Shenzhen has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and that means a lot more going on. Here are Forbes Travel Guides editors’ picks for the best things to see and do in Shenzhen:
1. Visit Dafen Oil Painting Village. This tiny village — row after row of galleries — produces just one thing, and that’s art reproductions. The village, which formed in the 90s, has more than 5,000 artists in more than 600 galleries; they produce more than 5 million paintings per year. You can commission your own or buy one off the wall.
2. Go to Window of the World. You have to see this bizarre theme park in person to believe; it houses 130 reproductions of tourist sites across the world, including a 354-foot-tall Eiffel Tower and miniaturized versions of Egypt’s pyramids and the Taj Mahal.
3. Explore the Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center. At 660,000 sq. meters, this garden is enormous and is a lovely place to while away the afternoon. The gardens are done not only in traditional Chinese style but in Western as well. Climb up to the pagoda and, on a clear day, you can see across the border to Hong Kong.
4. Buy electronics at Huaqiangbei Commercial Street. The area is filled with multi-story buildings where different vendors sell anything and everything digital. You’ll find cameras, Kindles, iPads, etc. Bargaining is essential.
5. Eat authentic food. Because Shenzhen is in Mainland China but just over the border from Hong Kong, restaurants here serve every conceivable type of Chinese cuisine, including Cantonese. In addition to brick and mortar restaurants, Shenzhen is home to several food streets, where you can try delicacies from across the Middle Kingdom.