Shenzhen (深圳; Shēnzhèn) is a city in Guangdong Province in China. It lies immediately North of Hong Kong separated for the most part by a narrow river. Shenzhen lies directly en route between Hong Kong and China's third-largest city, Guangzhou which is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) North West of Shenzhen. Shenzhen was a market town of 30,000 people until designated in 1980 as the first of China's five Special Economic Zones. It then became the fastest growing city in history to today become a thriving, well planned metropolis of 20 million people.

Shenzhen is on the list of UNESCO Creative Cities and ranked second on the list of ‘Top 10 cities to visit in 2019' by Lonely Planet. Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists. They were originally attracted by its theme parks but as the city has developed and prospered they are increasingly drawn by Shenzhen's stunning architecture, numerous beautiful parks, active cultural arts scene, and breadth of restaurants, bars and shopping. Shenzhen's beaches have become famous throughout China. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen's best beaches, was nominated by the China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. Visitors also increasingly recognise fascinating historical sites, such as impressive forts and temples and sites related to Hakka culture and Hong Kong's annexation after the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area. Shenzhen attracted relatively small numbers of international visitors prior to the Lonely Planet 'top 10 cities to visit in 2019' second placing.

Being such a new city, people in Shenzhen have the advantage of planned street grids, modern construction at all but its historical buildings and world leading eco-friendly public transport among its infrastructure. Also considering the often flat terrain, Shenzhen is among the most disabled friendly cities in China.


The earliest known recorded mention of the name Shenzhen could date from 1410, during the Ming Dynasty. Local people called the drains in paddy fields “zhen” (圳). Shenzhen (深圳) literally means “deep drains” as the area was once crisscrossed with rivers and streams, with deep drains within the paddy fields. The character 圳 is limited in distribution to an area of South China with its most northerly examples in Zhejiang Province which suggests an association with southwards migration during the Southern Song Dynasty (12th and 13th centuries).

Contrary to a common misconception of Shenzhen being a fishing village prior to becoming a city, Shenzhen was a regional market town that had been the county town of Bao'an since 1953. Shenzhen train station was the last stop on the Mainland Chinese section of the railway from Guangzhou to Kowloon in Hong Kong. In November 1979, Bao'an County (宝安县) was promoted to prefecture level, directly governed by Guangdong province. It was renamed Shenzhen, after Shenzhen town. The administrative centre of the county stood approximately around the present location of Dongmen.

Shenzhen was singled out to be the first of the five Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in May 1980. Initially, the SEZ comprised an area of only 327.5 km2 (126.4 sq mi) of southern Shenzhen, covering the current Luohu, Futian, Nanshan and Yantian districts. 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". In 1982 Bao'an County was re-established, though this time as a part of Shenzhen. The county was converted to become Bao'an District, which was out of the Special Economic Zone. Shenzhen was promoted to a Sub-provincial City in March 1983 and was given the right of provincial-level economic administration in November 1988. With a population of 30,000 in 1980, economic development has meant that by 2008 the city has had 12 million inhabitants.

Shenzhen became one of the largest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, which itself is an economic hub of China, as well as the largest manufacturing base in the world. By 2001, as a result of Shenzhen's increasing economic prospects, increasing numbers of migrants from Mainland China chose to go to Shenzhen and stay there instead of trying to illegally cross the border into Hong Kong. There were 9,000 captured border-crossers in 2000, while the same figure was 16,000 in 1991. On 1 July 2010, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was expanded to include all districts, a five-fold increase over its pre-expansion size.



There is a significant number of supertall skyscrapers (over 300 m / 984 ft) either proposed, approved, under construction or completed in Shenzhen. Shenzhen is the skyscraper capital of China's many cities of skyscrapers. At September 2018 Shenzhen had 14 skyscrapers at least 300 metres tall meriting supertall status. 7 others are under construction with tens of others proposed. 14 completed is second globally to Dubai's 25. The tallest building in Shenzhen is the 599 metre, 115 floor Ping An Finance Centre, which is also the second tallest in China and the fourth tallest building in the world. More skyscrapers were completed in Shenzhen in the year 2016 than in the whole of the USA and Australia combined, such is the rate at which the skyline is being transformed.

