What to Know
Thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the 1980s, Shenzhen has transformed from a fishing village into a 12.5-million-strong metropolis in less than 40 years. Today, the city is dubbed the Silicon Valley of China, with headquarters for most of China’s tech giants, hundreds of fintech start-ups and huge electronics markets. Modern infrastructure includes the supertall KK100 skyscraper, electrically powered public transport and a new Express Link train that whisks passengers to neighbouring Hong Kong in 15 minutes.
What to Do
To get to the beating heart of the city, head to Huaqiangbei in Futian and marvel at the electronics megamarkets. There’s the 71-storey SEG Plaza – with the first 10 floors dedicated to electronics – and the famous Huaqiangbei Electronics Market street, touted as the world’s largest electronics bazaar, with vendors selling everything from capacitors to the year’s hottest toys. Alternatively, outdoor enthusiasts should set a day aside for the Wutong Mountain trail hike – the tallest peak in Shenzhen, with spectacular views of Hong Kong’s New Territories.
Evenings in Shenzhen are best spent investigating the city’s gin renaissance: The Attic, perched at the top of the Park Hyatt Shenzhen, offers a cool speakeasy atmosphere with live music and eagle-eye views over Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Where to Stay
In a city bursting with new skyscrapers and premium hotels, there are many choices. However, Futian’s Shangri-La Hotel Shenzhen remains a firm favourite thanks to its central location, which is in walking distance of Shenzhen’s Convention and Exhibition Center, a metro interchange and popular shopping and nightlife area. To top it off, the hotel recently welcomed new fine-dining restaurant Ensue, helmed by chef Christopher Kostow – previously executive chef at Napa Valley’s Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood.
Where to Find the Best View
In 2015, two Russian daredevils made headlines scaling the Ping An Finance Centre – the world’s fourth-tallest building. Thankfully you don’t need an unhealthy disregard for your own safety to do the same, as the public can instead take an ear-popping lift ride up 116 floors to the summit. What awaits is a 360-degree view of Shenzhen, from some 540 metres above ground. The real question: are you daredevil enough to stand on the transparent floor tiles along the tower’s edge?