Shenzhen

Gleaming skyscrapers, global businesses
and Cantonese dining

Half a century ago, Shenzhen was a peaceful fishing village. Today it’s an ever-growing, 21st-century success story, strutting proudly on the world stage. Attracting high-fliers from across China to its high-tech, global corporations, the city has a burgeoning clubbing and bar scene in Coco Park and Luohu, gleaming shopping malls packed with designer gear, and top-end global dining.

Peer over Shenzhen’s skyline from the 69th-floor Meridian View Center, and then take time to reconnect with days gone by. Whizz through 5,000 years of Cantonese culture among ancient temple relics and Opium Wars dioramas at Shenzhen Museum, or stroll through butterfly gardens to the pagoda-style Buddhist Hongfa Temple in verdant Fairy Lake Botanical Garden.

 

Pick up a reproduction Warhol at Dafen Oil Painting Village, or attend a free concert of classical Chinese opera at Arata Isozaki’s avant-garde Concert Hall. You can learn traditional calligraphy in Book City stores, negotiate the intricacies of gong fu tea ceremonies in ornate teahouses, and haggle in the old-fashioned way for thoroughly modern drones at Huaqiangbei Street electronics stores.

Blessed in its location on the Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen even doubles as a seaside resort. Head for Dameisha Beach, along with locals in the know, for stretches of sand, windsurfing and parasailing, or tuck into freshly caught squid and perch at waterfront restaurants in Nan’ao Bay. And there’s no better place to reignite a taste for Cantonese dishes like char siu bao buns and roast duck than in the eateries of Bagua Yilu Food Street or Zhenhua Road.

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