Happy Hump Day 🐪
If you read my last post you’ll know that a few weeks ago we spent a weekend in Shenzhen; a city 1 1/2 hours from Guangzhou and the one we pass through to get across to Hong Kong. Our main reason for the trip was to see Fall Out Boy perform (incredible) but we decided to book a hotel and turn it into a mini staycation! Toby has only visited briefly for business and I’ve only passed through a few times in a car/on a train so I’ve been waiting for a chance to explore and see what the city has to offer!
Brief answer: a lot, from what we saw!
We stayed at a hotel located in the bay area for convenience getting to and from the concert so we didn’t venture into the inner city (apart from the station we pulled into which looked meh) but it all looks super modern and very “up and coming”. Once a small market town of 30,000 people, it was actually one of the fastest growing cities in the world in the 1990’s and 2000’s so most buildings look very shiny and new. It’s also still growing; Shenzhen built the most skyscrapers (11, if you’re wondering) than anywhere else in the world during 2016. That’s even more than those built in the whole of the USA and Australia combined. You get the idea. It’s definitely not an old city!
In order for us to fit in as much as possible during our short stay I took to the internet to do a little research and put together a bit of a plan. I can be spontaneous.. but I like to be organised more 🤪.
I’d read about a park called ‘Splendid China’ that’s full of miniature tourist attractions from all provinces around China and thought, why the heck not! Who doesn’t love a good miniature structure?? I had low expectations but it was surprisingly good fun, and if nothing else we took away a good idea of places we’d like to see (the larger versions, obviously) around the country.
After wandering around in the sun for a good few hours we were in search of somewhere to sit with a cold drink, so little miss organised (that’s me 🙋🏻♀️) directed us to an area called OCT Loft. The space consisted of a few warehouses converted into coffee shops, restaurants, cute boutique stores and funky little art galleries and was the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by for a while. The atmosphere of the whole area was so chilled and I’d imagine it’s a really fun place to go for a few drinks in an evening (we passed by a bar with a live jazz band which looked awesome). Looks like we might have to go back another weekend..
In the evening we headed to Sea World for dinner (no, not THAT Sea World) as I’d read there were tons of places to eat. We settled on a burger restaurant because sometimes you just need Western food, but they seemed to have restaurants serving every cuisine you could possibly think of. Randomly there is a huge boat in the centre of the complex and there’s also a water show every evening set to music, as well as blasts of fire which took us by surprise (I think I screamed..). It was a really nice place to wander around for a few hours just soaking up the atmosphere and browsing the little market stalls that were dotted around selling random knick knacks, arts & crafts and snacks.
To me, Shenzhen felt a lot like Singapore. The main highway running from one side of the city to the other is parallel to the shore line (you can see Hong Kong through the trees) which made me think of the ECP, which is the road in Singapore linking the airport to the city and runs alongside East Coast Park and the sea. Everything felt very comforting and familiar which I loved. If you’re ever in China I would definitely recommend visiting for a few days as it felt like a a watered down version of the country that’s easier to digest for foreigners, if that makes any sense.. 😂
After getting back from Shenzhen, a short working week followed by 5 days of pure relaxation, we arrived back in Guangzhou from our holiday in Cambodia just a few days ago. It was one of the nicest trips we’ve taken for such a long time and we learnt so much about the country which, I’m ashamed to say, I really knew nothing about before we visited. Look out for my next blog post about that if you’d like to see what we got up to, and until then enjoy the rest of your week!
Thanks for stopping by and showing my blog a little bit of love 💕