Destination Spotlight: Shenzhen city, Location: South-central Guangdong province, China.
Shenzhen is a coastal city in South China. It is located on the eastern bank of the Pearl River, neighboring Hong Kong. Shenzhen has been a touchstone for China’s reform and opening-up policy.
From 1979 to 2018, Shenzhen has skyrocketed from a tiny border town with a population of more than 30,000 to a metropolis with a population of more than 10 million. It has become a prosperous, chic, innovative, harmonious and beautiful city and established many firsts in the history of world industrialization, urbanization and modernization.
Shenzhen is a link between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and a transport hub for coastal southern China. The city leads in high-tech development, financial services, foreign trade, shipping, and creative and cultural industries.
The total area of Shenzhen is 1,997.47 square kilometers. Shenzhen has more than 310 rivers and streams, which are associated with the nine hydrographic systems. Shenzhen has a vast sea area, covering 1,145 square kilometers and boasting 261 kilometers of coastline and typical subtropical monsoon climate and vegetation.
The city also has rich natural attractions, including popular beaches such as Dameisha, Xiaomeisha, Xichong, and Judiaosha and nature reserves like Dapeng Peninsula National Geopark, the Mangrove Nature Reserve, Wutong Mountain and Inner Lingding Island.
Shenzhen has a subtropical monsoon climate. The weather is generally temperate to mild, with plenty of rain and sunshine. The annual average temperature is 22.4 degrees Celsius. A total of 355 days a year are frost-free. The yearly rainfall totals 1,933.3 millimeters and the average annual number of hours of sunshine is 2,120.5.
About half of Shenzhen’s total area is within a nature protection zone for suburban parks. Forests cover 41.2 percent of the city’s total land. The average annual concentration of PM2.5 in the city is 28 micrograms per cubic meter, making Shenzhen one of the 10 cities in the country with the best air quality.
Tourism and leisure
One of the most important and profitable tourist cities in China, Shenzhen is regarded as the capital of Chinese theme parks and tourism innovation. There are more than 100 scenic spots around the city, including man-made theme parks, natural ecological parks, coastal resorts, shopping plazas and historic sites.
With sea, land and air checkpoints, Shenzhen has a safe, quick and convenient tourist transport network. Eating, living, traveling, shopping and recreating in Shenzhen are made easy and fun with ample tourism infrastructure and products and food from around the world. Shenzhen is a coastal cosmopolitan tourist city. Visitors can travel freely and quickly within a one-hour drive and appreciate the modern young city’s beauty and ethos.
Shenzhen has a large number of coastal scenic spots, including the Shenzhen Bay, the Mangrove Nature Reserve and a 15-kilometer coastal leisure corridor in the west, with Zhongying Street, Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches, Sea World, and Dapeng Peninsula in the east.
The coastline along the Dapeng Peninsula was named one of the eight most beautiful coasts in China by Chinese National Geography magazine. Shenzhen has more than 20 public beaches, some of which are linked by seaside walkways. The OCT Bay is dubbed the “cultural lounge of Shenzhen” and the Shekou International Cruise Home Port has become a new tourist attraction.
OCT East, a national ecological resort occupying about nine square kilometers, aims to provide visitors with an opportunity to escape from the bustle of city life and return to nature. Tourists can also feel tranquility at other local spots including Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, the 943.7-meter Wutong Mountain, the mountainside Hongfa Temple, Waterlands Resort, Guangming Farm, Qiniang Mountain and Fenghuang Mountain.
Shenzhen is not only a modern city with a history of reform and opening up, but also a city with an ancient civilization. New Stone Age ruins found in Xiantouling in Dapeng indicate that humans inhabited the area at least 6,700 years ago. There are 51 city-level protected sites containing cultural relics around Shenzhen, including the well-known Zhongying Street, Dapeng Fortress, Qing Dynasty Hakka architecture, Song Dynasty Young Emperor’s Tomb and Chiwan Battery.
Intangible cultural legacies
Shenzhen’s list of intangible cultural legacies include 164 items covering categories ranging from folk culture, folk music, traditional dance, folk arts and folk customs to traditional craftsmanship and traditional medicine.
Among these items, seven are State-level intangible cultural legacies: fish-lantern dance of Shatoujiao, traditional orthopedic skills of the Guo family of Pingle, Chinese kylin dance of Dachuankeng, Qixing lion dance of Songgang, kylin dance of Yongshengtang of Bantian, traditional ancestor-worship ceremony of Xiasha Village and Jia School’s Acupressure Therapy.
