Shenzhen: Wikis


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Sam Zan
—  Sub-provincial city  —
From top: Statue of Deng Xiaoping, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Shennan Dadao, Shun Hing Square, and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor
Location of Shenzhen within Guangdong in China
Shenzhen is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 22°33′N 114°06′E / 22.55°N 114.1°E / 22.55; 114.1
Country  China
Province Guangdong
County-level divisions 6
SEZ formed May 1, 1980
 - Sub-provincial city 2,050 km2 (790 sq mi)
 - Urban 395.81 km2 (152.8 sq mi)
Elevation 25 m (82 ft)
Population (end of 2007)
 - Sub-provincial city 8,615,500
 Density 4,202.7/km2 (10,884.9/sq mi)
 Urban 4,000,000
 - Urban Density 10,105.9/km2 (26,174.1/sq mi)
 - Major nationalities Han
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 755
License plate prefixes 粤B
Chinese 深圳
Cantonese Jyutping sam1 zan3
Hanyu Pinyin Shēnzhèn
Literal meaning deep drains

Shenzhen (Chinese: 深圳市pinyin: Shēnzhèn Shì; IPA: [ʂən˥tʂən˥˩]) is a city of sub-provincial administrative status in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. Owing to China's economic liberalization under the policies of reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, the area became China's first—and arguably one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones.

Shenzhen's novel and modern cityscape is the result of the vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment since the late 1970s, when it was a small fishing village. Since then, foreign nationals have invested more than US$30 billion for building factories and forming joint ventures. It is now reputedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world.[1] Being southern mainland China's major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the second busiest port in mainland China, ranking only after Shanghai.



Earliest known ancient records that carried the name of Shenzhen date from 1410 during the Ming Dynasty. Local people called the drains in paddy fields 圳 “zhen.” Shenzhen, 深圳 literally means “deep drains” because the area used to be crisscrossed with rivers and streams, and there were deep drains in the paddy fields. Shenzhen became a township at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, and was renamed Xin’an and Bao’an later[2].

The one-time fishing village of Shenzhen was singled out by the late Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to be the first of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China. It was formally established in 1979 due to its proximity to Hong Kong, then a prosperous British territory. 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".[3]

The location was chosen to attract industrial investments from Hong Kong since the two places are near each other and share the same culture.[citation needed] The concept proved successful, propelling the further opening up of China and continuous economic reform. Shenzhen eventually became one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, which has become one of the economic powerhouses of China as well as the largest manufacturing base in the world.

Shenzhen, formerly known as Bao'an County (宝安县), was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by Guangdong province, in November 1979. In May 1980, Shenzhen was formally nominated as a "special economic zone", the first one of its kind in China. It was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988.

Shenzhen is the earliest of the five special economic zones in China. Deng Xiaoping is usually credited with the opening up of economic revival in China, often epitomized with the city of Shenzhen, which benefited the most from the policies of Deng.

For five months in 1996, Shenzhen was home to the Provisional Legislative Council and Provisional Executive Council of Hong Kong.


The boomtown of Shenzhen is located in the Pearl River Delta. The municipality covers an area of 2,050 km² (790 sq. miles) including urban and rural areas, with a total population of 8,615,500, at the end of 2007. Among those, 2,123,800 had legal permanent residence. Shenzhen is a sub-tropical maritime region, with occasional tropical cyclones in summer and early autumn, with an average temperature of 22.4°C year-round (72°F) although daytime temperatures can exceed 35°C.[citation needed]

Shenzhen was originally a hilly area, with fertile agrarian land. However, after becoming a special economic zone in 1979, Shenzhen underwent tremendous change in landscape. The once hilly fishing village is now replaced by mostly flat ground in downtown area, with only Lianhua Shan (Lotus Hill), Bijia Shan (Bijia Mountain) and Wutong Shan the only three places that have some kind of elevation viewed from satellites. With the influx of emigrants from inland China, Shenzhen is experiencing a second stage boom, and it is now expanding peripherally and the hills in surrounding areas such as Mission Hills are now being toppled over to make land for more development.

Shenzhen is located on the border with the Hong Kong SAR across the Sham Chun River and Sha Tau Kok River, 100 km southeast of the provincial capital of Guangzhou, and 60 km south of the industrial city of Dongguan. To the southwest, the resort city of Zhuhai is a 60 km away.


Shenzhen is situated in the subtropical part of China, located at about the Tropic of Cancer. Under Koppen’s climate classification, Shenzhen has a humid subtropical climate. The weather is generally temperate and mild in the autumn; winters are mild as the South China Sea buffers its climate, so cold snaps are not common. In the spring Shenzhen is relatively dry, and then it has a hot and wet summer, occasionally hit by typhoons from the east, but the temperature rarely reaches over 35 degrees Celsius.

Climate data for Shenzhen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20
Average low °C (°F) 13
Precipitation mm (inches) 21
Source: per MSN 2008

Administrative divisions

Shenzhen is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over seven districts (区 qu):

Subdivisions of Shenzhen-China1.png Subdivision Population Land area
as of 2006 km²
Shenzhen City Proper
Luohu-qu 罗湖区 867,800 78.9
Futian-qu 福田区 1,182,200 79
Nanshan-qu 南山区 3,380,000 151
Yantian-qu 盐田区 218,700 72.63
Shenzhen Suburban and Rural
Bao'an-qu 宝安区 3,380,000 712.95
Longgang-qu 龙岗区 1,900,000 844.07
Guangming xin-qu 光明新区 n/a 89
Pingshan xin-qu 坪山新区 n/a n/a

The Special Economic Zone comprises Luohu, Futian, Nanshan, and Yantian but not Bao'an, Guangming, and Longgang.

Located in the centre of the SEZ and adjacent to Hong Kong, Luohu is the financial and trading centre. It covers an area of 78.89 km². Futian, where the Municipal Government is situated, is at the heart of the SEZ and covers an area of 78.04 km². Covering an area of 164.29 km², Nanshan is the centre for high-tech industries and it is situated in the west of the SEZ. Outside the SEZ, Bao'an (712.92 km²) and Longgang (844.07 km²) are located to the north-west and north-east of Shenzhen respectively. Yantian (75.68 km²) is known for logistics. Yantian Port is the second largest deepwater container terminal in China and 4th largest in the world.


Shenzhen has seen its population and activity develop rapidly since the establishment of the SEZ. Its official population listed at around fourteen million (including floating residents,2008), Shenzhen has been the fastest growing city in China for the past 30 years.[citation needed] However, many people think there are far more residents, mostly because they are commuters from Dongguan. One problem with such rampant population growth is the accompanied problem of people without hukou, or residency permits (with 70% of that number being residents without a permanent hukou), most "old" Shenzhen locals felt that the practice of opening the city to inland residents is making it less competitive with other Chinese cities.

There had been migration into southern Guangdong and what is now Shenzhen since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) but the numbers increased dramatically since Shenzhen was established in the 1980s. In Guangdong, it is the only city where Mandarin is mostly spoken, with migrants from all over China. At present, the average age in Shenzhen is less than 30. Among the total, 8.49 percent are between the age of 0 and 14, 88.41 percent between the age of 15 and 59, one-fifth between 20 and 24 and 1.22 percent are aged 65 or above.

The population structure polarizes into two opposing extremes: intellectuals with a high level of education, and migrant workers with poor education.[4] It was reported in June 2007 that over 20 percent of China's PhD's worked in Shenzhen.[5]

According to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, in 2002, 7,200 Hong Kong residents commuted daily to Shenzhen for work, and 2,200 students from Shenzhen commuted to school in Hong Kong. Though neighbouring each other, daily commuters still need to pass through customs and immigration checkpoints, as travel between the SEZ and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is restricted.

In late July 2003, China relaxed travel restrictions to allow individuals from the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as Beijing and Shanghai, to visit Hong Kong. Previously, mainland travelers could only visit the city as part of tour groups. (See Individual Visit Scheme.)

Immigration into Shenzhen from the Chinese interior was previously restricted by the hukou system. One consequence is that just outside of Shenzhen, there exist large towns consisting of now settled migrants who had previously attempted to enter the city.


