My 5: Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, China.

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1. Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, February 2018. Parks and temples, temples and parks: China! I limit myself to just one or two parks a place these days, knowing that in most cases the green spaces on offer are much of a muchness for a grisly old China veteran like myself. Wonderboy and I hadn’t even planned on hitting this 660.000 square meter municipal park until we walked right into it. Tempted in by the call of live music, we found a place crammed with excited locals out for an afternoon walk during the Chinese New Year bank holiday.

2. Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, February 2018. The park is pretty new, opened in 2004 and now enjoying National Key Park status awarded by The Chinese government. First timers in China will be utterly enchanted by the place, stuffed as it is with a million and one things to see and do. There’s a gorgeous rose and butterfly garden, a forested boardwalk, a picture perfect lake, dozens of pavilions, pagodas and endless sculptures, bridges and fountains. Lovers of the bonsai will find some breathtaking collections here, while there’s also a science hall and several art exhibitions.

3. Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, February 2018. A large open square connects the rose garden to the forested mountain park section. It’s the perfect space for group dancing and these ladies seemed only too happy to show off in front of my camera.

4. Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, February 2018. You could easily spend a day here. As it was, Wonderboy and I whizzed through in a couple of hours, seeking out those little details and oddities that set the place aside from other such parks around the country. Don’t miss the curious stretch that showcases a number of national gardens, with landscaped corners dedicated to China, Japan, France, Canada, Bolivia and Nepal.  

5. Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park, February 2018. Entry to this amazing park is free, with opening hours between 06:00-10:00. To get there, jump on either the Luobao Line (get off at Zhuzilin) or alternatively go with Line 7 where there are entrance points at both Antuo Hill and Nonglin stations.

For more on my adventures in the city, check out my other 5s on Shenzhen.

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my zillion articles from all around China.

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1. Dongmen Market, February 2018. Shenzhen’s Dongmen district is one of the oldest parts of the city, with a three hundred year trading history under its belt. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, or even just people watching, this is the place to come for the biggest variety of goods and price ranges to suit all budgets. But be warned, Dongmen can be pretty chaotic! So roll up those sleeves, flex your elbows and prepare to do battle.

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My 5: OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park – Shenzhen, China.

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1. OCT-LOFT, February 2018. Art lovers will find plenty to admire about Shenzhen. The city’s parks and squares are full of sculptures and statues, while a half-day visit to Dafen Oil Painting Village and its modern art museum is a must for anyone visiting the city. And then you’ve got OCT LOFT, a so-called Creative Culture Park built from the bones of a former electronics factory in 2005.

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My 5: Dafen Oil Painting Village – Shenzhen, China.

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1. Dafen Oil Painting Village, February 2018. Shenzhen’s world famous oil painting district was once responsible for a staggering 60% of the globe’s known replica oil paintings. Wherever you were in the world, from hotels and cafes to restaurants, offices and train stations, chances are that painting on the wall came from Dafen. These days it’s mostly a tourist curiosity, though there are still plenty of studios (about 600) and galleries among all the shops and cafes. Needless to say I didn’t pass up the opportunity to scoot over there myself to see what the deal was.  Continue Reading »

My 5: Seac Pai Van Park, Macau.

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1. Seac Pai Van Park, February 2018. After five nights in the hustle and bustle of Macau Peninsula, I was definitely in need of a change of pace. Happily then, a day spent strolling around Coloane Island provides just that. Start your wanderings here at Macau’s largest natural green area, a beautiful, protected animal park converted from farmland.

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My 5: St. Paul’s Ruins, Macau.

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1. St. Paul’s Ruins, February 2018. It’s amazing how few of my Chinese friends and colleagues know about the rich history and architectural beauty of Macau Peninsula. “Six days in Macau is too long, there are only casinos!” What an almighty miscalculation! Start your explorations here in the old quarter with Macau’s most treasured icon; the towering remains of this former 17th century church. Continue Reading »

My 5: Chongwu Stone Arts Expo Park, China.

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1. Chongwu Stone Arts Expo Park, February 2018. The only reason to make the trek out to the isolated Chinese outpost of Chongwu is for this fascinating park, set between a section of the town’s ancient walls and a pretty strip of beach overlooking The Taiwan Strait. The section of wall that runs through the park dates back to 1387 and is one of the best preserved city walls in China.

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