World On a Budget: Shenzen China
Even though it doesn’t have the history and natural attractions that draw visitors to other parts of China, Shenzhen has spots that would make a visit unforgettable. Shenzhen is situated in southeastern China and connects Hong Kong to mainland China, giving it the reputation for being the playground of Hong Kong locals.
This bustling city is famous for its shopping centers and urban draws - so working on a budget may be quite hard. From faux designer bags to bespoke clothing, you will find an array of merchandise that will entice you to spend more.
Attractions like Luohu Commercial City, Wonders of the World, Happy Valley, and the China Folk Cultural Villages are sure to deliver loads of fun and entertainment but will lighten your wallet. Choose what you want to spend on wisely and enjoy these free attractions so you can maximize your trip and have more memorable experiences.
A highly-urbanized area, Shenzhen’s cityscape can be best enjoyed from the top of Wutong Mountain. As the highest mountain in the city, Wutong is the best place for viewing the skyline. The mountain stands on the eastern portion of the city while it borders Shenzhen Reservoir on the west. If you want a total body work-out to burn off the Crystal Meat and Longzai Rice you ate, climbing the mountain can be quite an exercise.
Scaling the mountain takes about 3 to 4 hours, so make sure to bring plenty of water and a couple of snacks so you’ll have plenty of energy to enjoy the view at the top. When reaching the leisurely place, the mountain offers a number of relaxing sites where you can enjoy nature or have a refreshing break. Trickling waterfalls, clear streams, and melodious brooks dot the way.
If you don’t have the time (or energy!), a highway leads to the very top of the mountain. Just hop on, board a car and drive to the top. You can also hike down to the base, an easier and faster hiking session of just about 2 hours.
Mangrove Nature Reserve
Visitors who love the great outdoors should definitely head to the Mangrove Nature Reserve. Located along Futan District’s southern end, this 130-hectare forest is home to thousands of birds, fishes, and plants.
As the top spot for birdwatchers in Shenzhen and the surrounding cities, this area is teeming with birdlife. Over 200 migratory bird species travel to and from these wetlands and their breeding grounds in Australia and Siberia. Rare birds can be seen resting on branches and feeding on the shallows.
A true respite from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Shenzhen, this sprawling park features scenic paths and picnic spots. Neighboring Hong Kong can also be seen from some vantage points in the park.
If you’re visiting with the family, have a picnic on the grounds or go kite flying with the children. You can roam the reserve by hiking or by biking. Wander along the marshes, shallow waters, and lush forests. For a romantic tour, stroll along the stunning Shenzhen Bay and admire enthralling views of Nanshan, Futian, and Luohu.
Dameisha Beach Seashore Park
Set along the Yantian District coastline on the northern shore of Mirs Bay, Dameisha Beach is another free retreat from the hectic streets of Shenzhen. Flanked by rolling mountains, this 1,800-meter-long beach is a great spot for photo-taking and sunbathing - if the shore is not overflowing with beachgoers.
The beach is open to the public for free so it may get a bit crowded during the weekends and holidays. Dameisha Beach features a BBQ zone, amusement area, sports zone, and of course, swimming area. Two parks, Sun Square and Moon Square, are connected by a long passage and located within the beach. You can try out water parachuting or spend the day on a motorboat.
At Lychee Park, tourists can relax along its large lake and its gurgling streams. This peaceful park is centrally located in the Futian District and boasts of landscaped gardens and intricate pavilions. More than 30 species of plants can be found in the park, including the famous spiny tree fern.
Central Park Shenzhen or Zhongxin Park stands at the center of Futian’s Commercial Business District. The park provides free entry and is an ideal spot to rest after hours of shopping or a corporate meeting. Aside from the amazing views of the city’s skyline, the park also has plenty of great spots for cycling and walking. Families will find a lot of good spots for picnics here.
There are other free parks in Shenzhen, such as Meilin Reservoir, Children’s Park, People’s Park, East Lake Park, and Hong Lake Park.