In 2001, the working population reached 3.3 million. Though the secondary sector of industry had the largest share (1.85 million in 2001, increased by 5.5%), the tertiary sector of industry is growing fast (1.44 million in 2001, increased by 11.6%). Shenzhen's GDP totaled CNY 780.65 billion in 2008, up by 12.1 percent over the previous year, with a GDP per capita of $US 13,148.23 as of 2008. Its economy grew by 16.3 percent yearly from 2001 to 2005 on average. The proportion of the three industries to the aggregate of GDP was 0.1:48.9:51.0 in 2008. The proportion of the primary industry to GDP was down by 13.4%, and the tertiary industry was up by 12.5%.[6] Shenzhen is in the top ranks among mainland Chinese cities in terms of comprehensive economic power. It ranked fourth in GDP among mainland Chinese cities in 2001, while it ranked the top in GDP per capita during the same period. Its import and export volumes have been first for the last nine consecutive years. It is the second in terms of industrial output. For five consecutive years, its internal revenue within local budget ranks third. It also ranks third in the use of foreign capital.[7]

Shenzhen is a major manufacturing centre in China. In the 1990s, Shenzhen was described as, "one highrise a day and one boulevard every three days". The Shenzhen skyline has 13 buildings at over 200 metres tall, including the Shun Hing Square (the 9th tallest building in the world).[8]

Shenzhen is home to some of P.R. China's most successful high-tech companies, such as Huawei, Tencent and ZTE. Huawei is headquartered in the Longgang District.[9] A number of foreign IT companies also have facilities in the city. Taiwan's largest company Hon Hai Group has a manufacturing plant based in Shenzhen which makes most of the iPods, iPhones and notebooks for Apple, Inc. Lenovo, the Chinese conglomerate that bought the personal computing division of IBM in 2005, manufactures its line of ThinkPad notebook computers in Shenzhen. IBM has a joint venture in Shenzhen manufacturing server products. Many of these foreign high-tech companies have their operations in the Science and Technology park in Nanshan District or outside the core districts where labor and land are much cheaper. In the financial sector, China Merchants Bank, one of the largest banks in China, has its headquarters in Shenzhen. Shenzhen City Commercial Bank, Ping An Insurance and Wal-Mart China are also based in the city.

In 2008, the GDP reached a record high of 780.65 billion yuan, an increase of 12.1% over 2007. Shenzhen's economic output is ranked fourth among the 659 Chinese cities (behind Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou), and it is comparable to that of a medium sized province in China. In 2008, Shenzhen's GDP per capita was 89,814 yuan (US$13,153), making it one of the richest of all Chinese cities.[citation needed]

Industrial zones

Main industrial zones in Shenzhen are Shenzhen Free Trade Zone and Shenzhen High-tech Industrial Park.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) is a mutualized national stock exchange under the China Securities Regulatory Commission (the CSRC) that provides a venue for securities trading. A broad spectrum of market participants, including 540 listed companies, 35 million registered investors and 177 exchange members, create the market. Here buying and selling orders are designed to be matched in a fair, open and orderly market, through an automated system to create the best possible prices based on price-time priority. Trading volumes have been robust.

Since its creation in 1990, the SZSE has grown with a market capitalization around 1 trillion yuan (US$122 billion). On a daily basis, around 600,000 deals, valued at US$807 million, trade on the SZSE.

China's securities market is undergoing fundamental changes. The implementation of the new securities law, company law, self-innovation strategy as well as the development of non-tradable share reform embodies enormous opportunities to the market. Adhering to the principle of "Regulation, Innovation, Cultivation and Service", the SZSE is focused on developing the Small and Medium Enterprises Board, while seeking a loose tier market.[10]

The initial public offering (IPO) activity in Shenzhen stock exchange (SZSE) was suspended from September 2000 as the Chinese government pondered merging its bourses into a single exchange in Shanghai and launched a Nasdaq-style second board in Shenzhen aimed at private and technology companies.


View of Hua Qiang Bei road (Futian District) in Shenzhen, China
City night view

Shenzhen is home to the world's ninth tallest building, the Shun Hing Square (Diwang Building). Shenzhen has built 23 buildings over 200 metres, mostly in the Luohu and Futian districts. The second tallest building in Shenzhen is SEG Plaza at a height of 356 meters (292 meters to roof-top). It is located in the commercial and shopping district of Hua Qiang Bei (华强北).

Skyscrapers in Shenzhen

Shenzhen has some of the largest public projects in China. The International Trade Center (国贸), built in 1985, was the tallest building in China when built, and the Shun Hing building was also the tallest in Asia when it was built (still the tallest steel building in the world).

Shenzhen is also the site for many tall building projects. Some of the supertalls that have been either proposed or approved are well over 400 meters. The current tallest building under construction is the 439 metre tall Kingkey Finance Tower, which will be finished in 2010. Other proposed buildings would surpass the Kingkey Finance Tower's height by 2015.

For example, the 646 metre tall Pingan International Finance Centrewill be the tallest in China and second tallest building in the world upon completion in 2014 after the Burj Khalifa.

Integration with Hong Kong

View of Shenzhen, as seen from Hong Kong's border

Hong Kong and Shenzhen have very close business, trade and social links as demonstrated by the statistics presented below. Except where noted the statistics are taken from sections of the Hong Kong Government (HKG) website.[11]

As of December 2007, there are six land crossing points on the boundary between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. From west to east these are Shenzhen Bay Port road crossing (opened 1 July 2007); Fu Tian Kou An to Lok Ma Chau rail connection linking Shenzhen Metro Line 4 to the MTR's East Rail Line Lok Ma Chau Spur Line (opened 15 August 2007); Huanggang to Lok Ma Chau road connection; Futian to Man Kam To road connection; Luohu to Lo Wu rail connection linking the MTR East Rail Line to Shenzhen Metro Line 1, Shenzhen Rail Station and Luohu in general; and the Shatoujiao to Sha Tau Kok road connection.[12] Both of the rail connections require the passengers to cross the Shenzhen River on foot as there is no direct rail connection between the two cities, although the Hong Kong intercity trains to other mainland cities pass through Shenzhen without stopping.

In 2006, there were around 20,500 daily vehicular crossings of the boundary in each direction. Of these 65 percent were cargo vehicles, 27 percent cars and the remainder buses and coaches. The Huanggang crossing was most heavily used at 76 percent of the total, followed by the Futian crossing at 18 percent and Shatoujiao at 6 percent.[13] Of the cargo vehicles, 12,000 per day were container carrying and, using a rate of 1.44 teus/vehicle, this results in 17,000 teus/day across the boundary,[14] while Hong Kong port handled 23,000 teus/day during 2006, excluding transshipment trade.[15]

Trade with Hong Kong in 2006 consisted of US$333 billion of imports of which US$298 billion were re-exported. Of these figures 94 percent were associated with China.[16] Considering that 34.5 percent of the value of Hong Kong trade is air freight (only 1.3 percent by weight), a large proportion of this is associated with China as well.[17]

Also in 2006 the average daily passenger flow through the four connections open at that time was over 200,000 in each direction of which 63 percent used the Luohu rail connection and 33 percent the Huanggang road connection.[12] Naturally, such high volumes require special handling, and the largest group of people crossing the boundary, Hong Kong residents with Chinese citizenship, use only a biometric ID card (Home Return Permit) and a thumb print reader. As a point of comparison, Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport, the 5th busiest international airport in the world, handled 59,000 passengers per day in each direction.[17]

Hong Kong conducts regular surveys of cross-boundary passenger movements, with the most recent being in 2003, although the 2007 survey will be reported on soon. In 2003 the boundary crossings for Hong Kong Residents living in Hong Kong made 78 percent of the trips, up by 33 percent from 1999, whereas Hong Kong and Chinese residents of China made up 20 percent in 2006, an increase of 140 percent above the 1999 figure. Since that time movement has been made much easier for China residents, and so that group have probably increased further yet. Other nationalities made up 2 percent of boundary crossings. Of these trips 67 percent were associated with Shenzhen and 42 percent were for business or work purposes. Of the non-business trips about one third were to visit friends and relatives and the remainder for leisure.[18]

Apart from the business and family trips, many visitors come from Hong Kong to Shenzhen for the shopping, where goods and services are assumed cheaper than those in Hong Kong. However, without coming prepared knowing the prices of specific items the goods may end up being far more expensive than in Hong Kong while others are only marginally cheaper, even after a long phase of negotiating.

The shopping mall most visited by day-tourists is Lo Wu Commercial City [19], situated close Luohu border crossing. This contains an overwhelming array of beauty parlours and stores selling clothes, handbags (usually fake-designer), fabric, jewellery and electrical goods as well as many vendors of pirated software, DVDs, counterfeit goods and mobile phones. With the number of tourists, it is also a popular location for prostitution, drugs, pickpockets and begging.[citation needed] However, riding two stops on the Shenzhen Metro would bring them to Lao Jie Station [20] for the Dongmen [21] shopping area, or five stops to Hua Qiang Bei, which are the shopping areas most favoured by locals.

