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Overview

Shenzhen is the shopping mall of new China. Just twenty years ago it was a sleepy fishing village; today, Shenzhen is the fifth most densely populated urban center on earth, its population pushing 14 million. The showcase of China's Special Economic Zones, rivaling Hong Kong which it borders, Shenzhen is also China's richest city, a day-tripper's dream (or nightmare) with bargain shopping, dining and theme parks, not to mention hordes of new skyscrapers and factories. For Chinese history and culture, go elsewhere. Shenzhen's attractions are modern takes on old treasures. Splendid China contains miniature replicas of China's celebrated ...

Shenzhen is the shopping mall of new China. Just twenty years ago it was a sleepy fishing village; today, Shenzhen is the fifth most densely populated urban center on earth, its population pushing 14 million. The showcase of China's Special Economic Zones, rivaling Hong Kong which it borders, Shenzhen is also China's richest city, a day-tripper's dream (or nightmare) with bargain shopping, dining and theme parks, not to mention hordes of new skyscrapers and factories. For Chinese history and culture, go elsewhere. Shenzhen's attractions are modern takes on old treasures. Splendid China contains miniature replicas of China's celebrated landmarks and monuments. Window of the World offers still more scaled down replicas of monuments from around the world. Minsk World houses a Russian military carrier; OCT East, an imitation Swiss village. Nonstop shopping is Shenzhen's real attraction. Check out the artist studios at Dafen Village, the endless stores at Luolu Commercial City, the iPods and iPads along Huaqiang Bei Commercial Street, and especially the stalls on Dongmen Pedestrian Street for real deals. Shenzhen also boasts China's best beaches and golf courses, headlined by Mission Hills Golf Course, the world's largest with 216 holes. For better or worse, Shenzhen is the face of a new China.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area became China's first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones.
  • Language: Chinese
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to March lacks the scorching heat and heavy rains of the late spring, summer and early fall.