Exploring – Shenzhen

15 Dec

When Li suggested we go to Shenzhen for a weekend I initially said no.  Twice.  Shenzhen’s reputation as a place to visit was not high on my list.  When I consulted my Lonely Planet this is what it said –

Though commercially successful, Shenzhen isn’t a pleasant city and the extreme imbalance of wealth and poverty leads to an air of desperation.  The crime rate is high and visitors should be wary of walking alone after dark.  Most travellers give the place a wide berth, but it is a useful transportation hub if you’re coming from Hong Kong.

I had been to and through Shenzhen before.  In 2009 I took a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou which went through in Shenzhen, but I didn’t get off.  Earlier this year I had a work trip where I gave a seminar in Shenzhen, but was there less than 24 hours.  Neither experience resulted in anything wrong, but in terms of a weekend getaway place I wasn’t expecting much. 

Having predefined expectations can be a dangerous thing.  I am very glad that Li managed to convince me otherwise.  Any place and travel experience depends on the people and the weather and the food as well and Shenzhen had all of those in spades.

And I had a great time.

Enjoy the photos of our weekend in Shenzhen.

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6 Responses to “Exploring – Shenzhen”

  1. elmer December 15, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    “Any place and travel experience depends on the people”. you hit the nail. any real traveler can attest to this

    • gkm2011 December 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

      I agree. The people really make a huge difference, we just have to go in with an open mind.

  2. shardsofchina January 2, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    I often wonder if the Lonely Planet ever visits the cities it purports to review. It is true that some parts of Shenzhen are considered terribly unsafe by Hong Kong Chinese, but I’ve lived here for 3 years and never felt the slightest bit nervous after dark.

    It’s not the most inspiring of cities to live in, but it’s not an awful place either.

    • gkm2011 January 2, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      I have a mixed track record with Lonely Planet in China, but still consult it prior to to trips. I’m glad that it was so off about Shenzhen. Happy New Year!


  1. May Day in Hefei, Anhui province « 中国 Jumble - May 24, 2012

    […] I turn to my Lonely Travel guide, it grants Hefei even less space than it did Shenzhen, which I wrote about last December after our great trip to the side of Shenzhen that isn’t […]

  2. Travel theme: Signs « 中国 Jumble - August 16, 2012

    […] on a weekend trip to Shenzhen in November 2011, we were touring a large Russian air craft carrier which is permanently docked in […]

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