The other reasons for Hong Kong tourists to visit Shenzhen are the restaurants from many provinces, usually at a cost of one quarter that of Hong Kong, and the genuine massage and beauty parlours at about one tenth the cost of Hong Kong.[citation needed]

Future integration plans

In Section 114(1) of the policy address on 10 October 2007,[22] Donald Tsang, Hong Kong Chief Executive, stated:

Jointly developing a world-class metropolis with Shenzhen: In my Election Platform, I have put forward the vision of developing the Hong Kong-Shenzhen metropolis and undertaken to strengthen our co-operation. My proposals met with positive responses from the Shenzhen authorities. We share a common goal and have had some preliminary exchange of views. Currently, we are discussing airport collaboration and the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop.

On 21 November 2007, the Shenzhen Government officially endorsed this policy and included it in the Shenzhen planning blueprint for the period up to 2020. It was announced that Shenzhen mayor, Xu Zongheng, would visit Hong Kong in December 2007 to sign a metropolis agreement with the SAR government.[23]

The plans were originally detailed by the Hong Kong non-governmental think tank, Bauhinia Research Foundation in August 2007, and covered such matters as financial services, hi-tech and high-end research and development, transport, environmental matters and ecology. It was claimed that Shenzhen-Hong Kong could be the third largest metropolis in the world in GDP terms by 2020, only behind New York City and Tokyo. The plan was also endorsed by the China Development Institute, a Shenzhen-based non-government think tank.[24]


An anchor outside the main entrance to the Minsk World theme park in Shenzhen.

Situated in the Pearl River Delta in China’s Guangdong Province, Shenzhen Port is adjacent to Hong Kong. The city’s 260 km coastline is divided by the Kowloon Peninsula into two halves, the eastern and the western. Shenzhen’s western port area lies to the east of Lingdingyang in the Pearl River Estuary and possesses a deep water harbour with superb natural shelters. It is about 20 sea miles from Hong Kong to the south and 60 sea miles from Guangzhou to the north. By passing Pearl River system, the western port area is connected with the cities and counties in Pearl River Delta networks; by passing On See Dun waterway, it extends all ports both at home and abroad. The eastern port area lies north of Dapeng Bay where the harbour is wide and calm and is regarded as the best natural harbour in South China.

Shenzhen handled a record number of containers in 2005, ranking as the world's fourth-busiest port, after rising trade increased cargo shipments through the southern Chinese city. Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. and other operators of the port handled 16.2 million standard 20-foot (6.1 m) boxes last year, a 19 per cent increase.

Investors in Shenzhen are expanding to take advantage of rising volume. Hong Kong-based Hutchison, the world's biggest port operator, and its mainland Chinese partner plan to add six berths at Yantian by 2010, bringing the total to 15. The company also plans to pay its parent company HK$2.07 billion (US$265 million) for land at Shekou to expand its cargo business.

Yantian International Container Terminals, Chiwan Container terminals, Shekou Container Terminals, China Merchants Port and Shenzhen Haixing (Mawan port) are the major port terminals in Shenzhen.


Shenzhen can be reached by air, train, sea, or road.


Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport is 35 kilometers from central Shenzhen and connects the city with many other parts of China, and serves some international destinations. It is normally cheaper for people based in Hong Kong to fly to Mainland Chinese destinations from Shenzhen rather than from Hong Kong, and it is usually cheaper for those based in southern Mainland China to fly out of Hong Kong to international destinations.


Shenzhen Railway Station is located at the junction of Jianshe Lu, Heping Lu and Renmin Nan Lu and provides links to different parts of China. There are frequent high speed trains to Guangzhou, plus long-distance trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, Jiujiang, Maoming, Shantou and other destinations. The train from Hong Kong's Hung Hom MTR station to the Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau border crossings take 43 minutes and 45 minutes respectively. Trains depart East Tsim Sha Tsui for Lo Wu every 6–8 minutes from 5:36am to 11:13pm. The border crossing at Lo Wu is open daily from 6:30am to midnight. The Lok Ma Chau border crossing closes around 10:30. The border crossing at Lok Ma Chau often is much less busy than the Lo Wu crossing and so Immigration lines are usually much shorter. Returning trains from Lo Wu to East Tsim Sha Tsui depart every 6–8 minutes from 6:38am to 12:30am. The Lok Ma Chau Trains run at 10 minute intervals.

There is another railway station located in Nanshan District, Shenzhen Xi, which is used for a small number of long distance trains, such as the one to Hefei.

The Shenzhen Metro system opened on 27 December 2004. It has two lines, one from Luohu (Lo Wu & Shenzhen railway stations) to Window of the World, and the other from Futian kouan to Shaonian gong (youth palace). A new line is under construction and is expected to start service in the second half of 2010.


Shenzhen is also connected by fast ferries linking Shekou, on the west edge of the SEZ with Zhuhai, Macau, Hong Kong International Airport, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island.

Shenzhen has shorelines in its southwest and southeast and the city is home to some of the most popular and best beaches in China. Beaches like Dameisha and Xiaomeisha are often crowded with locals and tourists. One of the best beaches of China, the Xichong beach, is just one hour drive from downtown Shenzhen, and it still retains its age old natural beauties.


Since February 2003, the road border crossing at Huanggang and Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong has been open 24 hours a day. The journey can be made by private vehicle or by bus. On 15 August 2007, the Lok Ma Chau-Huanggang pedestrian border crossing opened, linking Lok Ma Chau Station with Huanggang. With the opening of the crossing, shuttle buses between Lok Ma Chau transport interchange and Huanggang were terminated.

Taxis are metered and come in three colors. Red taxis may travel anywhere; green ones are restricted to outside the SEZ, and yellow ones are restricted to inside the SEZ.

There are also frequent bus and van services from Hong Kong International Airport to Huanggang and most major hotels in Shenzhen.

Tourist attractions

The beach of Xichong

Shenzhen's major tourist attractions include the Chinese Folk Culture Village, the Window of the World, Happy Valley, Splendid China, the Safari Park in Nanshan district, the Dameisha Promenade, Xiaomeisha Beach Resort in Yantian district, Zhongying Jie / Chung Ying Street, Xianhu Lake Botanical Garden, and Minsk World. The city also offers free admission to a number of public parks including the Lianhuashan Park, Lizhi Park, Zhongshan Park and Wutongshan Park.

There are over twenty public city parks in Shenzhen; including Bijiashan Park, Caitian Park, Cuizhu Park, Donghu Park, Ertong Park, Haibin Shengtai Park (aka: Hongshulin Park) Honghu Park, Huanggang Park, Lianhuashan Park, Lilin Park, Lixiang Park, Lizhi (Futian District) Park, Lizhi (Nanshan District), Luohu Wenhua Park, Meilin Park, Nanshan Park (aka: Da Nanshan), Renmin Park, Shigushan Park, Sihai Park, Songpingshan Park, Zhongxin Park (aka: Central Park), and Zhongshan Park.[25]

Shenzhen offers a wide variety of cuisines that its numerous restaurants provide.

Some tourists, however, choose to stay in a largely expatriate and exotic residential community called Shekou, home to a large French cruise liner cemented into the ground called Sea World[26]. Shekou was expanded and renovated in recent years, including claiming additional land from the sea.

Shenzhen's central music hall and library are located in the Shenzhen Cultural Center.

In recent years, the East Coast (shoreline) of Shenzhen has attracted more and more tourists, including backpackers. One of the most famous beaches is Xichong in the south of Dapeng Peninsula.


Colleges and universities

High Schools

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Shenzhen is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ "Shenzhen". U.S. Commercial Service. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  2. ^ "Modern Shenzhen and its rediscovered past". Lonely Writers Publishing. 
  3. ^ "The spirit of enterprise fades: Capitalism in China". The Economist 394 (8666): 61. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Shenzhen Government Online, Citizens' Life (Recovered from the Wayback Machine)
  5. ^ Shenzhen Daily 13 June 2007
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ top skylines
  9. ^ "Contact us." Huawei. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  10. ^ main
  11. ^ GovHK - one-stop portal of the Hong Kong SAR Government / 香港政府一站通
  12. ^ a b HKG Monthly Digest of Statistics
  13. ^ HKG Traffic and Transport Digest
  14. ^ HKG Cross Boundary Survey 2004
  15. ^ HKG Shipping Statistics
  16. ^ HKG Trade and Industry Statistics
  17. ^ a b Hong Kong International Airport - Your Regional Hub with Worldwide Connections and Gateway to China
  18. ^ HKG Cross Boundary Survey 1999 & 2003
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ 2007-08 Policy Address - Policy Address
  23. ^ SZ-HK metropolis on agenda
  24. ^ Shenzhen 'worthy' partner for HK -
  25. ^ The City Parks of Shenzhen The City Parks of Shenzhen ~ Retrieved February 2, 2010
  26. ^

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Shenzhen (深圳; Shēnzhèn) is China's third most populous and richest city. It is situated in Guangdong, China on the Hong Kong border about 40km north of Hong Kong Central and approximately 100km south of Guangzhou. The city is on the list of UNESCO Creative Cities.




