head) which in ancient time was variably called Jiufeng or Dongshan (East Mountain, probably because it is situated east of Dapeng Fortress). Dongshan Monastery Photos
- 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 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.
- 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 performers in a glass-wrapped setting.
- 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. Cantonese restaurant chain, Laurel, has a branch with outdoor seating here. Sunday morning dim sum queues are long.
- 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.
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.
- Dameisha Beach (大梅沙). closes at 11pm. Free.
- Xiaomeisha Beach (小梅沙), (Right next to Dameisha, and smaller, but entry fee of 50yuan per person for no specific reason.). 24 hours. 50 yuan May-Oct, 35 yuan Nov-Apr.
- 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.
- Xichong Beach (西冲海滩). Beautiful Xichong beach is located 1 hour 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.
Concert halls and theatres
- 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 protected], 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.
- Shadu Song and Dance Hall.
- Shenzhen Cantonese Opera Troupe.
- Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Xili Golf Club, Tanglang Village Xili, Nanshan (南山区西丽针塘郎村), ☎ +86 755 2655-2888 ([email protected], 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.
- 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.
- 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 mountains overlooking Dameisha and Mirs Bay.
- 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.
- Noble Merchants Golf Club, .
Spas and massage
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.
Caution: In most hotels, prostitution is widespread. In some seedier areas, "massage" may actually mean sex. Use your best judgment. See also the China article for information on massage.
Near Lok Ma Chau border crossing
- 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 Chinese cuisine.
- 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.
Near Luohu border crossing
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Zense. Shuttle available. Look for desk at Luo Ho station. Basically same prices as Queen Spa but a little bit newer
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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.
To avoid fraud please only buy storage (memory cards, USB sticks, SSD hard drives etc) from the reputable brand stores. Many street vendors in Shenzhen sell fake storage at seemingly low price - you can buy as 64Gb microSD card for $5, but once you copy 64Gb data into it, you'll find that all of it is corrupted, that its real capacity is much less (typically around 8Gb), and it just pretends to have much higher storage. At the very least, if you purchase such a card, before using it fill it up completely with meaningful data (such as pictures), and then see if any of them get corrupted.
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.
For currency information, see the China page.
- 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.
- B&Q 百安居. This English chain offers DIY supplies and goods for the home and garden. B&Q in Chinese
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Decathlon Store locator
- 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.
- 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 consumer electronics at Suning. Gome, Sundan and branded cell phone stores at the northern end of the street. There are 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).
- 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.//
- Mingtong Electronics Market, (Few minutes from the SEG market). Houses watch parts, electronic toys, and mobile phone parts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Commercial City experience is not representative of the rest of the city.
- 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 option
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 an 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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! 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.
Shenzhen has abundant vegetarian eateries. Many of these are all-vegan in what they offer and most are at least vegan-friendly.
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. You must order in Mandarin, as they don't speak English or even Cantonese.
As well as casual restaurants and fine dining, Shenzhen has its "Eat Streets". These are agglomerations of 'cheap and cheerful', inelaborate restaurants serving food from all over China. 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 as well as pan-China food. Snake is available in season (October to January) here.
- 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). Szechuan, Hunan and Taiwanese food here. There is also a Macau style restaurant
- 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). There's the usual Cantonese, Sichuan and Hunanese but there's also Thai, South=east Asian and even German. Many chains are represented.
- 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 and bulgogi among other dishes.
- 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 Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan and Ningxia/Gansu Muslim minority food
- Good Vegetarian, 3071 Renmin N Rd, Luohu District (Located in the food court at Shaibu Metro station, exit A2 (blue line 3).), ☎ +86-75582337478. Mon-Sun 11:00am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-8:00pm. All-vegan Buddhist all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. 18 rmb, Dec 2018.
- 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; lots of lamb and kebabs
- 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 food
- 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. Also north-west China Moslem food of which there is plenty
- Renmin South Eat Street (人民南路).
- Shuiwei Village and Huanggang Village Eat Streets (水匡村, 皇岗村食街). Listed together here because it's ambiguous where one stops and the other starts. Cantonese food.
