Things to do, visit in evenings in Shenzhen
June 9, 2019 9:26 PM   Subscribe

I am staying at Grand Hyatt - Shenzhen and have time in the evenings after work for the next four days. I don't speak any Mandarin or Cantonese, and I am not the most adventurous eater. I can get a bus pass or take a taxi. What are some cool places to visit, things to do, or places to eat within a reasonable distance of my hotel?
posted by apex_ to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you’re not adventurous try some American chain restaurants. I think Pizza Hut was one of them but was a more upscale experience than in the states. McDonald’s was pretty much the same though. Get over to Damisha ( not sure of the spelling) which is a resortish area near Shenzhen. There’s a nice beach there and a walkable area with hotels and restaurants.

There’s also an electronics district in Shenzhen which is an experience. Picture skyscrapers filled with electronics. Components on the ground floor, complete products on the upper floors.

Iirc there’s a Russian warship that you can tour.

Have fun! I only got to see a little bit of the city. I’m sure there are a million more things to do.

If you have weekends free and you’ve never been, bop over to Hong Kong. It’s a short train ride and a great city.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 10:10 PM on June 9

Ps: get a translator app on your phone which does not require active internet to work. Lots of random internet services don’t work over there or not reliably. Or at least that was the case 5 years ago.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 10:13 PM on June 9

COCO park mall is pretty good. Take a taxi. I would also try to find the time to go visit Dafen Oil Painting village. It isn’t far by taxi. Or your hotel can likely arrange a tour.
posted by frumiousb at 11:57 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

My experience is not with Shenzhen, but I suspect the following is true for every tier-one Chinese city:

Oh, yeah, go eat Chinese interpretations of your local food. E.g., if you're American,

McDonald's is pretty recognizable, but you can also get prepared, refrigerated hamburgers that you reheat in a microwave. It comes out much more like a steamed pork bun. Not a great hamburger, by hamburger standards, but probably an interesting experience.

You can get some unusual pizza toppings. All stuff that Americans eat, I think, just not on pizza. E.g., curried potatoes, octopus, mayonnaise, hot dogs.

Starbucks is way fancier. People take their dates to Starbucks to impress them, not just for a low-commitment first meeting.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 1:44 AM on June 10

I don't know anything about Shenzen but I read on the comments above about Dafen Oil Painting village, and I recently read an article about it. It sounds so interesting! Here is a link to the article and an excerpt to it.

This Village Used to Make 60% of the World’s Paintings—Now Its Future Is in Jeopardy

A so-called Chinese “urban village,” Dafen once produced an estimated 60 percent of all the world’s oil paintings. During its heyday—when the village’s reputation as an art factory rang truer than today—it almost exclusively cranked out copies of paintings in the Western art canon. These canvases found their way into hotel rooms, show homes, and furniture outlets all around the world. Not bad for somewhere that until the late 1980s was a largely overlooked and decidedly rural backwater on the periphery of Shenzhen.
Meanwhile, cheaper and more efficient production methods have been developed. Many copies are now first printed onto canvases in high-definition, after which art workers apply just enough paint to make it appear as if they were painted by hand, a process which requires significantly less skill and produces a more consistent result.

posted by moiraine at 3:39 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Also highly recommend Huaqiangbei electronics market as just a sensory experience. There's several complexes of electronics markets in the area that are great to wander around. It's the most cyberpunk experience I've had in my life. Crowded and hectic and fascinating, with little booths that often really aren't there to sell you things--they're there to sell samples (of diodes, resistors, switches, toggles, LCD screens) to people who will later, if they like the products, order several hundred thousand later.

In contrast to that would be OCAT, the OCT Contemporary Arts Terminal, which I think is often referred to as OCT-Loft. I'm trying to make sure that the place I'm seeing online is in fact the place I visited several years ago, but I thought it was a nice change of pace from the heat and bustle of HQB.
posted by pykrete jungle at 6:17 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

fyi, the subway/underground/MTR is modern, inexpensive and easily navigated if you want to get across town to see, eg Window of the World which is open until 10:30 pm.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:52 AM on June 10

Download Didi (Chinese Uber, essentialy) before you go and use it to get around rather than hailed or lined-up taxi, whose drivers are very unlikely to speak English. You can enter your departure points and destinations in English and it (passably) translates in-app messages to and from the driver if there are any issues.

(You need the foreign version of Didi so download before you arrive.)
posted by MattD at 3:29 PM on June 10

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