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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:32 AM   #1
Pansori
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SHENZHEN | Megacity Extraordinaire

Shenzhen is a very interesting city. Possibly the most interesting that I have ever been to. Being just 30 years old it's one of China's top 4 'First Tier' cities along with Beijing, Shanghai and neighboring Guangzhou which despite having always been a bigger and more important urban center seems to be passing this position to Shenzhen which is becoming the giant and the main hub of the PRD.

It did not exist before 1979 yet today it's one of the biggest cities in the world located in what seems to be world's largest urban area which is the PRD. Shenzhen is perhaps the fastest developing and growing city on the planet and being there feels like witnessing history in the making.

It's labelled as the most modern city in China and so for a reason. Shenzhen looks and feels very modern and futuristic with energy and ambition at every step you go. Despite that few outside Asia even heard of it (except those who have business or some knowledge of China of course). Shenzhen? What is that? Eh, just one of those mega-cities in China with 13+ million poeple, crazy mega structures and skyscrapers that make pretty much everything else look humble? This is Shenzhen of today. And we can only anticipate what is going to be Shenzhen of tomorrow which despite already being one of world's most impressive maga-cities remains perhaps the fastest developing city on the planet and will remain so for some years to come.

I love the energy and optimism there and I'll try to do my best to share it with the SSC community.



Before starting with my pics I'll say a big thanks to the SSC forumer Scion for providing me with some very useful tips on what to see and where to go during my 6 days that I spent in SZ. All locations that I went to were recommended by him so cheers for that



Here is a very rough map indicating areas that I went to. Those included OCT where I was staying, Danan Mountain, area around Poly Theatre and New Shenzhen Stadium, Futian CBD, Lianhuashan Park, Cuizhu Park, Luohu central area, area around Chegongmiao Station and the iconic Shenzhen North Railway station. I have quite a few pictures so it may take a while to post everything

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I will stick to the chronological order of locations that I visited which is why there will be some jumping from place to place (and comebacks to previously visited areas) but this way will be easier for me and will give a better idea where actually and in what order I went to. So here we go, China's 21st century megacity from my perspective.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:33 AM   #2
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My first urban trip in SZ was to Nanshan district where I took a long walk from around Houhai Station with some little detours to Danan Mountain and back

Heung Kong Tower construction seen from the vicinity of Houhai station. It's a 301m supertall nearing completion
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A rather vast area East from Houhaibin Road (to the left in the picture) is under construction. I'm not quite sure what exactly they are building there but seems to be pretty large-scale stuff including entire street grid, parks, residential, recreational and multi-use commercial objects
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Just off the Houhaibin Road constructions are taking place. Some of the streets are completed but seemingly there is no through access to some areas. In this picture something what seems to be a canal
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It's a weird feeling. Brand new streets and infrastructure and apart from the nearby construction works everything seems to be pretty much deserted. Just a lone guy with a camera (i.e. me) enjoying the +33C sunny weather. Thank god there was a shade in some places
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Time to have a... eh... 士力架
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Last edited by Pansori; August 8th, 2013 at 04:44 AM.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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Really liked snickers shot
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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:47 AM   #4
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Keyuan Avenue which for the time being goes to nowhere. You can see part of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. It's quite an architectural masterpiece to which I'll come back a little later
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Empty pedestrian walks
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Stuff being built. In Shenzhen it's easy to get used to seeing large construction sites. They are literally everywhere
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Last edited by Pansori; August 8th, 2013 at 04:57 AM.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #5
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Not my type of city but fantastic shots. It certainly looks very green!
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Old August 8th, 2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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Big, spacious and green. Just how it should be. Excellent photography, man.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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Nice pics! Will be interesting to see! Will visit Shenzhen as part of a Hong Kong trip in december
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Old August 8th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Indeed looking great and very nice
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Old August 8th, 2013, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
Nice pics! Will be interesting to see! Will visit Shenzhen as part of a Hong Kong trip in december
If you're into urban stuff and skyscrapers I can guarantee you'll love it. Keep in mind though that Shenzhen is not just something worth visiting as a part of visiting Hong Kong. Shenzhen is a HUGE city even by Chinese standards and in order to do some decent sightseeing you need 3-4 days at the very least to see the main parts of the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
Big, spacious and green. Just how it should be. Excellent photography, man.
Thanks. Shenzhen is VERY green. Almost certainly the greenest city that I have ever been to. They've done a colossal job there with landscaping and plants. They seem not to save money on that because I have never seen a city with that much greenery. Spome European cities (like Munich or Berlin) are typically associated with greenery but Shenzhen is just on a whole different level when it comes to green spaces and parks.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 01:40 AM   #10
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Continued from around the development area between Houhai station and Shenzhenwan Park. Pretty much all you can see around is new stuff being built

