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Tian Tan Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery (Hong Kong 1 of 7)

Following my 3 week work trip to Shenzhen, I traveled to Hong Kong. Technically, this territory is officially part of China, but there are still many functional and cultural differences. Unlike Shenzhen, this visit was entirely personal, so I had plenty of time to explore.

One of my first stops was Tian Tan (Altar of Heaven) Big Buddha. It’s a 30 minute metro ride away from Central Hong Kong, and is situated not far from the main airport. Continue reading

Window of the World (Shenzhen 6 of 7)

One of Shenzhen’s most popular tourist destinations is Window of the World which features over 100 reproductions of some of the world’s most popular attractions. The real attractions are of course more substantial, but it is still interesting to see so many of them together as replicas at Window of the World. Many of the attractions are very small, but a few such as the Eiffel Tower are actually large enough to dominant the skyline of the park. Continue reading

China Folk Culture Village (Shenzhen 5 of 7)

I visited the China Folk Culture Village inside the Splendid China theme park in Shenzhen. It features the daily life of various ethnic groups in China. The hot weather made it difficult to enjoy being outdoors in the middle of the day for any length of time, but there were many worthwhile sights to be seen.

After this post, I have 2 more to go from Shenzhen, adding an extra post to my originally planned set of 6. Continue reading

Dongmen Pedestrian Street (Shenzhen 4 of 7)

The Dongmen Pedestrian Street is known as Shenzhen’s original shopping mall. It’s a very busy maze of streets with hundreds of shopping options for those seeking clothing, street food, and electronics, although there is also a handicraft market, a street of vendors all selling neon signs, and more. The area is one of the oldest parts of Shenzhen, first being established 300 years ago, although I imagine the bulk of its growth has occurred since the 1970’s.

I visited this area a couple of times, although mostly at night, since it was an hour away from my hotel by train. Continue reading

Late Night Shopping in Shenzhen, China (3 of 7)

As I began to uncover in my last post with the electronics markets, the retail scene and shopping experience is perhaps one of China’s most remarkable differences when compared with North America. Large multinational store brands such as Walmart have begun to operate in recent years, but a lot of shopping is still done in “markets” and small mom-and-pop shops that are clustered by the dozens all over the city. This is true even for Shenzhen which is such a new city. Continue reading

Huaqiangbei Electronics Market (Shenzhen 2 of 7)

Shenzhen is one of the most important centres in the world for electronics manufacturing. There are many factories in the city producing your favourite electronic devices, along with copies of those devices.

The Huaqiangbei district of Shenzhen is home to many electronics markets which span several floors and several buildings. These markets are places for locals to buy their electronics as well as wholesalers and resellers to buy components in bulk. To a North American, these markets are somewhat comparable a flea market, except for electronics.

Competition in these markets is high, and was actually quite intimidating for me. Upon entering or approaching most booths, the staff will seemingly swarm around you, and watch your every move quietly, ready to answer questions, or make a sale. I prefer a bit more distance between me and the sales staff as I try to shop, particularly if I am just browsing for nothing in particular. Continue reading