In just a little over 30 years Shenzhen has seen a near-miraculous transformation from a quiet little fishing village into one of the fastest growing cities in the world – part of the charm which has turned it into a major tourist attraction. Its generally pleasant weather makes it an ideal vacation spot no matter what time of year you choose to go.
Traipsing All Over China
In a way, Shenzhen really is the gateway to seeing the rest of China- albeit in miniature form. Splendid China and the China Folk Cultural Villages are both wonderful parks and great in the sense that they enable you to see most of China without leaving Shenzhen, thanks to much scaled-down versions of the country’s historical and cultural icons.
Splendid China contains mini versions of China’s main landmarks, all exactly replicating their original geographical locations. Their setting within beautiful gardens makes it a pleasant historical stroll.
Among the replicas included are the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, The Great Wall, Potala Palace and The Forbidden Palace, depicting the marriage of Emperor Guangxu. There is also a replica of the Old Summer Palace, which now no longer stands in its original place having been reduced to rubble at the turn of the 20th century. A new palace was later rebuilt in Beijing and is a popular tourist site to this day.
The replicas are not restricted to buildings and structures alone, but also include animals, mountains, rivers and other famous natural landmarks. Various events in Chinese History as well as cultural shows are also held although some of them only on weekends. Be sure to check beforehand so as to not be unduly disappointed. A traditional shopping street is also depicted- a great place to get knick-knacks and antiques. One can also sample the various foods that China has to offer.
The park is quite extensive, hence cars and trains are conveniently provided to cart visitors around the park so there is no need to tire yourself out as you try to see everything. Right next door is the China Folk Cultural Village which depicts the daily life, culture and architecture of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Not only can you see the different lifestyles of each of the ethnic groups, but you can literally immerse yourself in some of their activities such as food and dance, more so if you happen to be there during one of the festivities unique to a particular ethnic group.
Around The World In……. 81 Hours?
Yet another surprise awaits tourists to Shenzhen as they discover that they can see the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower, then go skiing on the ‘Alps’, all in one day. It sounds ridiculous and indeed it is geographically impossible- unless you are in yet another of Shenzhen’s amazing parks, the Window of the World. This park is huge though and with so many things to do and see, it would take the good part of a day to finish touring. Besides major world landmarks one can also get a taste of foods unique to the countries on display.
Be Rapunzel – Let Down Your Hair!
If you are a theme park buff then a trip to the Happy Valley just has to be on your list. This huge, modern entertainment park is composed of nine different areas, each with their own theme, including a Spanish Square, Cartoon City and Shangri-La Woods to name a few. There are nearly 100 games, rides and performances- including magic and acrobatics- to satisfy any adult or child.
That is not the end of Shenzhen’s list of attractions. Other must-sees include the Art Museum, Botanical Gardens as well as beaches and hot springs outside the city itself. All in all Shenzhen really has the perfect blend of anything and everything to make your trip a memorable one.