Many designs have had to be reduced in height due to risks for airlines. Of the three districts with supertall skyscrapers, the airline risk especially curtails height designs in Nanshan District close to Shenzhen airport. Nanshan is especially targeted for future skyscraper development. Five of Shenzhen's skyscrapers are among the 40 tallest on earth as at March 2019:

  • Ping An International Finance Centre (also known as the Ping An IFC) (Chinese: 平安国际金融中心) at 5033 Yitian Road, Futian District, is a 115-storey supertall skyscraper. 599 metres tall makes it 1 metre short of megatall categorisation. The original design was 660 metres tall including a spire that was removed due to airline risk. The building was commissioned by Ping An Insurance and designed by the American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. It was completed in 2017, becoming the tallest building in Shenzhen, the 2nd tallest building in China and the 4th tallest building in the world. It also shares the record (with the Shanghai Tower) of having the highest observation deck in a building at 562 m. Nearest Metro - Shopping Park

  • The KK100 (Chinese: 京基100), formerly known as Kingkey 100 and Kingkey Finance Tower, is a supertall skyscraper at 5016 Shennan East Road, Luohu District. The mixed-use building rises 441.8 metres (1,449 ft) and contains 100 floors for office space and a hotel. It is currently the second tallest building in Shenzhen as well as being the 22nd tallest building in the world. It is the tallest building ever designed by a British architect. There is a water fountain in front of the building, and an observation deck near the top. In December 2011, the Emporis Skyscraper Award awarded the building a fourth place. The building has a height-width ratio of 9.5:1, thus becoming one of China's slimmest buildings. Despite not being tallest, the Apex like appearance of the KK100 when viewed from East or West with the adjacent and also distinctive view of Di Wang Tower, these two buildings together make for many people the defining view of Shenzhen's skyline. Nearest Metro: Grand Theatre.

  • China Resources Headquarters (Chinese:华润总部大厦), colloquially known as the Spring Bamboo (Chinese:春笋), is a 392-metre (1,286.1 ft) supertall skyscraper at 2666 Keyuan South Road, Houhai, Nanshan District. A design of 500 metres was reduced due to airline risk. The building topped out on July 1, 2016 and surpassed Shun Hing Square as the 3rd tallest building in Shenzhen upon its completion in 2018. It is 33rd tallest on earth.

  • Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1 is a supertall skyscraper 388 metres (1,273.0 ft) tall at Huanggang Road in Futian District. It is 36th tallest on earth. The tower has a novel structural system called a "Ladder System" where the perimeter mega columns are connected to the central reinforced concrete core at every story as opposed to the typical configuration where they are only connected via outriggers at mechanical floors.

  • Shun Hing Square (Chinese: 信兴广场), also known as "Di Wang Tower" (Chinese: 地王大厦) is a 384-metre-tall (1,260 ft) skyscraper. It is 36th tallest on earth. It's twin antenae design paired with the apex shape of the adjacent KK100 combine for the defining outline of Luohu's skyline and for all of Shenzhen for many people. Nearest Metro: Grand Theatre.

Galleries and museums

  • Chung Ying Street Museum (中英街; Zhōngyīng Jiē), Chung Ying Street, Shatoujiao (Take bus 68, B924, or B961 to Zhongyingjie (Chung Ying Street)). This museum is located at the east side of the street. There are thousands of exhibits which mainly contain historical relics and folk heritage of modern times. Many rare photos also attract visitors' eyes. These photos remind people the history of Chung Ying Street and help people get a better understanding of the importance of this street. Exhibits are distributed across four exhibition halls. The first hall introduces the history of Chung Ying Street and some folk customs. The second hall mainly tells '3.18 Boundary'; it was on March 18, 1898 that the China-Britain Boundary was settled. The third hall introduces many heroic deeds from 1937 to 1945. The fourth hall is about the bright future and accomplishments of reform and opening policies. On the top of the museum there is a viewing platform where visitors can see the natural scenery of Hong Kong's New Territories. See detailed text on Ching Ying Street in section on Historical Sites below.

  • Dafen Oil Painting Village (大芬油画村; Dàfèn Yóuhuà Cūn), Dafen Village, Buji, 龙岗区布吉街道大芬社区 (Dafen (大芬) Stn, Longgang Line), 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 oil paintings, watercolors, and embroidered paintings. Examine things carefully, as some of the artwork is machine printed, rather than hand made. 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.