In 1979, Shenzhen (then mostly farmland along the Hong Kong border) was designated the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The plan was to create a sealed off enclave to experiment with market reforms and performance incentives without posing a threat or risk to the established political and economic system elsewhere in China. Shenzhen won the honor as it could easily connect to the capital and management resources of Hong Kong and serve as a buffer between a more open border with Hong Kong and the rest of mainland China.

Currently, it has a population of approximately 14 million. Its official population in 1980 at the beginning of the Special Economic Zone was 300,000, although, as the new Shenzhen Museum notes, this number included approximately 150,000 people who had fled to Hong Kong from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Shenzhen has the highest per capita income in China and, in September 2009, the Global Financial Centres Index ranked Shenzhen as number five financial centre in the world after London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.


Although little visited by international tourists, Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists. They were originally attracted by its famous theme parks but as the city has developed and become richer they increasingly come for Shenzhen's famous architecture, shopping, bars, restaurants and active art scene. Shenzhen's beaches have become famous throughout China. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen's best beaches, was nominated by China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. Visitors are also starting to recognize some fascinating historical sites, particularly related to Hakka culture, Hong Kong's annexation, and the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area.

Shenzhen is also a very popular destination for Hong Kong people. Take a suburban train ride, go through customs, and you are in downtown Shenzhen. Many goods and services are significantly cheaper in the Mainland than in Hong Kong. Prices in Shenzhen are higher than elsewhere in Mainland China, but still better than in Hong Kong. Shenzhen's abundance of land has made it a golf mecca for Hong Kong residents.

When to visit

From a climate perspective, the best time to visit Shenzhen is October to December when the temperature is pleasantly cool. Shenzhen has a sub-tropical climate with incredibly high humidity combined with high temperatures in the summer. For many, this is a season to avoid. Typhoon season is from June to October. Spring is cooler but is often humid with fog and heavy thunderstorms.

Get in


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 visiting from Hong Kong can obtain a single-entry five-day Special Economic Zone Tourism Visa on arrival for ¥160-1,000. The office is at Lo Wu (Luohu) upstairs after clearing Hong Kong immigration and customs, and currently only accepts RMB as payment. It is open 9AM-10:30PM seven days a week. It can be reached at +86 755 8232 7700. The visas are reported to be available for Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and British passport holders. Note that the charge for UK passports is much higher at currently ¥469 for the 5-day Shenzhen visa, it is ¥160 for most other nationalities. Irish travellers are sometimes charged the high UK price when they are unlucky to get a boarder official who is unaware that the UK and Ireland are different countries. US passport holders will not get any visa and may get fined for arriving there without a valid visa! 5 day visas can be issued on arrival at Huanggang and Shekou ferry port border offices. There is no visa-on-arrival office at Lok Ma Chau (Futian).

Beside the 5-day SEZ visa you can also get a full China visa (single and double entry only) at the Luohu border. Again, UK passport holders pay more, US passport holders are not served there.

Getting a tourist visa in Hong Kong now takes 3-4 days and costs HK$150-1,100. A list of costs [1] is available. The old approach of arriving in Hong Kong and immediately applying for a visa is no longer worth the cost as you may be forced to pay expensive hotel bills in Hong Kong until your visa is granted. Macau's visa office is less crowded and the hotels 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 or Hong Kong student and work visas have been known to be approved for multiple entries.

You can get a taxi van from HK Airport to Huanggang border crossing, through customs and immigration, for HK$150. Well worth it if you have a valid visa. The drivers and desk staff speak English.

By air

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport [2] has domestic and international flights. Direct coach 330 (¥25) connects the airport with downtown with its final stop next to Ke Xue Guan Metro Station. Local buses serving the airport include 327 and 355 but they are slow.

For those who plan to travel to other mainland Chinese cities from Hong Kong, Shenzhen airport is a viable alternative to Hong Kong International Airport. While most cities in China have direct flights to Hong Kong they are much more expensive than flights to and from Shenzhen. With good scheduling you can do your international travel through Hong Kong and then connect via buses or ferry to Shenzhen Airport for your domestic needs, but make sure you have your visa ready before you attempt this. Shenzhen Airport is very efficiently managed. However, it desperately needs a further terminal and a second runway. These are currently under construction, but in the meantime, aircrafts are often parked on the apron and flight delays are common. If you have no check-in luggage and can read Chinese, use the self check-in terminals.

In addition to domestic flights, the airport also serves limited international flights from the following destinations:

  • Air Asia [3] flies direct from Bangkok, Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
  • Silkair [4] and Tiger Airways [5] fly direct from Singapore.

There is also a helicopter service from Terminal Marítimo in Macau to Shenzhen Airport [6], though it is very expensive.

Taxis to central Futian are approximately ¥100 and to Luohu approximately ¥135 including tolls.

From Hong Kong airport, there are very frequent bus and van services that can take you from the Hong Kong airport to most hotels in Shenzhen. The bus/van fare is ¥190-250. If you are a seasoned traveler, you can take the bus/van to Huanggang border, go through immigration and then get your own taxi to take you to where you want to go. The bus/van fare to Huanggang is ¥100-150. The bus/van companies have counters inside the airport. The staff at the information booth should be able to direct you to their counters. There is also ferry services 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 (Shenzhen 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 bus to the ferry and then straight to China. It is cheaper and easier than going into Hong Kong Central or Kowloon. If you exit China this way you get HK$120 departure tax given to you when you arrive at HKIA.

Taxis go from Hong Kong Airport directly to the border posts at Shenzhen Bay (approx HK$350) and Lok Ma Chau (approx HK$275) where you can walk directly across the border. Make sure you catch the green New Territories taxi (cheaper). The Lok Ma Chau border closes at 10.30PM and the Shenzhen Bay border at 11.30PM.

By land

Shenzhen has border train and bus connections to Hong Kong. There are trains to Guangzhou and buses to most nearby cities.

There are six land border crossings: Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang, Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou'an, Lo Wu/Luohu, Sha Tau Kok/Shatoujiao, Man Kam To/Wenjindu and Shenzhen Wan which is at the end of a long and elegant bridge across Shenzhen Bay.

Lo Wu/Luohu is one of two ports for train connections and the most popular crossing point, operating daily 6:30AM-midnight. Be aware that the last several trains do not go to Lo Wu, they terminate at Sheung Shui. Lo Wu is the last stop of the MTR East Rail Line. East Rail, which connects to downtown Kowloon at Hung Hom Station. Because Lo Wu is in Hong Kong's Border Restricted Area, MTR Eastrail is the only way to reach it. Lo Wu Station is only open for travel to Shenzhen or beyond, and a valid travel document is required to travel there.

For people travelling to Futian including the Free Trade Zone and other destinations in Central and Western Shenzhen, the most convenient rail route is the train from Hung Hom to Lok Ma Chau station, this is not the Lok Mau Chau/Huanggang border crossing, but the Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou'an crossing. It connects directly to the Shenzhen Metro line 4 Futian Kou An Station. The train follows the same route as the Lowu one but turns off at the last station. This service only goes til 9:30PM.

The MTR East Rail Line commuter train which connects Hung Hom to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau with several intermediate stops mainly serves Hong Kong locals. It interchanges with the urban section of the MTR at Kowloon Tong Station and East Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal. For those traveling to or from Hong Kong Island, it is recommended to transfer to Cross Harbor Bus in Hung Hom Station or the Tsuen Wan Line at East Tsim Sha Tsui.

The journey from East Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu takes 42 minutes and costs HK$33-36.50, first class is charged double. However generally you can save about HK$7 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 are operated in rush hour, so check the destination screen before boarding. The train can be crowded during rush hours as it serves millions of commuters along the line as well.

For more details, check the MTR web site [7].

The road border crossings (such as Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang) are accessible by cross-boundary coaches from Hong Kong.

Domestic China Railway services arrive and depart from Shenzhen Rail Station in Luohu District - immediately north of the HK border. 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 75RMB 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. Some K-series overnight trains will run from Shenzhen West Station although it is very far from downtown and has poor transport connections.

There are several long-distance bus stations - the most convenient is Luohu Bus Station - adjacent to the rail station and the border crossing. It has regular services 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 le 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.

By sea

There are ferries from Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui Central, also know as HongKong/Macau and the airport), Macau, and Zhuhai. They land at the ferry terminal at Shekou. There is further information available online: Hong Kong Ferry Info [8], Shenzhen Ferry Info [9] (site only in Chinese, English version under construction).