- 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). Some journalists eat here. Good Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Northern and Hunan food
- 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 it
There is a continuous area of restaurants below the street between Shopping Park (serving the Ping An Finance Centre and southern entrance of Futian station) and Convention & Exhibition Centre metro stations serving a wide variety of tastes.
- 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. Western food such as "super burger" & steaks. Sells wine. ¥50-8 for a starter, and ¥70-220 for a main.
- 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. Chain restaurant.
- 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, . Italian food as the name suggests.
- 10 Gong Guan (10号公馆), 10 Qiaochen W Rd, Nanshan District (侨城西路10号鸿波酒店), ☎ +86. 07:30-23:30. Dim sum restaurant.
- 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.
- Warehouse, COCOpark atrium, L1-B2, 268 Fuhua 3rd road, ☎ +86 400-833-1128, . 24 inch pizzas, pasta and beer in a contemporary location. ¥40-300 for a pizza, and ¥40-60 for a fresh pasta.
- 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. Restaurant (with English menus) 3 mins walk north of Guomao station at the intersection of Shennan East Road and Renmin South Road. Be prepared to queue at peak hours
- 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 such as dim sum.
- Prince Kitchen, 5-6/F, CITIC Plaza, 1093 Shennan Zhong Rd. Serves fantastic mix of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Steaks. Dark interior.
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 brewed across China and available internationally. Shenzhen's own Kingway Beer (金威啤酒) is brewed in two locations in Shenzhen and available for ¥3.50 per can or ¥3.80 for a large bottle.
Places to drink
Coco Park downtown in Futian is the epicentre of the Shenzhen bar and nightclub scene. Shopping Park metro station exit G is sign posted for Coco Park. Coco Park has a variety of bars packed into the block including:
- 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 for a quiet drink, the inside tables and the outside tables closest to the front door are, if you're looking for a livelier atmosphere, better
- 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. There are three-sided booths along the walls for larger groups. A variety of acts play into the early morning. Waitstaff wear Communist Star armbands. Door cover can sometimes run up to ¥100, cocktails from ¥30 , bottles of Jim Bean ¥380.
- 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, . Among the biggest clubs in Shenzhen
- McCawley's Irish Bar & Restaurant, (Shekou, Futian). Irish managed & themed bar.
- Plush ((Bling Bling)). Smaller bar on the bar street just north of Coco Park shopping mall. Frequented by Chinese and foreigners. .
- 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. Frequented by Chinese and foreigners.
Futian (other than Coco Park):
- Ibiza, (Hua Qiang Bei). An European style two-story pub. Frequented by Chinese and foreigners. ¥30 per bottle of beer.
- 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). In Central Walk, top floor on the right hand walkway (outside the building) directly opposite the Great China Building. Food from the NYPD Pizza next door. Big screen sporting coverage.
- Kingway, (LuoHu). Beer factory and beer garden.
- Soho, Jiabin Rd, Luohu.
- Yes Bar, (LuoHu).
- 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. Staff speak English.
- Vrumm (威隆), Houhai metro station, exit E (facing Poly Theatre). Bar in Nanshan CBD.
Qiao Cheng Dong: Many places around here are any of an alternative, arty and / or hip scene:
- 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.
- OCT LOFT, (LuoHu). Redeveloped Arts Area by Qiaocheng Dong Metro Station
Shekou - The Peninsula that sticks out in the South Western region of the city:
- Beer Paradise, (Shekou). Beer bar.
- The Beatles, (SeaWorld, Shekou). Pool table, DJ & Live band everynight & KTV Room.
- George and Dragon, Shop No.3, Taizi Lu 5, Shekou (Behind the Taizi Hotel opposite from the Seaworld Square), ☎ +86 755 2669-8564 (managerATgeorge-dragon.com), . 10am-midnight. British themed pub in Shekou serving food and drink.
- 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. Sheesha and specialty in Middle Eastern cuisine
- Mary's Bar, (Shekou).
- Shekou Sports and Social Club (The Snake Pit), G16, Taizi Square, Shekou (Sea World Stn, Exit D), . Family oriented expat hangout. (22°29' 15 N,113° 54' 34 E)
- The Terrace, Seaworld Square, Shekou, ☎ +86 755 2682-9105 (fax: +86 755 26828157), . Live music and food prepared by Thai chefs. Indoor and outdoor seating.