  • 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 25,215,105 Shao Nian Gong Stn (少年宫)), 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 Japanese westernizing 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。

  • He Xiangning Art Museum (何香凝美术馆; Hé Xiāngníng Měishùguǎn), 9013 Shennan Blvd (深南大道9013号;; Shēnnán Dàdào) (Get off at Huaqiaocheng Stn (华侨城), exit C, walk W past the InterContinental hotel), [3]. 10:00-17:30, closed M. 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 organization which originally controlled the area where the He Xiangning Art Gallery is located, Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) in Eastern Shenzhen. This is why the gallery 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.  

  • OCT Art and Design Gallery (华美术馆), 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, Huaqiaocheng Stn (华侨城), exit C, walk W past the InterContinental Hotel). Shenzhen is famous throughout China as a center 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. ¥15.  

  • 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 (Qiao Cheng Dong Stn, Exit A. Walk back 150 m to Enping Rd).

  • Shenzhen Art Museum (深圳美术馆), 32 Donghu St, Donghu Park, Aiguo Rd, Luohu 罗湖区爱国路东湖一街32号 (Bus 3, 17, 360, 351, 300. Take the bus to the Shenzhen Reservoir (Shenzhen Shui Ku) station and go to the East Lake (Dong Hu) Pk),  Tu-Su 09:00-17:00, closed M.

  • Shenzhen Museum (深圳博物馆; Shēnzhèn Bówùguǎn), Jintian Rd Entrance, Shenzhen Civic Centre, Futian District (福田区市民中心东座) (Central Futian (Shi Min Zhong Xin Stn)), +86 755 8210-1044, 10:00-18:00, closed M. In the East Wing of the Shenzhen City Hall Centre, the City Government's 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.  

Gardens and parks

Shenzhen is famous in China as being one of its greenest cities with dozens of parks. Only nearby Dongguan has a greater percentage of its area given over to parks and gardens.

  • CITIC Minsk aircraft carrier(中信明思克航母) The park by the sea and on land Minsk aircraft carrier Minsk CITIC Plaza is composed of two parts.

  • Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens (仙湖植物公园; Xiān Hú Zhíwù Gōngyuán), Lian Shi Rd, Lian Tang Rd, Luohu District 罗湖区莲塘村莲十路 (Bus 218, 220 to the garden gate (for bus 218 get off at Foreign Language School stop and walk up Xian Hu Rd to the main gate). On return, Bus 220 will take you to Guomao station). 07:00-22:00. Lake of the Immortals Botanical GardensThis park sprawls over miles of foothills, valleys, rivers, and lakes before climbing half way up Wutong Mountain (see info on Wutong Mountain below). The main attraction is the Hong Fa Buddhist 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 petrified forest, the paleontology museum or the medicinal plants garden. From the main gates to the various attractions within, there is a bus (¥3 each way) that will drop you near the temple (400 m away). Purchase the bus tickets before joining the queue. If you choose to walk instead of the bus, be prepared for a 30 min gentle inclined walk on awkwardly crowded pavements, next to jammed country roads. It's also worth noting that on public holidays, weekends and great weather the parks and the temple will be flooded with the locals, becoming more of a family and fun affair, rather than a place of relaxation. Careful of the burning incense sticks at the temple!¥20.  

  • Lianhuashan Park (Lotus Mountain Park; 蓮花山公園; Liánhuāshāngōngyuán), Hongli Rd W, Futian Central ("Shaoniangong). This is Shenzhen's 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 classes 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 Autumn, do not forget your kite.  

  • 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 meters 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.

  • Safari Park Shenzhen (深圳野生动物园; Shēnzhèn Yěshēng Dòngwùyuán), Xili Rd, Nanshan District (南山区西丽路; Nánshān qū Xīlì Lù), +86 755 2662-2888 (, fax: +86 755 2662-2333),  10:00-17:00. Billed as a safari park where the animals stare at the humans. It is dirty, disorganized and a bit of a dud. Considering the animals, it's downright depressing. ¥160.

  • Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center (园博园), Zhuzilinxi, Futian District (at the intersection of Shennan Ave and Qiaocheng E Rd) (深圳市福田区竹子林西 (深南大道与侨城东路交汇处); Fútián Qū Zhúzilín Xī (Shēnnán Ddàdào Yú Qiáochéng Dōng Lù Jiāohuì Chù)) (Qiao Cheng Dong Stn, exit A). 09:00-22:00. 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 m². It ranges from gently undulating to quite steep and contains gardens in many different styles, not only Chinese but from all over the world. Jiangnan style gardens are built around lakes in the north-east corner. Visit the hothouses and climb the hill past the waterfall to the pagoda on top of the hill. Views back to Hong Kong are visible on a clear day. A further 242 steps go to the top of the pagoda. ¥50.  

  • Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Resort (石岩湖温泉度假村; Shíyánhú Wēnquán Dùjiàcūn), Shiyan Town, Bao' an District (宝安区石岩镇; Bǎo'ān Qū Shíyán Zhèn), +86 755 2716-4148. 06:00-21:00. 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 Yantai Mountain, it is not easy to get to but it is worth the trouble. Water springs from the ground at over 60°C but is cooled to about 40°C before being fed into pools. Pools are both public and private and indoor and outdoor. ¥15.  

  • Wutong Mountain National Park (梧桐山Wutong Village Luohu District 罗湖区捂桐村), (Bus 221 from starting at Jian She Lu in Luohu terminates at Wutong Village.), [9]. Wutong Mountain at just over 900 m tall is the second tallest mountain in the Pearl River Delta after Hong Kong's Tai Mo Shan and it is a Mecca for hikers and climbers. The park spans part of Luohu, Yantian and Longgang districts. This has been a recognized 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 three main ridgeline peaks; Lesser Wutong (小梧桐), 692 meters high easily identified by Shenzhen TV Company transmission tower; Bean Curd Head (豆腐头), 706 meters; and Great Wutong (大梧桐), at 943.7 meters is highest. There is a pool on the top of Greater Wutong called Wuling Heavenly Pond (梧岭天池). Starting point choices are the east side of Shatoujiao/Yantian, the south side of Xianhu/Liantang, the west of Wutongshan Village, the north side of Longgang, and the north and south entrances. The difficulty level and the scenery along each route vary. The starting point for many is Wutong Village accessed by bus 211 from Luohu. Wutong Village itself is a popular visitor attraction with many cafes, restaurants, spas and craft shops. Many of the eateries are all-vegetarian. Greater Wutong Mountain from Wutong Village is an 11.4 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail rated as a difficult hike. It gets busy on public holidays. The broad road is a gentle climb but the Hao Han Slope is notoriously difficult. The walk from Wutong Village to the Greater Wutong summit takes around 5 hours in total for the return walk. 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.  

  • Yangtai Mountain Forest Park (羊台山森林公园), Longhua Town Bao’an 宝安区龙华镇 (NOT easy to get to and advise 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-m high, lies around an attractive reservoir. It is heavily wooded with native and exotic vegetation and abounds with wildlife. The climb to the top is moderately difficult and very rewarding.  

Historical sites

People, even long-time Shenzhen residents, will confidently tell you that "Shenzhen has no history". However, there are a number of important sites, some of the 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).

  • 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.