Shenzhen Metro
Shenzhen Metro

By metro

The Shenzhen Metro (深圳地铁) [10] is the most convenient and easy to understand method of transport around the Shenzhen city area. Fares are ¥2-5. Trains come every 3 minutes or so and the metro runs until 11PM. Note that 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. Line 1 runs east to west from Luohu (HK Border/Shenzhen Station) to Shen Da (Shenzhen University). Line 4 is a partially-open north-south line which most conveniently links to Futian Kou'an for the Lok Ma Chau border crossing.

Buy your ticket at the ticket machines on the concourse. 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 at the ticket window. 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.

Note that unlike most subways, the exit-guide signs in the station are only written in Chinese except for a handful of major attractions. There are also no local maps in the station so finding the right exit can be a problem.

By taxi

Taxi meters start at ¥12.50 for the first 2 kilometers, then ¥0.60 for each 250 meters. Late night costs slightly higher. 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 licence prominently displayed in the plastic stand provided for this purpose on the right hand dashboard of every cab. If there is no licence, get the next cab.

Driving is notably 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"). We don't know what happens when you complain but it is expected to be BAD. 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.

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.

There are still a few gold colored cabs which can only operate inside the SEZ. Green colored cabs can only operate outside the SEZ. They cannot enter the SEZ. Red cabs can operate anywhere. Tipping is not expected at all. Round up to the next Yuan

By bus

Local buses run everywhere and start at ¥2 for most trips. The longest bus trip in the city will cost ¥7. 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 only. 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.

By Bike

Cycling is not as popular as in Beijing for example but Shenzhen is much more cycle-friendly than neighbouring Guangzhou. 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. Bike rental is not easily available but a cheap bicycle from a major supermarket or a second-hand bike shop will get you around easily. Note that electric-bicycles and motorcycles are banned within the SEZ area.

  • Get a card from your hotel with the name and address in Chinese characters (if you are lost and no one understands your Mandarin)
  • 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 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. You will likely hear every dialect and accent of Mandarin as well as the Guangdong languages of Cantonese, Teochew, and Hakka. The main non-Mandarin dialect is Hunanese.


Amusement parks

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 [11]:

  • Window of The World (世界之窗), 南山区华乔城深南大道 (Shi Jie Zhi Chuang Metro Station), [12]. 9am - 10 pm.
    Nightly Show, Windows of the World
    Nightly Show, Windows of the World
    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. Every night there are spectacular dance shows based on themes of Chinese and world history. Hundreds of dancers perform on the enormous outdoor stage. The performance finishes with a procession and fireworks at 9PM. ¥120.  edit
  • Splendid China & Chinese Folk Culture Village (深圳锦绣, 中华中国民俗文化村; Shēnzhèn Jǐnxiù Zhōnghuá, Zhōngguó Mín Wénhuà Cūn​​), (Hua Qiao Cheng Metro Station, exit D, walk about 200 meters), [13]. It combines two different sections. The first part is a miniature park of China. You can find the famous Forbidden City, Terracotta Soldiers, Tibet Potala Palace, Huangshan Mountains, Yunnan's Stone Forest, and of course the Great Wall of China. This miniature park covers 300 thousand square meters, fully forested with beautiful greenery and flower. The second 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, language and food. As with all the Shenzhen theme parks, plenty of people go just for the fixed exhibits but the real meat is in the shows. Uygur women twirl to Turkish music, Miaos dance, a miniskirted Ming Dynasty troupe performs electronic versions of Ming music and dance. There is even a Tibetan rock band. But if you are a boy, do not miss the Mongol horse battle held daily. Follow the smell of horse manure. ¥120.   edit
  • Happy Valley Theme Park (欢乐谷 huanle gu), Qiaocheng W Rd OCT 南山区华乔城乔城西路, [14]. 9am - 10pm. A classic fun park. It is a lot bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland and many would say a lot better. Divided into theme areas it has the usual fun rides. Try the flume ride but be prepared to get wet. And speaking of wet, the Playa Maya is an excellent water park built around a Maya architectural theme. There are shows all day and well into the night.  edit
  • Minsk World (明思克航母; Míng Háng), Jinrong Rd, Shatoujiao, opposite the Yantian District Government Building 盐田区沙头角金融路海滨明思克大厦; Yán​tián​ Qū​ Shā​tóu​jiǎo​) (Buses 103, 202, 205 or 430; or taxi from Lo Hu), +86 755 25355333, [15]. 9AM-7:30PM. A military theme park centered around the former Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk. You can tour the island, flight deck and second and fifth decks of the carrier. There is a short film on the carrier's history in a small theater to the left of the entrance from the shore. Many key captions and display boards are in English, but Chinese is predominant. There are tour guides stationed at various exhibits that will give brief explanations of them in Chinese only. There are periodic performances with a military theme on the flight deck and fifth deck. For ¥30, you can take a 5 minute motorboat ride around the starboard side of Minsk and get a good view of it that is not possible from the shore. There are also several exhibits of PLA military equipment on the grounds. Admission ¥110.  edit
  • OCT East (东部华侨城). 9am - 10 pm. ¥120.  edit


Shenzhen is famous in China as being one of its greenest cities. Only Dongguan, twenty miles north of Shenzhen, has a greater percentage of its area given over to parks and gardens.

  • Lianhua Mountain Park (Lotus Mountain Park; 蓮花山公園; Liánhuāshāngōngyuán), Hongli Road West, Futian Central (Metro line 4 (Shaoniangong Metro Station) Bus no 25 from Shenzhen Railway Station. Bus stop is “Lian hua shan gong yuan” 莲花山公元). 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 calsses 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 season (Autumn), do not forget your kite. (, edit
  • Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens (仙湖植物公园; Xiān Zhí Gōngyuán), Lian Shi Rd, Lian Tang Rd., Luohu District 罗湖区莲塘村莲十路 (Buses: 218, 220 to the garden gate). 7 am to 10 pm.
    Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens
    Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens
    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 ¥20. (, edit
  • Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center (园博园), Zhuzilinxi, Futian District (at the intersection of Shennan Avenue and Qiaocheng East Road) (深圳市福田区竹子林西 (深南大道与侨城东路交汇处); Fútián​ Qū Zhú​zi​lín Xī (Shēn​nán Ddà​dào Yú​ Qiáo​chéng Dōng​ Lù​ Jiāo​huì Chù​​)​​) (Qiao Cheng Dong Metro Station, exit A), [16]. 9AM-10PM. 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 sq m. It ranges from gently undulating to quite steep and contains gardens in many different styles, not only Chinese but from all over the world. We love the Jiangnan style gardens built aroubd lakes in the north-east corner. Make sure you 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 spectacular on a clear day. A further 242 steps will take you to the top of the pagoda. ¥50.   edit
  • 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. (, edit
  • Wutong Mountain National Park (梧桐山Wutong Village Luohu District 罗湖区捂桐村), [17]. At just over 900 meters, Wutong Mountain is the tallest mountain in the Pearl River Delta 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 good 5 hours 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.  edit
  • Yangtai Mountain Forest Park (羊台山森林公园), Longhua Town Bao’an 宝安区龙华镇 (We warn you that this is NOT easy to get to and we advise you 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 metres 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.  edit
  • Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Resort (石岩湖温泉度假村; Shíyánhú Wēnquánjiàcūn​​), Shiyan Town, Bao'an District (宝安区石岩镇; Bǎo​'ān​ Qū​ Shí​yán​ Zhèn​), +86 755 27164148. 6AM-9PM. 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 degrees, but is cooled to about 40 before being fed into pools. Pools are both public and private and indoor and outdoor. ¥15.  edit
  • Safari Park Shenzhen (深圳野生动物园; Shēnzhènshēng Dòngyuán), Xili Road, Nanshan District (南山区西丽路; Nán​shān​ qū​ Xīlì Lù), +86 755 26622888 (, fax: +86 755 26622333), [18]. 10AM-5PM. Billed as a safari park where the animals stare at the humans. It is dirty, disorganised and a bit of a dud but kids might like it. ¥160.  edit
  • Dafen Oil Painting Village (大份油画村; Dàfèn Yóuhuà Ccūn), Dafen Village, Buji, 龙岗区布吉街道大芬社区 (Buses: 300, 372 and 357. Da Fen You Hua Cun (大芬油画村) stop), [19]. If you do nothing else in your visit to Shenzhen, see Dafen. 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 art. 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.  edit
  • He Xiangning Art Museum (何香凝美术馆; Hé Xiāngníng Měishùguǎn), 9013 Shennan Boulevard (深南大道9013号; Shēn​nán​dà​dào​) (Get off at Huaqiaocheng Metro Station (华侨城), take exit C, walk west towards McDonald's), [20]. 10AM-5:30PM, closed Monday. 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 Friday.  edit
  • OCT Art and Design Gallery (.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 Metro Hua Qiao Cheng). 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  edit
  • 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 nos. 25,215,105 Metro Shao Nian Gong (少年宫)), [21]. 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  edit
  • Shenzhen Museum (深圳博物馆; Shēnzhènguǎn), Jintian Rd Entrance, Shenzhen Civic Centre, Futian District (福田区市民中心东座) (Central Futian (Shi Min Zhong Xin Metro Station)), +86 755 82101044, [22]. 10AM-6PM, closed Monday. In the East Wing of the Shenzhen City Hall Centre, the City Government's spectacular 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.  edit
  • 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 (Metro Station Qiao Cheng Dong, Exit A. Walk back 150 m to Enping Rd), [23].  edit
  • Shenzhen Art Museum (深圳美术馆), 32 Donghu Street, Donghu Park, Aiguo Road, Luohu 罗湖区爱国路东湖一街32号 (Bus Nos.3, 17, 360, 351, 300 . Take the bus to the Shenzhen Reservoir (Shenzhen Shui Ku) station and go to the East Lake (Dong Hu) Park), [24]. 9am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.  edit
  • Hongfa 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 spectacularly sited half way up Wutong Mountain in the Park of the Lake of the Immortals (仙湖公园), Shenzhen's largest and most beautiful park.  edit
  • 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 is built in the style of the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th centuries) and is a magnificent example of this style.  edit

