Saturday, July 2, 2016

You Won't Believe This Spot In China...Shenzhen!

Not far from Hong Kong and Macau lies a place that seems like it comes out of a movie.  This is Shenzhen, China in the Guangdong Province, and it's not like most cities on Earth.  This place was planned in the 1970's and has turned into the entertainment capital of this part of the country for families and tourists of all kinds.

The architecture in Shenzhen is modern.  They have some of the most modern buildings in the world whether it be the local library or an apartment building.  There is nothing old here, unless you count 50 or so years as old in the world of architectural design.  You won't find walled cities here or ancient gates.  You will find modern shops, modern clubs, modern restaurants, and modern hotels.  If you like old and historic, this is not the place for you.

What will you find in Shenzhen?  Well, that may surprise you.  I love attractions and I love innovations.  That's what you will find in Shenzhen.  What Shenzhen has is parks.  Tons of them.  All kinds  of them.  This is tourism central for this province and all of China.

In addition to Sea World and a fabrication that was supposed to feel like a Disney park, there are beautiful parks, culture parks, relaxing parks, and traditional parks.  There are a ton of places to take a walk and take a lot of pictures.  This city is a favorite hopping off spot for people from Hong Kong and Macau.  There are not a lot of international tourists that visit the city and that is not unusual since China has been rather closed off to the rest of the world for several decades.  But beware, as things open up more and more, this place will get crowded.  If Disney has taught us anything, hokey theme parks will draw tourists.

Shenzhen has a safari park to go along with it's Sea World.

They also have a park that is dedicated to beaches.  These are all man made and really impressive.  The one thing that it not simulated when it comes to Dameisha Park, is the sun.  So, don't forget some serious sunblock.  The military park is home to the Minsk and many other military things.  This is a great park for history buffs.

Happy Valley is what we Americans would call a traditional theme park.  It has all the thrill rides with roller coasters and water parks.  This is the place to take the family to ride on rides for the day.  It is one of Shenzhen's most popular parks, so if you think that by going to a park in China you might sidestep the long lines, I doubt it.

Here's the Adventure for Anyone though.  It's called Window on the World Park.  This is a theme park designed to let people experience the great landmarks from around the world.  China is new at being open and having their people get out and travel the world.  This place gives them a chance to take a peek at what's out there all in one place.  Personally, that sounds convenient.  You can go to the Pyramids of Giza without getting on a risky flight.  You can see the Tower Bridge without going broke to go to London.  It's great fun, and the kids can get a passport and go around the park trying to identify the exhibits by the descriptions in the passport.  It makes a game out of it.  All of the buildings and structures are reduced scale and you can theoretically see the best parts of the whole world in a day.

So, if you would like to see the Sydney Opera House and the Grand Canyon all in one day, Window on the World Park is your spot.  If you want a surreal experience, instead of the more traditional trip to Beijing, then Shenzhen is your stop.  The public transport is great in the city, and the accommodations are modern and luxurious.  If you want the whole world in one stop and all the creature comforts of a resort as well, Shenzhen is your place.  So, after you've seen Hong Kong and gambled in Macau, swing by Shenzhen and see the world in a day.  Enjoy!

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