  • Chung Ying Street (中英街; Zhōngyīng Jiē), Chung Ying Street, Shatoujiao (Take bus 68, B924, or B961 to Zhongyingjie (Chung Ying Street)). Chung Ying Street (Chinese: 中英街) is a street on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, within the border town of Sha Tau Kok (Hong Kong) and Shatoujiao (Shenzhen). One side of the street belongs to Hong Kong and the other belongs to Mainland China. In Cantonese, Chung means China and Ying means England or the United Kingdom. The street was a river in 1899 of which the British used the high water mark as the border after the Second Convention of Peking, a treaty that China under the Qing dynasty forced the lease of New Territories to Britain in 1899. The river was shallow at the section of Sha Tau Kok eventually drying out pre World War II. The residents on both dried river sides then erected shops to trade. The dried river then renamed Chung Hing Street (traditional Chinese: 中興街; simplified Chinese: 中兴街), and later renamed to Chung Ying Street. The town of Sha Tau Kok subsequently flourished. Because of its location, Sha Tau Kok was also a place through which robbers fled from Hong Kong to China and illegal immigrants came the other way and one where smuggling syndicates thrived. The British colonial government decided to close the border and the town fell within the Frontier Closed Area. Being the only area in Hong Kong people from Mainland China could access, Sha Tau Kok was flooded by Chinese tourists, who came to buy goods such as soaps, bolts of fabric and electronic appliances. This turned Chung Ying Street into a bustling shopping area. In the 1980s and 1990s, the area received nearly 100,000 tourists a day. Sensing a business opportunity, gold shops and jewelry stores sprang up in Sha Tau Kok. Shops sold out of goods and before they could even restock the shelves, customers would grab goods directly from the delivery trucks. With the easing of restrictions in recent years on individuals from China visiting other parts of Hong Kong, numbers of visiting shoppers from mainland China have declined. Chung Ying Street is now popular with tourists visiting with 4 principle attractions: (1) The Ancient Well: Located at the back-street of Chung Ying Street, the ancient well has a history of three hundred years. It is the drinking water source in this area. As an old Chinese saying goes 'One must not forget where the water comes from when drinking it', the friendship of local people on both sides of the street is connected tightly by this well. (2) Banyan Tree: This one hundred years aged banyan tree is next to the fourth boundary monument. Many artists and writers are likely to use this tree as the material source of creation because the root of the tree is in Shenzhen and the branches are in Hong Kong. The amazing structure embodies the principle that mainland China is always the strongest support of Hong Kong. (3) Boundary Monuments: There are eight boundary monuments in Chung Ying Street. No.3 to No.7 monuments were destroyed in the war and then re-erected in 1948. No.1 and No.2 monuments have been preserved since being erected in 1905. No. 8 had already sunk in the riverbed. These monuments witnessed a flourishing period of this street. (4) Zhong-Ying Street Historical Museum: See the Museums section above.

  • Crane Lake Fortified Hakka Village and Hakka Culture Museum, (Take Line 3/ Longgang Line to NanLian. From the metro station take Exit C1 into BiXin Rd. Turn left from the station following BiXin, until you hit LongYuan Rd. Then turn right where the village is 200m along on the right-hand side through a small street). 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 repopulated, 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 a 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.  

  • 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. You need to take bus M362, which starts at Futian Bus Interchange (Nearest subway is Zhu Zi Lin - Line 1. As the bus will pass Luohu area, it maybe worth asking at the hotel if they know the nearest M362 stop. When on the bus, ask for Dapeng when paying. It should be ¥10. The journey will be to the last stop and will take around 1.5 hours You'll pass by Yantian port and some crappy theme parks. Once at Dapeng Bus Station (it's very small), wait for bus 928 which will take you there at 1RMB, but keep an eye open for the stop. Alternatively, you can ask one of the motorcycles with the umbrella to take you there at ¥10. To get back, take bus 928 or B756, back the way you came. Once back at Dapeng Station, take bus E11 and ask for Shenzhen. It will stop at many stations in the city, so you will need to try to guess the best place to stop  

  • Dawanshiju Hakka Fortified Village. Similarly a well preserved and enormous Hakka wei. It is of a similar scale to the Crane Lake wei.  

  • Tomb of the Young Song Emperor (宋少帝陵; Sòng Shǎo Dì Líng), Chiwan (赤湾; Chìwān). 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.  

  • 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-story residential buildings in the "urban village" style, but Xin'an has still maintained the flavor 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.  

Religious structures

  • 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 was built in the style of the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th centuries) and is a magnificent example of this style.  

  • Dongshan Monastery (东山寺简史;), 龙岗区东山路, (0755)84319055,  , first built in 1394, is a monastery of the Zen Buddhism in Southern China. It is situated south of Mount Longtou (dragon head) which in ancient time was variably called Jiufeng or Dongshan (East Mountain, probably because it is situated east of Dapeng Fortress).  

  • Hong Fa 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 sited halfway up Wutong Mountain in the Fairy Lake Botanical Garden - Southeast Gate (仙湖植物园站‎), Shenzhen's largest and most beautiful park. Like many temples in China, there is a vegetarian restaurant to nourish visitors.