Historical sites

People, even long time Shenzhen residents, will confidently tell you that "Shenzhen has no history". However there is a surprising number of 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).

  • Tomb of the Young Song Emperor (宋少帝陵; Sòng Shǎo Líng), Chiwan (赤湾; Chì​wān​). 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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 reopopulated, 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.   edit
  • Dawanshiju Hakka Fortified Village. Similarly a well preserved and enormous Hakka wei. It is of a similar scale to the Crane Lake wei.  edit
  • 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  edit
  • Shenzhen Library (深圳图书馆), 2016 Fuzhong 1st Road, Futian 福田区福中一路2016号 (Metro either Shi Min Zhong Xin or Shao Nian Gong on lines 2 and 4. Buses Nos. 25, 228, 65, 111, 71, 64, Shao Nian Gong bus stop), [25]. 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.  edit
  • Shenzhen Concert Hall (深圳音乐厅), 2016 Fuzhong 1st Road, Futian 福田区福中一路2016号 (Metro is either Shi Min Zhong Xin or Shao Nian Gong on lines 2 and 4. Buses Nos. 25, 228, 65, 111, 71, 64, Shao Nian Gong bus stop), Ticket hotline 0755-82841888 (9.00-20.00), [26]. See Shenzhen Library above. The Concert Hall hosts international standard artists in a stunning glass-wrapped setting.  edit
  • 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. Shenzhen's best Cantonese restaurant chain, Laurel, justly famed for the quality of its dim sum, has a branch with outdoor seating here. Be sure to be early. Sunday morning dim sum queues are long.  edit
  • Shekou Sea World (蛇口海上世界; Shékǒu Hǎishàng Shìjiè). In 1984 Shekou was booming and there was a serious shortage of accommodation. To deal with this, the cruise ship "Ming Hua" was moored alongside the dock and used as a floating hotel. Only nine years before it had been the focus of a political typhoon during the movement which saw Deng Xiaoping sent for the second time into political limbo. No wonder that he was happy to write an inscription in his own handwriting, "Sea World", a facsimile of which now presides in neon over the ship. The land has now been reclaimed for half a mile beyond the ship which now sits in a small pool. But the square in front of the ship is very attractive and a meeting place for all walks of Shekou life. Go there in the evening for food and drinks al fresco.  edit
  • Poly Theatre (保利剧院), Baoli Wenhua Square, Houhaibin Road, Nanshan District (南山区后海滨路保利文化广场; Nán​shān​qū​ Hòu​hǎi​bīn​ Lù Bǎo​lì​ Wén​huà​Guǎng​chǎng​​) (Buses 70, 80, K113, 204, 217, 226, 230, 245, 369, 39), +86 755 86371698, 86371699 (, fax: +86 755 86287308), [27]. 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.  edit
  • Grand Theatre.  edit
  • Shadu Song and Dance Hall.  edit
  • Shenzhen Cantonese Opera Troupe.  edit
  • Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra.  edit

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. A foot massage, pronounced “xi jiao”, (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 (pronounced “an mo” or “song gu”) 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 tend to 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. It is best to not reveal you know any spoken Chinese because you will immediately face uncomfortable questions about your salary, weight, etc.

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, [28]. Refurbished with a strong Thai themed interior decor, you almost think your 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 your not into the hanky panky business. OPS is famous for providing excellent service, massages and really good Chinese cuisine. The food is excellent although a little pricey for local standards.  edit
  • COCO Park. A large A grade shopping complex with restaraunts, bar strip, cinemas, and lots of shopping. A lot of foreigners and locals dive in on the bar strip at night (drinks stop serving at 2AM).  edit
  • SLF International Spa Club, [29]. 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.  edit

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.  edit
  • Gold Coast Club, Building 1-4, Kaili Hotel, 2027 Jiabin Road East, Luohu, [30]. 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit


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 Expressway and the Jinhe Expressway), +86 755 28020888, [31]. 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 twelve year franchise to Mission Hills  edit
  • Shenzhen Golf Club (深圳高尔夫俱乐部), Shennan Boulevard, Futian District 福田区深南大道, +86 755 3308888 (fax: +86 755 3304992), [32]. 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.  edit
  • Shahe (Sand River) Golf Club (沙河高尔夫会), Shahe East Rd Nanshan (南山区沙河东路) (From the Huanggang Border crossing travel along Binhe/Binhai freeways to Shahe East Road), [33]. Another favorite with the locals. It has 27 holes plus a nine hole night course under lights. Gary Player designed the course.  edit
  • Xili Golf Club, Tanglang Village Xili, Nanshan (南山区西丽针塘郎村), +86 755 26552888 (, fax: +86 755 26559793), [34]. This is a private club owned and managed by the Kwok family of ShangriLa fame. You will need an invitation to play here. It is worth getting it.  edit
  • Longgang Public Golf Course (龙岗高尔夫), Next to the International Velodrome, He Keng, Henggang Town, Longgang District, +86 755 28937188, [35]. 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 eighteen 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.  edit
  • 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) (Buses 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 spectacular mountains overlooking Dameisha and Mirs Bay.  edit
  • 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 84400888, [36]. An 18 hole PGA golf course set in beautiful mountain and sea surroundings near Nan'ao Town, Dapeng Peninsula.  edit


Shenzhen has some of China's best beaches, many of them untouched stretches of National Park. In 2006, Chinese 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.  edit
  • Xiaomeisha Beach.  edit
  • Jin Sha Wan Beach.  edit
  • Longqi Wan Beach.  edit
  • Judiaosha Beach.  edit
  • Shuitousha Beach.  edit
  • Nan'ao Beach.  edit
  • Xichong Beach.  edit


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.

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.

For currency information, see the China page.

  • Luohu (Cantonese Lo Wu) Commercial City, (Just across from the Hong Kong border; Luohu Metro Station, 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 experience is not representative of the rest of the city.  edit
  • Dong Men Pedestrian Street (东门步行街; Dōngménxíng Jiē), (Lao Jie Metro Station, 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.  edit
  • Wal Mart. Currently there are 8 stores but more are being built all the time. Also check out Carrefour, and 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 (香密呼), 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.  edit
  • MixC Shopping Mall, (Da Ju Yuan Metro Station, 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.  edit
  • Hua Qiang Bei, (In the SEG Building (赛格广场) on the corner of Huaqiang Bei and Shennan; Hua Qiang Lu Metro Station, 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. This most famous electronics market has seven floors of small stalls selling electronics items. The first two floors are wholesale components and the rest is dedicated to consumer goods. There are several other markets situated on bothe sides of Huaqiang and perticularly in the small streets and lanes running parallel. One famously devotes itself to stealth and security. If haggling isn't your thing, you can also get good prices on consumer electronics at Suning. Gome andSundan stores at the northern end of the street. There are good small restaurants in the streets crossing Huaqiang Bei. Starbucks is here too.  edit
  • Jusco. 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.  edit
  • KingGlory Plaza, (Guo Mao Metro Station, 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Shenzhen Book City, Fu Zhong Road 1, Futian District (Shao Nian Gong Metro Station (少年宫站), 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.  edit
  • Coco Park, (near Gou Wu Gong Yuan Metro Station (购物公园)). New shopping mega complex. Sports clothing, fashion, some restaurants, including "Norway.Oslo" which has some outdoor seating.  edit
  • SEG Electronics Market, (At the corner of Huaqiang Road and Shennan Boulevard, Huaqianglu Metro Station). 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.  edit
  • Mingtong Electronics Market, (Few minutes from the SEG market). Houses watch parts, electronic toys, and mobile phone parts.  edit
  • Central Walk, (Located one block away from the exhibition centre on Fuhua Road. Take Metro to Exhibition Centre stop and Central Walk is located at exit B. 5 minutes walk from Coco Park.). Another Shopping complex in Shenzhen. Base tenant is Carrefour, but also has usual shops, restaurants and a cinema. Starbucks and Italian Best Coffee (Illy Coffee) are located here. Subway (Sandwiches) also has opened here.  edit


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!

