Most people visiting this region target Hong Kong and Macau, as well they should, but contrary to what most people might think, there are also some terrific things to do in the nearby Shenzhen and if you have a few days it’s a city worth visiting. There are some world class theme parks, cultural attractions, SPA resorts and shopping, which complement and sometimes even exceed their former-colonial neighbors.
In the couple of years I’ve lived in Hong Kong I’ve had the chance to visit many of the Shenzhen attractions and have generally had a positive surprise. It’s amazing how fast this city grows and how well the Shenzhenians have developed their city over the past 3 years.
(Looking for accommodation? this is where I book my Shenzhen hotels)
So, let’s get right down to it. Got a few days to spend in the area? here’s what i would recommend :
Day 1 – Theme Parks, Part 1
All next to each other in an area called "Overseas Chinese Town", these theme parks are huge and you can spend a day in each walking around the exhibitions and folk shows they offer. These are terrific for families with children.
- Shenzhen – Window of the World
- China Folk Cultural Village Shenzhen – Chinese Minorities & Cultures
- "Splendid China" Shenzhen – Around China in 80 Minutes
- Happy Valley : Shenzhen (optional, if you must)
If you can’t do them all, I’d recommend focusing on the first 3 (which are actually 2 parks) and skipping Happy Valley. The OCT East (day 4) is far more impressive.
Day 2 – SPAs & Shopping
Relax with a massage & luxury Shenzhen SPA. Yep, you can spend more than a day in those for less than 300yuan a person.
Feel like shopping after the massage day? plenty of places in Shenzhen, but one metro station from Lo Wu is Futian Kou An are some grand shopping malls with the best brands. Shek-O area has some terrific malls as well. If you’re anything like me, I’d strongly recommend staying away from Lo Wu (constant harassment, cheap fakes, etc.) and Dongmen (noisy, crowded, cheap fakes)
Day 3 – Parks and Museums
Want to see some of Shenzhen’s natural beauty and local culture and history?
Start your day at the…
Then, make your way to the impressive area where the …
is located. There are a few nearby parks, like this one which hosted a former flower expo…
Day 4 - Theme parks, Part 2
Overseas Chinese Town East Shenzhen – As far as Chinese theme parks go, this is as grand as they come. Gigantic artificial waterfalls, grand acrobatics shows, amazing rides. You can spend a few days there, but one day will do. Your kids, if you have any, are likely to love you for this.
Day 5 – Eastern Shenzhen
The following two attractions are not that far from each other and worth exploring if you have more time to spare in Shenzhen:
- Dapeng Fortress – As ancient as Shenzhen goes. An old Chinese style village.
- Minsk World – A crazy military theme park feaure an old Russian aircraft carrier turned into a huge military museum
Day 6 – Zoos and Aquariums
Still have time? Shenzhen has a few animal theme parks. Check these out…
Any other musts in Shenzhen I skipped?
Comments, suggestions and feedback appreciated. Enjoy Shenzhen.