Shenzhen is a modern and beautiful metropolis located in southern China just across the border from Hong Kong. A popular destination for business travellers and Chinese tourists, Shenzhen has been relatively undiscovered by international tourists. However that is changing as people hear about the city’s great attractions and that it is easily accessed from Hong Kong.
Described as a window of China’s opening up policy, Shenzhen was established as a Special Economic Zone in 1980. Since that time it has grown from a fishing village into a major and economically significant city.
A planned city, Shenzhen features striking architecture, an abundance of parks and open space, a modern road network with wide tree-lined streets and boulevards, a new and continually expanding underground metro rail system, and a wide range of tourist attractions.
Shenzhen was selected as one of the Chinese Cities of Opportunity in 2016 alone with Guangzhou and Hangzhou in a report released by PwC China and the China Development Research Foundation
Shenzhen was also selected as one of the most livable city in China by The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the top academic institution of natural science in China, when it recently released a 2016 report revealing the top 10 livable cities in the country.
Measuring 40 municipalities and cities, the report was based on 29 indicators in six categories including urban security, public service infrastructure, natural environment, social environment, transportation convenience and environmental health.
The respondents gave high scores for public service infrastructure whereas air pollution, noise pollution, parking problems and traffic jam were the main factors restraining the livability of Chinese cities.
Shenzhen is a coastal city located in Guangdong province in south-eastern China, just across the border from Hong Kong. The capital of Guangdong province is the city of Guangzhou, which was known for a period as Canton. Shenzhen has an extensive coastal plain with a backdrop of rugged forested mountains. There are six districts in Shenzhen: Futian, Luohu, Nanshan, Bao’an, Yantian and Longgang. The districts of Futian, Luohu and Nanshan together make up the majority of the central Shenzhen area which directly adjoins Hong Kong. The city centre is in Futian district.
Shenzhen has a subtropical climate with a long hot and humid summer from April to September. Temperatures rise to 30-35°C (86-95°F) in June-July at the peak of summer, sometimes higher. The nights are also warm to hot with temperatures of 25-30°C (77-86°F). Summer is also the wet season, when most rain is experienced, and typhoons are also possible. The temperature range in February, which is mid-winter, is from about 20°C (70°F) in the day to 10°C (50°F) at night.
Mandarin, the official language of China, is spoken in Shenzhen. Mandarin is known in known in China as ‘Putonghua’. Because of Shenzhen’s close proximity to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, you will also hear the Cantonese language spoken. Many people in Shenzhen can also speak at least some English, with the Shenzhen Government offering programs to help people learn English. Many road signs and tourist maps and brochures feature both Chinese and English information, and announcements and displays on the Shenzhen Metro are also in both Chinese and English.
The currency in China is called the Renminbi, which means People’s currency and is abbreviated as RMB.
Shenzhen is a modern financial and commercial metropolis in China; however, it lacks the history and natural beauties which attract visitors to many of the other big cities. In recent years the city has compensated by developing excellent theme parks and man-made scenic spots. These modern facilities have succeeded in drawing in crowds of tourists, eager to check out the contemporary attractions.
Shenzhen City Bus
With nearly 500 bus lines and close to 10000 buses, Shenzhen has a well developed city bus system. There are presently 3 large city bus companies in the city. The large amount of vehicles exerts a lot of pressure on Shenzhen's transport system at present, especially during rush hour. Therefore, visitors should take into account the traffic congestion when planning their schedule.
You can get a taxi anywhere in Shenzhen, but don't hail a taxi in the non-stop area. There are three types of taxis in the city, the Red, Yellow and Green taxis. The green taxis are only allowed to operate outside the Special Economic Zone. There are many star graded local taxi drivers, passengers are quite satisfied with their tour knowledge and English communication.
The Shenzhen Metro currently has 6 lines, 132 stations, and 230 kilometres (140 miles) of total trackage in operation.
The current system has six lines and provides a relatively fast and economical way of travelling in the east-central part of Shenzhen, compared to buses and taxis. Line 1 and Line 4 run to the border crossings between the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at Luohu/Lo Wu and Futian Checkpoint/Lok Ma Chau, where riders can transfer to Hong Kong's MTR East Rail Line for travel onward to Hong Kong.
Metro rides are priced according to distance travelled, and fares vary from RMB2 to RMB10.
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