Areas to eat

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 eateries in the Hua Qiang Bei area, for non-China based brands, eg McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and AijiSen Ramen.

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.

As well as casual restaurants and fine dining, Shenzhen is famous for its "Eat Streets". These are agglomerations of cheap and cheerful restaurants serving food from all over China. They are not elaborate but they are friendly and fun and some of the food is to die for. 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 (Buses: 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 Hobg Kong factory owners. Cantonese food is still good here but you can get food from all over China. Snake is excellent in season (October to January) here.  edit
  • Renmin South Eat Street (人民南路).  edit
  • 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 Metro: Che Gong Miao). Good Sichuan, Hunan and Taiwanese food here. There is also a good if unauthentic Macau style restaurant  edit
  • Huaqiang Bei Eat Street (华强北食街), Huaqiang Nth 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  edit
  • 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 (Metro Xiang Mi Hu). This is where the journalists eat and just being there is fun. Good Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Northern and Hunan food  edit
  • 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 (Metro Ke Xue Guan Line 1). Uighur food is very good here. This means lots of lamb and kebabs  edit
  • Gangxia Village Eat Street (岗下村食街), Gangxia Village Futian 福田区岗下村 (Metro Gang Xia). One of the earliest and most diverse Eat Streets. It specialises in "northern" food, Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan (OK we know it's southern but.....) and Ningxia/Gansu Moslem food  edit
  • Shuiwei Village and Huanggang Village Eat Streets (水匡村, 皇岗村食街). We put them together because it's hard to know where one stops and the other starts. Cantonese is good here   edit
  • Hubei Village Eat Street (湖贝村食街), Hubei Village Luohu District 罗湖区湖贝村 (Buses: 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. But we also like the north-west China Moslem food of which there is plenty  edit
  • Dongmen Food Street (东门食街), 2001 Jiefang Rd Luohu 罗湖区动门老街解放路标2001号 (Buses: 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). Shenzhen's favorite comfort shopping street also has lots of cheap and cheerful food. There's the usual Cantonese, Sichuan and Hunanese but there's also Thai, South=east Asian and even German. All the chains are represented.  edit
  • Donghai Koreatown Eat Street (东海韩国城食街), East Pacific Gardens Boulevard, Xiangmi Hu 福田区香蜜湖东海花园东海坊 (Metro Che Gong Miao). Shenzhen's leading Koreatown. Lots of kimchi, bulgogi and the rest.  edit
  • Yantian Eat Street (盐田食街), Yantian Seafood Street, 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  edit




  • 10 Gong Guan (10号公馆), 10 Qiaochen West Road, Nanshan District (侨城西路10号鸿波酒店). 7:30AM-11:30PM. Dim sum restaurant.  edit
  • Laurel Restaurant (丹桂轩), 1/F, Portofino Club House,OCT Xiang Shan Street, Nanshan District (南山香山街波托菲诺会所), +86 755 26003218. 8AM-11PM.  edit
  • Xiao Fei Yang (lit. Little Plump Lamb). Lamb meat imported from Mongolia. It is a steam boat based on Mongol cuisine. There are other meats and vegetable ingredients for the steam boat on the menu as well. One type of steamboat is called Yuan Yang. The steamboat 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.  edit
  • Modern Toilet Restaurant, 2nd Floor Jiefang Lu 1004 Dongmen Buxing (Laojie Metro Station). Taiwanese chain's first branch in 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 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.  edit


  • Celebrity Club (名人俱乐部; Míngrén Jù​​), 28 Nongyuan Road, Futian District (福田区农园路28号; Fú​tián Qqū​ Nóng​yuán​ Lù​), +86 755 83701003, [38]. Specializing in Cantonese food, and famous for dim sum.  edit
  • Prince Kitchen, 5-6/F, CITIC Plaza, 1093 Shennan Zhong Road. Serves fantastic mix of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Steaks. Even whilst being quite dark inside, you can still see it is very stylish.  edit


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. Hepatitis is common in China and is most usually spread by using chopsticks to eat from a common dish. It is becoming increasingly common to use a separate set of chopsticks to serve from the bowl. Ask for "gong kuai" (goong kwie) if they aren't provided. Otherwise minor travellers' stomach upsets are the worst things which you have to fear healthwise.

If you want to drink beer, Tsing Tao is a popular Chinese beer, or try Shenzhen's own Kingway Beer (金威啤酒), brewed in two locations in Shenzhen and available in any convenience store, bar, or restaurant. In stores such as or Wal-Mart it will cost ¥3.50 per can, or ¥3.80 for a large bottle (you will need a bottle opener). 7-eleven sells Kingway for ¥9, and local restaurants about ¥12-35. Bars typically charge slightly more that restaurants, it will cost you somewhere in the ¥55-80 range, though many have specials such as 2 for 1.

  • C:UNION, (Metro to Qiao Cheng Dong, exit A, walk right and then take a right at Enping Street, between 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 start at ¥30.  edit
  • XPats Bar, FL1016 Street 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 Metro). This is where we go when we want a drink. It's in Central Walk, top floor on the right hand walkway (outside the building) directly opposite the Great China Building. Good beer and wine and food from the NYPD Pizza next door. Big screen sporting coverage.  edit
  • Base Bar, 1019 Shangbu South Road, Futian District (福田区上步南路1019号; Fú​tián​ Qū​ Shàngbù​ Nán​ Lù​​) (Accessible from Ke Xue Guan Metro Station, not far from Party City), [39]. A live rock music venue. Great vibe and great interior deco. There are nice three-sided booths along the walls for larger groups. A variety of acts play into the early morning. Friendly waitstaff with Communist Star armbands. Door cover can sometimes run up to ¥100, cocktails from ¥30 (the Gin-Tonic is a must), bottles of Jim Bean ¥380.  edit
  • The Terrace, Seaworld Square, Shekou, +86 755 26829105 (fax: +86 755 26828157), [40]. Live music and Thai food.  edit
  • McCawley's Irish Bar & Restaurant, (Shekou).  edit
  • The Beatles, (SeaWorld, Shekou).  edit
  • X-Ta-Sea, (SeaWorld, Shekou).  edit
  • Soho, Jiabin Road, Luohu.  edit
  • Beer Paradise, (Shekou). Serves lots and lots and lots of beer.  edit
  • Mary's Bar, (Shekou).  edit
  • Vbar, (Windows of the World, (on the 3rd floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel).  edit
  • Ibiza, (Hua Qiang Bei). An European style two-story pub. It is quite popular among foreigners. ¥30 per bottle of beer.  edit
  • UBar, Jiabin Rd, LuoHu.  edit
  • Kingway, (LuoHu). Beer factory and beer garden.  edit
  • Yes Bar, (LuoHu).  edit


Note: At Chinese New Year (usually February), 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.

