Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Shenzhen Garden Signs

Walking around Shenzhen, I come across great signs in the gardens and landscaping along the paths.  Here's a few of my favorites.  Some of the Chinglish (English with Chinese vocabulary or sentence structure/construction) requires a little thought, but does ultimately make sense.

The signs are delightful and fun to spot as I wander.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Shenzhen City Hall

The Shenzhen City Hall opened in 2004 with 26 government agencies, including the bureau of trade and industry, bureau of finance, taxation bureau, administration of industry and business, Shenzhen Customs, education bureau, science and technology and information bureau, public security bureau, personnel bureau, environmental protection bureau, labor and social security bureau, tourism bureau, food and drugs administration, and foreign affairs office.

The sweeping roof of the city hall is intended to reflect traditional Chinese architecture, representing a bird in flight as a symbol of the city's growth.  Several adjacent buildings extend and complement this theme, including the main library and the concert hall.

Shenzhen City Hall viewed from Lianhuashan Park
(at the base of the Deng Xiaoping statue)

Leaving the Lianhuashan Park, the walkway to the city hall is filled with flowers.

 Walkway to city hall

 And in the center of the walkway are elaborate floral plantings.

 Plantings on the walkway

Reaching the end of the walkway at the city hall building, I see groups of people are dancing and exercising in the shade of the building, quite a different environment from the groups in the park!

 Exercise groups on city hall plaza

Leaving the Shenzhen City Hall Plaza, I descend to the next level and spot appropriate sculptures outside the library and concert hall.

Sculpture outside the Shenzhen Concert Hall

Sculpture outside the Shenzhen Library

And, as I leave the plaza, heading back to my hotel, I run across another of the great signs I find in China, the sign for the square.

Kind of says it all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A Few More Sights in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is located in Guangdong Province, in the Pearl River Delta bordering Hong Kong.  I can get back and forth from the Hong Kong International Airport by shuttle, subway (Metro), or ferry.  However, when I fly down from Shanghai, it's easiest to fly into the Shenzhen Airport and take the Metro into town.  Just as in Shanghai, the 1-1/2 hour Metro ride from the airport to my hotel costs 7 RMB ($1.10).

Shenzhen has a tropical climate and is often hot and humid, around 90ºF (32ºC) with 90% humidity.  There's a reason that bougainvillea, hibiscus, and colocasia (elephant ear) grow so well here.

Colocasia growing along the sidewalk

And, the sidewalks have natural shade.

 Tree-shaded sidewalks and bike paths

The view from the top of the hill in Lianhuashan Park is incredible, looking over at the City Hall and the new Ping An Financial Center, the second highest building in China (after the Shanghai Tower).

 View of City Hall and the Ping An Financial Center

As a relatively new metropolitan area, Shenzhen is very modern.  Sometimes I think that I could be in any modern city in the world and it would look like this.  However, Shenzhen also, as a new city, is taking the opportunity to set aside land as green space and has over 800 parks scattered throughout the city.  

Shenzhen also has a number of interesting theme parks:  Minsk World, an amusement park in a former Soviet Union Aircraft Carrier; OCT (Overseas Chinese Town) East, three theme parks with small towns based on various western and Asian themes; Splendid China Folk Village, with miniature versions of China's cultural treasures (Great Wall, Forbidden City, Imperial Palace); and Window of the World, 130 reproductions of some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world (Eiffel Tower, Acropolis, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Matterhorn, Buckingham Palace, ...).

All of these parks, except for Minsk World (which prefers to stay in the water) are located along Shennan Boulevard, near the Window of the World and Qiaochang Metro Stations.

 Theme parks along Shennan Boulevard

Later, I walk through one of the many parks as the rain returns.  Smart people are hiding under trees and in the park buildings as I walk and take pictures in the rain.

 Park in the rain

 View of downtown from the park in the rain

When it rains in Shenzhen, it pours.  I get soaked and switch from my small folding umbrella to the large one the hotel provides, giving me a little more coverage and a little less drenching

Friday, August 20, 2021

Walking Around Shenzhen, China

I travelled many times on business to the fabulous cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen, often visiting both on the same trip.  In Shenzhen, I like to stay in the Futian District, about an hour's Metro ride from the airport and about 10 km (6 miles) from the Shenzhen City Hall.  In the morning, I walk north from my hotel, around Xiangmi Lake, down Lianhua Road to Lianhuashan Park (just above the city hall) and then through the park.  Leaving the park, I walk through the city hall complex, down to the Convention Center and then back to my hotel next to the Tairan Science Park, halfway in between the Chegongmiao Metro Station and the Xiangmihu Metro Station.

In the morning, Lianhuashan Park is full of people starting their day with exercise, games, and socializing.  At the bottom of the hill, and again at the top, are several exercise dance groups.

Exercise in the park

At the base of the hill is a set of exercise equipment, but apparently more interesting to everyone, ping pong tables.

 Exercise equipment and ping pong in the park

Next to the ping pong tables is a plaza where, behind a colorful bush, people are practicing with their swords.

Behind the sign and bushes, sword practice

After watching the sword work for a while, I head up the hill to the top.  A lot of people are also either going up or down the steps or hiking up the road.

Taking the steps up and down

At the top is the statue of Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China who created Shenzhen as a Special Economic Zone in 1980, growing it from a few thousand people at that time to the current 15 million or so.

Deng Xiaoping, overlooking downtown and the Shenzhen City Hall
Heading down from the plaza at the base of the statue, at the bottom of the hill, I run across some great floral displays close to the walkway to the Shenzhen City Hall, which has its own great displays.

 Floral sculpture at the park entrance close to city hall

And, I can't resist one more floral picture of the plantings and flowering trees that provide shade along the streets outside the park.

 Color along the streets outside the park