- 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 restaurant menu of mostly Western-style food, and free Wi-Fi.
Windows of the World:
- Vbar, (Windows of the World, (on the 3F of the Venice Hotel)), .
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.
Handiscoverworld says of Shenzhen, "You can find great hotels and apartments in Shenzhen that offer accommodations to those with a disability. Many of the hotels of one star and up provide wheelchair service to their customers. Call ahead to ensure that the accommodation of your choice can meet your specific requirements. You will enjoy a large selection of holiday rentals in Shenzhen that fit every budget, whether you are travelling alone or with a large group."
- 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.
- Home Inn. Biggest economy hotel chain in China has several branches in Shenzhen including:
- * Bao An Station (如家快捷酒店 (深圳宝安汽车站店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Bǎo'ān Qìchēzhàn Diàn)), 宝安25区前进一路海雅百货旁.
- * Dongmen (如家快捷酒店 (深圳东门店); Rújiākuàijié Jjiǔdiàn (Dōngmén Diàn)), 2028 Wenjin Middle Rd, Luohu District (罗湖区文锦中路2028号; Luóhúqū Wénjǐn Zhōng Lù).
- * Guomao (如家快捷酒店 (深圳国贸店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Guómào Diàn)), 罗湖区人民南路2011号.
- * 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.
- * Shenzhen Luohu Kou'an (如家快捷酒店 (深圳罗湖口岸店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Luóhú Kǒu'àn Diàn)), 1064 Yanhe Nan Rd, Luohu District (罗湖区沿河南路1064号; Luóhú Qū Yánhé Nán Lù).
- * Xinzhou (如家快捷酒店 (深圳新洲店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Xīnzhōu Diàn)), 315 Shiji Gongyi Pin Jiaoyi Shichang Bldg, Xinzhou S Rd, Futian District (福田区新洲南路世纪工艺品交易市场315楼; Fútián Qū Xīnzhōu Nán Lù Shìjì Gōngyì Pǐn Jiāoyì Shìchǎng Lóu).
- * Zhuzilin (如家快捷酒店 (深圳竹子林店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Zhúzilín Diàn)), 福田区竹子林益华大厦.
- 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.
- Notting Hill Hostel诺丁山青年旅舍, No.62 Xinghua 2nd Rd Shenzhen, Guangdong 518101 China, ☎ +86 13434493368, . checkin: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM; checkout: Until 12:00 PM. Located in Shenzhen, 8 km from Happy Valley Theme Park Shenzhen, Notting Hill Hostel features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. ¥50-200.
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Holiday Inn. Very new and clean hotel, excellent services. Also includes free WiFi internet access. The staff speak English reasonably well.
- Somerset Grandview Shenzhen, No.5 Xinsha Road, Futian District, Shenzhen 518048, ☎ +86 755 8228 3088 ([email protected]), . .Serviced apartments ranging from studios to 3-bedroom units and consist of a fully-equipped kitchen, washing machines and dryers, separate living and dining areas.
- 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.
- Jin Jiang Shenzhen Airlines Hotel, . checkin: ""checkout="". A five-star hotel with elegant rooms with city views, banquet hall, conference rooms, health club with indoor pool, and room service.
- 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.
- 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.
- Novotel Bauhinia (深圳博林诺富特酒店). A 4 star hotel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 protected]), . 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ascott Maillen (深圳雅诗阁美伦服务公寓), No 3 Yanshan Rd, Nanshan District, ☎ +86 755 2160-0188 ([email protected], 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.
- Crowne Plaza Hotel, (near Window of the World Train station). A five star hotel with nice facilities, seasoned staff and excellent service.
- 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 protected], 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.
- Grand Hyatt, 1881 Baoan Nan Rd, Luohu District,, ☎ +86 755 8266-1234 (shenzhen.gr[email protected]), . 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.
- InterContinental, 9009 Shennan Rd, ☎ +86 755 3399-3388 (fax: +86 755 3399-3399), .
- 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).
- Sunshine Hotel (深圳阳光酒店; Shēnzhèn Yángguāng Jiǔdiàn), 1 Jiabin Rd, Luohu District (罗湖区嘉宾路1号; Luóhúqū Jiābīnlù), ☎ +86 755 8223-3888 ([email protected], fax: +86 755 8222-6719), . Five-star hotel. Listed rates for doubles ¥1,840-3,450.