  • Home Inns. Biggest economy hotel chain in China. It features high quality and consistent standard rooms with very reasonable prices. There are several branches in Shenzhen.  edit
* Home Inn (Dongmen) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳东门店); Rújiākuàijié Jjiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Dōngmén Diàn)), 2028 Wenjin Middle Road, Luohu District (罗湖区文锦中路2028号; Luó​hú​qū​ Wén​jǐn​ Zhōng​ Lù)​.  edit
* Home Inn (Shenzhen Luohu Kou'an) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳罗湖口岸店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Luó Kǒu'àn Diàn)), 1064 Yanhe Nan Road, Luohu District (罗湖区沿河南路1064号; Luó​hú​ Qū​ Yánhé​ Nán Lù)​​​.  edit
* Home Inn (Shenzhen Xinzhou) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳新洲店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Xīnzhōu Diàn)), 315 Shiji Gongyi Pin Jiaoyi Shichang Building, Xinzhou South Road, Futian District (福田区新洲南路世纪工艺品交易市场315楼; Fú​tián Qū​ Xīn​zhōu​ Nán​ Lù​ Shì​jì Gōng​yì Pǐn​ Jiāo​yì​ Shì​chǎng​ Lóu)​​.  edit
* Home Inn (Shenzhen Zhuzilin) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳竹子林店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Zhúzilín Diàn)), 福田区竹子林益华大厦.  edit
* Home Inn (Shen Zhen Bao An Station) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳宝安汽车站店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Bǎo'ān Qìchēzhàn Diàn)), 宝安25区前进一路海雅百货旁.  edit
* Home Inn (Shenzhen Guomao) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳国贸店); Rújiākuàijié Jiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Guómào Diàn)), 罗湖区人民南路2011号.  edit
* Home Inn (Shenzhen Railway Station) (如家快捷酒店 (深圳火车站店); Rújiākuàijiéjiǔdiàn (Shēnzhèn Huǒchēzhàn Diàn)), 罗湖区滨河大道交和平路渔民村小区内.  edit
  • Shenzhen Guest House (深圳迎宾馆; Shēnzhèn 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.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, (near Window of the World Train station). A four star hotel with nice facilities, seasoned staff and excellent service.  edit
  • Empire Hotel (深圳新王朝酒店; Shēnzhèn Xīn Wángcháo Jiǔdiàn​​), 1052 Aiguo Road, Luohu District (罗湖区爱国路1052号; Luó​hú​ Qū​ àiguó Lù​) (Near the East Gate Business Street, Donghu Lake, and Yijing Villa), +86 21 61226688, ext. 7800 (), [41]. 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.  edit
  • Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza Shenzhen (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).  edit
  • Holiday Inn, (Right in the middle of the center and only three stops from the border). Very new and clean hotel, excellent services. Also includes free Wi-Fi internet access. The staff speak English reasonably well.  edit
  • Intercontinental Shenzhen. A five star hotel with a fine selection of foods including Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian and Seafood. Basic rooms ¥1,498-1,678, deluxe rooms ¥1,648-5,678.  edit
  • Jin Jiang Shenzhen Airlines Hotel, [42]. A five-star hotel with elegant rooms with city views, banquet hall, conference rooms, health club with indoor pool, and room service.  edit
  • Lee Garden Inn (深圳丽苑酒店; Shēnzhènyuàn Jiǔdiàn), 2048 Dongmen Zhong Road, Luohu District (罗湖区东门中路2048号‎; Luó​hú​ Qū​ Dōng​mén​ Zhōng​ Lù​) (Five minutes from the railway station), [43]. 3-star hotel with 100 guest rooms for business travelers. Conference facilities and broadband internet are available.  edit
  • LOFT International Youth Hostel. Modern place with keycards, free wi-fi, and a nearby supermarket. The hostel can be a bit difficult to find as it is in an industrial estate. Doubles ¥168, bigger suites under ¥400, dorms ¥50-60 with a ¥100 deposit.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Novotel Shenzhen Bauhinia (深圳博林诺富特酒店), (5km from the central business district of Shenzhen and 1.5km from the Shenzhen High Tech Industrial Park). A 4 star hotel.  edit
  • Novotel Shenzhen Watergate (深圳万德诺富特酒店).  edit
  • Orient Fashion Hotel, Huafa Building, Zhenxin Road, Futian District, [44]. 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.  edit
  • Orient Sunseed Hotel (深圳东方山水酒店; Shēnzhèn Dōngfāng Shānshuǐ Jiǔdiàn), 88 Qianhai South Road, Nanshan District (南山区前海南路88号; Nán​shān​ Qū​ Qián​hǎi​ Nán​ Lù​) (At the conjunction of Fuyong and Haoye Roads, Qiaotou Tongfuyu Industrial Area, Fuyong Town, five minute drive from Bao’an Airport and a 20-minute drive from the city center), +86 755 29912222 (), [45]. 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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). Rooms start at ¥168.  edit
  • Sunshine Hotel Shenzhen (深圳阳光酒店; Shēnzhèn Yángguāng Jiǔdiàn), 1 Jiabin Road, Luohu District (罗湖区嘉宾路1号; Luó​hú​qū​ Jiā​bīn​lù)​ (In the Luohu commercial district close to Guomao Metro Station), +86 755 82233888 (, fax: +86 755 82226719), [46]. Five star hotel. Listed rates for doubles ¥1,840-3,450.  edit
  • Shenzhen Ritz Carlton (深圳星河丽思卡尔顿酒店; Shēnzhèn Xīng'ěrdùn Jiǔdiàn), 116 Fuhuasan Road, Futian District (福田区福华三路116号; Fú​tián​qū​ Fú​huá​sān​lù​), +86 755 22222222 (fax: +86 755 22220088), [47]. 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).  edit
  • Futian Shangri-La (深圳福田香格里拉大酒店; Shēnzhèntián Xiāngjiǔdiàn), 4088 Yitian Road, Futian District (福田区益田路4088号; Fú​tián​qū​ Yì​tián​lù​), +86 755 88284088 (, fax: +86 755 88284388), [48]. 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.  edit
  • Intercontinental Shenzhen, 9009 Shennan Road, +86 755 33993388 (fax: +86 755 33993399), [49].  edit
  • Grand Hyatt Shenzhen, 1881 Baoan Nan Road, Luohu District, (City Crossing development), +86 755 8266 1234 (), [52]. 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.  edit



Topway Cable Television offers a wide range of international television including BBC, CNN, NHK, HBO, etc. Hong Kong English TV is also offered.

Newspapers and Magazines

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.

  • Protestant. The Meilin Protestant Church 梅林基督教堂 126 Meilin Road Meilin, Futian 福田区梅林街道梅林路126号 Phone 0755 8311 8817 has services in English, Chinese and Korean
  • Heping Church 和平堂 2/F Wenhua Garden, Luohu 罗湖区文华花园管理处二楼 Phone 0755 2512 8077
  • C atholic. St Anthony's Catholic Church 天主教深圳圣安多尼堂 Nonglin Road, 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 Phone 0755-26611334 offer Mass on Sundays.


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 Phone 0755 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 Phone 0755 8392 3333
  • No 2 Shenzhen People’s Hospital (previously called Shenzhen Red Cross Hospital) 深圳第二人民医院 1 Zhenhua Road Futian 福田区震华路1号 Phone 0755 8336 6388
  • Nanshan Hospital 南山医院 1 Taoyuan Road Nanshan 南山区桃园路2号 Phone 0755 2656 5348

The following dentists give excellent service

  • Arrail Dental G3 and G4 Shun Hing Square (Diwang Building) Shennan Ave 罗湖区深南东路5002号信兴广场地王商业中心G3&G4层2单元 Phone 0755 2583 5788
  • Ace Dental 3409 Excellence Times Plaza, Yitian Road, Futian District, Shenzhen 福田区益田路卓越时代广场3409 Phone 0755-83815811 / 0755-83815833

Stay safe

Despite it's sensationalized reputation from Hong Kong residents as being crime-ridden, Shenzhen is relatively safe by Western standards.

The main problem is petty crime such as pickpocketing. Be careful in crowded shopping centres, subway trains, buses, stations and around the theme parks - keep your wallet in your front pocket.

Being scammed is not so common as in Beijing or Shanghai but be alert for people touting for business (massage, watches, shoes etc) around 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 ticket 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 encounter beggars but they are confined to a few places. Notable amongst these places are border crossings, Shekou amd Christian churches. Are you getting a theme here? Ordinary Chinese rarely give beggars money so they concentrate in places where the punters are either ignorant or have just heard a sermon. They are not aggressive and are mostly harmless. Give money at your own risk - beggars are controlled by criminal gangs and your donation will be funding organized crime - giving food or a cigarette is more beneficial to them. Particularly avoid giving money to child beggars. There have been several high profile court cases in recent years against gangs who buy children from impoverished peasant families, mutilate them, and use them in the begging racket.

The standard of driving in Shenzhen is appalling. Care should still be taken when crossing the street - fortunately most major roads are crossed by over- or underpasses.

Prostitution is common - particularly around Luohu and Shekou - keep your wits about you and be wary of that scantily-clad, available-looking woman giving you the eye from across the bar...

  • Guangzhou is a short journey by train or road.
  • Hong Kong is just across the border
  • 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 north east. Visit the East Lake designed by 12th century poet/administrator Su Dongpo
Routes through Shenzhen
BeijingDongguan  N noframe S  END
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Mandarin 深圳 (Shēnzhèn) from  (shēn), deep) +  (zhèn), irrigation ditch)


  • IPA: /ˈʃenˈdʒen/

Proper noun




  1. A sub-provincial city in the south-east of China, the third largest city, in the province of Guangdong.


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