Tourism and cultural festivals
There are more than 170 tourism-related and cultural festivals in Shenzhen, including Shenzhen Golden Coast Tourism Festival, Shenzhen Dapeng International Outdoor Carnival and Window of the World International Beer Festival. The Happy Valley International Magic Festival is one of the biggest magic festivals in the world, attracting top magicians from around the globe every year.
Shenzhen is renowned as a shopping paradise, with abundant choices of international luxury goods and local products at hand. The culturally diverse city offers a variety of foods, from Western cuisines to local street food.
With a developed retail network, there are more than 204,000 retail outlets in Shenzhen, with floor space of more than 25 million square meters, or 1.52 square meters per capita. There are nearly 500 stores that have floor space of more than 5,000 square meters. Eight top national retail chains, such as China Resources Vanguard, are headquartered in Shenzhen.
Food and bars
Shenzhen serves some of the best food in the world. With thousands of eateries, visitors can taste delicious food representing countless cultures. Bar streets, including those in Shekou Sea World, Window of the World and Coco Park, all provide good choices for pub-goers at night.
Shenzhen has land, sea, air and rail ports. There are nine wharfs, such as Shekou wharf, Fuyong wharf and Yantian wharf, in Shenzhen and the city has six railway stations, including Shenzhen Railway Station, Shenzhen North Railway Station and Shenzhen East Railway Station.
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, an important rail link in the country, runs across Shenzhen. Shenzhen International Airport is a regional pivot airport and the fourth-largest airport in China. As one of the top 100 airports in the world, Shenzhen Airport has so far launched 46 international flights and four flights to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Shenzhen has 15 checkpoints that allow the flow of both Chinese and foreign nationals. Luohu Checkpoint is China’s busiest land passenger checkpoint, while Huanggang Checkpoint offers around-the-clock service. Futian Checkpoint offers seamless transfer by Metro to Hong Kong, and Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint offers both Hong Kong and Shenzhen immigration inspection services.
Recommended travel time
With longer summers and no winters, Shenzhen is perfect for a vacation in all seasons. And the period from November to April is the best.
From November to April: The city has short spring and autumn and mild and sunny winter. The average temperature is around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, which is the best time for travel. The lowest temperature in winter often occurs between the end of January and February, therefore it is recommended to wear a sweater and a thick coat.
From May to October: Shenzhen has a long summer, and public spaces such as buses, metros and shopping malls turn on the air conditioner from March to December. The highest temperature of Shenzhen normally occurs in July.
Tips: On average, the number of typhoons affecting Shenzhen is 4.2 times per year. The typhoon flooding period is from July to October, which may lead to flight delays.
Recommended days of travel: 2 to 5 days
Shenzhen’s main attractions are mainly concentrated in Nanshan, Futian and Luohu districts. If you want to go on shopping, entertainment, sightseeing trips, 2 to 3 days is enough. However, if you plan to go to the Dapeng Peninsula in the east, it is recommended to add another 1 to 2 days.
The consumption level in Shenzhen is basically the same as that in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Compared with Longgang and Bao’an districts, which are located in northwestern Shenzhen, the price of Luohu, Futian, Nanshan and Yantian districts that are near Hong Kong are relatively high.
Most of Shenzhen’s parks and attractions, such as Dapeng Fortress, Shenzhen Mangrove Ecological Park and Dameisha, offer free entry. Tickets of theme parks and amusement parks represented by Window of the World are around 200 yuan. The high-rise themed sightseeing tour is around 100 yuan.
The average dietary consumption in Shenzhen varies greatly from tens to hundreds of yuan. A traditional Cantonese breakfast changfen (steamed rice roll) costs 8 to 15 yuan and a cup of soy milk costs three yuan. A Cantonese dim sum meal costs 60 to 100 yuan per person.
There are various types of accommodation in Shenzhen and the price also varies a lot. The standard hotel price is between 300-500 yuan. The high-end hotels and resorts above four stars are over 400 yuan per night. Youth hostels in the Dapeng Peninsula coastal scenic spot generally cost 50 to 100 yuan a night.
Metro and buses are the main travel mode in Shenzhen. The metro starts at 2 yuan within 4 kilometers, and the bus starts at 1 to 2 yuan. The flag-fall price of taxies is 10 yuan for the first 2 kilometers and 2.6 yuan for every additional kilometer.
Data by Shenzhen Government