Colleges and universities
- 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 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.
- 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.
Four hospitals are recommended by the Shenzhen City Government for foreigners. They are:
- Shenzhen People's Hospital 深圳人民医院 1017 Dongmen Road North, Luohu, 罗湖区东门北1017路 +86 755 2553-3018
- Shenzhen Peking University Hospital 深圳北京大学医院 1120 Lianhua Road Futian 福田区莲花路1120号 +86 755 8392-3333
- No 2 Shenzhen People’s Hospital (previously called Shenzhen Red Cross Hospital) 深圳第二人民医院 1 Zhenhua Rd, Futian 福田区振华路1号 +86 755 8336-6388
- Nanshan People's Hospital 南山人民医院 89 Taoyuan Road Nanshan 南山区桃园路89号 +86 755 2655-3111
Private Health Clinics
- Chiho Medical Centre, Unit 203, Block B, International Chamber of Commerce Building, Fu Hua 1st Road. Phone 0755 8830 1468/1498 Email [email protected] - 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.
Abundant Shenzhen dentists include:
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.
PRD-Pearl River Delta.
Topway Cable Television offers a wide range of international television including BBC, CNN, NHK, HBO, etc. Hong Kong English TV is also offered.
Places of worship
- The Meilin Protestant Church, 梅林基督教堂 126 Meilin Rd Meilin, Futian 福田区梅林街道梅林路126号, ☎ +86 755 8311-8817, . has services in English, Cantonese and Korean. “".
- Heping Church 和平堂 2/F Wenhua Garden, Luohu 罗湖区文华花园管理处二楼 +86 755 2512-8077.
- 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
Despite its sensationalized reputation from Hong Kongers as being crime-ridden, Shenzhen is relatively safe by Western standards. Violent crime is far lower in Shenzhen than in your typical Western city. As always, being sensible in securing your belongings goes a long way.
Minor property crimes like pick pocketing is definitely a problem in border areas where visitors from the Hong Kong side pass and frequent. Watch your bag and pockets. Prostitution is widespread and tolerated, particularly around Luohu and Shekou. Men should be wary of that scantily-clad, available-looking woman giving you the eye from across the bar. In the central part of the Luohu District, especially in the neighborhoods around the Shenzhen Railway Station, Shenzhen Bus Terminal, and the Luohu Commercial City Shopping Center, pickpocketing, prostitution, drug trafficking, fraud, and the sale of counterfeit bills are common. In addition, Luohu is a major center for trade in counterfeit goods and abundant in its nightclubs, bars, and karaoke salons, which attracts Shenzhen residents and residents from neighboring Hong Kong, which may include triad and other criminal elements.
Being scammed is not so common as in Beijing or Shanghai but be alert for people touting for business (massage, watches, shoes, etc.) near 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 ticketing 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 likely encounter beggars in the city but they are confined to a few places such as border crossings, underpasses, Shekou and Christian churches. Ordinary Chinese rarely give money so begging is concentrated in places where punters are either ignorant or have just heard a sermon. They are not aggressive and are mostly harmless. Some beggars are controlled by criminal gangs and your donation will be funding organized crime. As such, giving food may be more beneficial to them. Particularly avoid giving money to children beggars. Several high profile court cases in recent years have involved gangs who buy children from impoverished peasant families, mutilate them, and use them in a begging racket. The Nanshan District has a large concentration of foreigners, and is known for its abundance of prostitutes and beggars.
The level of corruption in the government is usually high, as seen in the arrest of the then-mayor of Shenzhen, Xu Zongheng, for accepting bribes in June 2009, as well as arrests and convictions of Li Yugo, the former head of the largest state-owned construction corporation in the city, and Zhao Yutsun, a customs officer of the city, for the same reasons.
Shenzhen driving is aggressive. Care should be taken when crossing the street. Most major roads are crossed by over or underpasses.
- Guangzhou is a short journey by train or road.
- 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.
- Xichong is a beach village about 70 kilometers to the east of Shenzhen. It is one of the nicer and less developed beaches in the area, and there are relatively few tourists.
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