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Planning Your Trip

In the span of two decades, Shenzhen, in southeastern China just above Hong Kong, has transformed itself from a fishing village of 30,000 to a world hub of science and technology with over 20 million inhabitants. Here’s a packing guide for exploring and doing business in this chic metropolis.

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Business Travel

Shenzhen is considered the “Silicon Valley of China” because of its concentration of innovative startups and established tech companies. However, unlike the Silicon Valley of America, you won’t find entrepreneurs walking into meetings in hoodies.

 

  • For men, suits are the norm, in neutral and dark colors. Going tie-less might be OK in some cases, but it’s always safe to bring a few.
  • Women should pack a few tailored suits as well, or opt for pencil skirts and blazers.
  • For less formal functions, pack a business casual outfit.
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Exploring the City

Shenzhen isn’t all about business. There are also tons of opportunities for shopping, and a number of parks, golf courses and other entertainment venues sprinkled throughout the city.

 

 

 

 

  • Comfortable walking shoes or sneakers will do you well for hopping from place to place.
  • The city has a subtropical climate, meaning summers are wet and hot. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen and bring a light sweater for the air-conditioned indoors.
  • For mild winters, pack jeans, long-sleeved shirts, a windbreaker and a warm jacket.
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Cultural Considerations

Shenzhen may be China’s most innovative and forward-thinking city, but it’s conservative in many ways. Here are some things to keep in mind as you pack.

 

 

 

  • Even in swelteringly hot and humid summers, short shorts and revealing tops are frowned upon. Instead, choose loose linen pants, shorts and skirts of an appropriate length, and shirts in lightweight and breathable fabrics.
  • In crowded areas, beware of petty thieves. A cross-body purse is a good idea to keep your valuables close.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of Shenzhen’s history and amazing transformation with a handy guidebook.
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Don’t Forget:

The city’s location on the Pearl River delta makes typhoons likely, especially during summer, from June to October. Even outside of typhoon season, rainfall in Shenzhen is a regular occurrence. Pack an umbrella, a rain jacket and waterproof shoes to be prepared.


Perhaps its prominence as the Silicon Valley of China is the main reason Shenzhen is now the richest city in the country. Regardless, along with the startups and state-of-the-art architecture, you’ll also find great restaurants, a notable art scene and sprawling parks. Below, some suggestions for your itinerary.

Dining Reservations

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Set in an opulent space, Xingli specializes in Chiuchow cuisine but also has a wide selection of Szechuan and Cantonese specialties. Book one of its 19 private rooms for a truly special experience. For all-day dim sum and fantastic Peking duck, go to Laurel. For Hong Kong specialties, like barbecued pork noodles, check out Cuiyuan. Shenzhen’s large expat community also makes for a wide selection of international fare. Paletto aces fine Italian cuisine, Bollywood Café offers the city’s best Indian food, BAIA has excellent Mediterranean, and Mash has the best burgers in town.

Spa Appointments

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Occupying two floors, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Shenzhen is the perfect place to find peace and tranquility in the bustling city. Products by the prestigious skin-care brand Valmont are used in its signature treatments, like Heaven & Earth, which re-establishes your energy balance from head to toe and stimulates the flow of qi through your body. Or the Hot Stone, which uses aromatherapy oils and volcanic stones to relieve tension in your muscles. In summer, take advantage of the outdoor cabanas and the landscaped roof garden, which features an outdoor pool and sun deck.   

Museum Tickets & Cultural Sights

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Shenzhen’s Windows of the World is a 119-acre theme park filled with replicas of world landmarks, like Rome’s Colosseum, Paris’ Eiffel Tower and India’s Taj Mahal. For a fast-track tour of China’s landmarks, go to Splendid China Folk Village for miniature versions of sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Terracotta Army. For something more modern, head to OCT-Loft, a palm tree-lined arts and lifestyle district with bookstores, artisanal coffee shops and galleries. Be sure to pay a visit to OCAT, the city’s acclaimed contemporary art museum.  

Day Trips

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Shenzhen’s proximity to Hong Kong makes the latter a perfect day trip. Start with afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen, which sits in the clouds on the 102nd floor of the International Commerce Centre. From here, you can look down on Victoria Harbour and the many other sky-high buildings. Hike the verdant trails at Victoria Peak for a little nature (coupled with more breathtaking views). Work up an appetite treasure hunting at the Temple Street Night Market, then book a table at Michelin-starred Tosca. Afterward, you can stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and catch the Symphony of Lights, a nightly light and sound show set against the glittering skyline.

Shenzhen is the model of rapid growth in modern China, from its ever-expanding population to commitment to building the tallest and starriest architecture possible. But within the jolting newness of skyscrapers and bustle of industry, you can still find the charm of the traditional in beautiful parks and carefully crafted cuisine. Whether you are walking through nature preserves, restaurants, artists’ galleries or strolling by the water, you’re constantly aware of the contrast (and harmony) of what Shenzhen once was and what it has become. 


Culinary Tour

Shenzhen is the epitome of a modern Chinese city with rapid population growth and a building boom of the tallest skyscrapers over the past 30-odd years. The dining scene has kept pace, marrying the traditional Chinese favorites of the region with an influx of international cuisines.

 

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The Perfect Weekend

Shenzhen has experienced exponential population growth over the past 30 years, which lends the city a distinctly modern feeling. From stunning sky-high buildings to charming tourist attractions, there’s more to see and do in Shenzhen every day.

 

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