When people think of tourism in China, the major cities that usually come to mind are Beijing and Shanghai. Fewer know about Szenzhen despite its status as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and the financial center of southern mainland China.
Travelers who are motivated to go slightly off the beaten path will find a wealth of cultural and historical attractions in Szenzhen, most notably the He Xiangning Art Gallery, the Szenzhen Museum, Dapeng Fortress and Minsk World.
He Xiangning Art Gallery:
Second only in renown to the National Art Gallery of China, the He Xiangning Art Gallery houses paintings by 20th-century artist He Xiangning, who was best known in her day as the wife of Liao Zhongkai, one of the early leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. Many of her early works are indicative of a Japanese influence, whereas later works reflect more patriotic sensibilities.
The Szenzhen Museum:
The Szenzhen Museum is noteworthy for actually being two museums, the “Old” museum and the “New” museum. In the Old Museum, also known as the Museum of Ancient Art and Nature, visitors can view displays of cultural relics as well as birds, marine animals and other wild animals. The New Museum, perhaps ironically known as the Historical Museum, houses exhibits relating to Szenzhen’s cultural history and also features exhibits of Chinese handicrafts and other items of interest to children.
One of several living museums in Szenzhen, Dapeng Fortress offers an authentic picture of life in medieval and early modern China, with all buildings and store fronts in the Old City appearing as they did when the city was built between the 14th and 20th centuries during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Since the Old City remains walled in, access is through a series of gates.
As the name implies, Minsk World is home to none other than the Russian aircraft carrier Minsk, which was converted after its retirement into a huge Cold War-era military theme park. Visitors can now tour the flight desk, hangar deck, living quarters and armament, and the starboard side of the Minsk is accessible via motorboat.
These and many other historical and cultural sites, as well as the shining example of technological advancement and industrial development in 21st century China, make Szenzhen a destination that travelers to China won’t want to miss. For a truly enriching experience, anyone traveling to China or Southeast Asia should make plans to visit Szenzhen.