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Heung Kong Tower
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Old August 9th, 2013, 01:47 AM   #11
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Highrises in the Poly Theatre area

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In this and other pictures it is very much evident that greenery and landscaping is taken very seriously in Shenzhen. I don't think I have been to a city that looks more green be it street level landscaping or open public parks. It really adds to the cosiness and friendliness of the urban environment
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Old August 9th, 2013, 01:49 AM   #12
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Completed residential developments in the area
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New residential developments and new landscaping
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Old August 9th, 2013, 05:03 AM   #13
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Wonder why they named a chocolate bar after Shrek?
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Old August 10th, 2013, 12:24 AM   #14
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Continued with walking in Houhai and Dengliang station area

A man cutting the lawn. There was a young guy with him (maybe his son?) doing the same thing. There were some construction workers having a lunch break nearby. Other than that there was hardly anyone in the vast area
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This is a rather common view in many places in China: completed infrastructure and landscaping but still rather early stages of surrounding construction. It feels a little surreal to walk in places like this. There is noone there apart from workers who are mostly staying in the construction site surrounded by high fences. The streets are completely empty with just an occasional car passing by. There was nothing there a year ago and a year later it will probably be buzzing with people as if it always has been that way
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Luxury apartments under construction near a canal and mini-park that have already been built nearby
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New landscaping. I must say I was rather impressed. It looks and feels really nice and cosy
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Old August 10th, 2013, 12:36 AM   #15
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Some of the already (but seemingly quite recently) completed residential quarters along Zhongxin Road. This is still part of the same vast construction area which was started a couple of years ago and measures at ~4x1.3km in dimensions. This is how construction sites can be measured in SZ. By kilometers

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Pedestrian walk along Dongbin Road. Notice the amount of greenery (also in the following photos)
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Old August 10th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #16
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Houhaibin Road

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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #17
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Streetside park on Houhaibin Road
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Gongye 8th Road
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Haiyue Road. Shenzhen as well as probably other cities in China are largely dominated by Le Corbusian style planning with highrise residential buildings. This is what we've already seen in the Soviet Union and large part of Europe which back in the days was the so-called 'Socialist Bloc'. One big difference seems to be that in Shenzhen such residential areas have rather vibrant and lively street life with countless shops and service outlets on the street level as seen on the right side of the picture. I really like that
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IMG_0685 by jo.sau, on Flickr
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Old August 10th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #18
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Haiyue Rd. Sofas.
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Shops in Haiyue Road
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Avril Lavigne promoting some cold tea (?) drink
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Traffic at the intersection of Dongbin Rd and Nanhai Avenue
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Old August 10th, 2013, 04:06 AM   #19
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New residentials at the approach of Danan Mountain which I was walking to
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Surrounding area and landscaping
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Old August 10th, 2013, 04:21 AM   #20
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Next is Danan Mountain (大南山) which peaks at 336m above sea level. Doesn't sound like too high but keep in mind that it's actually right near the sea so the 336m in this case is the 'real' height. It's not the highest peak in SZ (the highest peak is at 960m which I didn't climb this time. Although I will do next time) but at temperatures of 30+ degrees C it's certainly a great exercise. Shenzhen has quite a few hills which are excellent for hiking and loosing those extra kgs

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There are at least three different routes to climb it. One of them is this road which I took. Thank god I bought 3 bottles of water and some isotonic drinks before starting to go up. It was really hot that day and I was sweating like I never had before
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Resident of the mountain
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Next I will post some views that can be seen from Danan Mountain.
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