Published on: 9th Jul 2017We are planning a photographic tour of Shenzhen for the 2017 Christmas! Shenzhen is one of the youngest cities in the world. Up until 1979 the original village was inhabited by about 30,000 people but in less than 40 years it grew to a population of about 19 million people. This extraordinary growth is the result of the Chines Government’s 1980 establishment of the Shenzhen as China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Between the high rising office- and housing buildings and the busy streets of Shenzhen is 27 recreational parks which is used by its citizens on a daily basis. If you want to photograph people, it does not get better than this!
But amongst the hassle and bustle of this world city one can still find traces of the old world.These villages are known as “chengzhongcun” and our trip will definitely explore these villages hidden within the city.
Although Shenzhen is situated about a degree south of the Tropic of Cancer, due to the Siberian anticyclone, it has a warm, humid subtropical climate. Visiting Shenzhen in December (the middle of their winter!)is ideal as the temperatures are very mild and we can expect some good clouds and even some fog without too much rain.
Shenzhen is bordered in the south by the South China Sea, so it is also a great destination for some land and sea scape photography. Our trip will definitely include some dedicated landscape photo opportunities!
We will end the trip with a two-day visit to the Nan Sha Tin Hau Palace in Guangzhou – about an hour and a half drive from Shenzhen. This palace and temple are situated on the slope of the Dajiao Mountain looking out over the Zhuijian River Estuary. It is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens covering a few square kilometres.
The tour starts on Sunday, 17 December at the Hong Kong Airport at 3 pm when we will make use of taxis to take us to mainland China. After settling in in the hotel we will take a stroll through Honghu Park, which is right across the street from the hotel. After dinner we will retire to our rooms.Day 2
We will start the day with a visit to Lychee Park. It is in the middle of the financial district and I am alwaysDay 3 surprised at how many people get up early every day for a workout. After a late breakfast, we will go to Dafen Art Village. We will stay the rest of the day in and around the village and return to our hotel in time for dinner. I have visited Dafen Art Village many times in the past as it is a very interesting place – not only to photograph but also to admire the skill of the artists producing artwork. Be sure to check out some of my articles about Dafen Art Village on my website (http://johann.vdwalt.net).
We will leave early to photograph the sunrise at Shenzhen Bay Park. The rest of the day will be spent around OCT, the “Outside China Town”. There is some interesting architecture, lots of people and also a lake where we would photograph the sunset.Day 4
We will start the day in Children’s Park, another park just around the corner from our hotel.Day 5 After breakfast we will go to Huaqiangbei – one of the biggest electronics markets in the world. It is fondly known as the Silicon Valley of the East. After lunch, we will go to Bijiasan Park (“San” is Chinese for mountain). The plan is to climb up the mounting (about a 15 minute steep upwards walk) to photograph a city sunset scene. (On my last visit I tried to photograph a star trail from here but the mist came up over the city which ruined my attempt. I did, however, got a decent sunset photo).
On day 5 we will visit the harbour and hopefully get some interesting shots from the activities at the harbour. When we are too tired of photographing at the harbour, we will go to Shekou – a great hangout spot near the harbour.Day 6 Because of its free trade status you will see so many foreigners here that you may think you have left China! The sunset shoot will be of the Nanshan District’s interesting architecture – some real urban landscapes!
After breakfast we will go to Banhuacun Art Village village – one of the most beautiful preserved old Chinese villages which currently serves as an international educational and art exchange centre for many local as well as international artists. After returning the afternoon, we will take a walk to Dongmen, the fashion district in Shenzhen.Day 7
This day will be dedicated to landscape photography and I personally planned to extend on my set of longDay 8 exposure photos taken in this area. We will be visiting beaches such as Dameisha and Xiaoymeisha and if time allows, also the lesser known beaches close to Dapen.
After breakfast we will leave Shenzhen to go to NanSha Tin Hou Palace in Guangzhou, about a two-hour drive from Shenzhen.Day 9 The main attraction is the NanSha Tin hou temple and also the surrounding parks.
On this lazy Christmas day we will continue our exploration of the temple and its surroundings.Day 10
After a late breakfast we will be transported to Hong Kong airport where the tour officially ends. For those who wantto extend their visit, I would suggest that you book a place to stay in Hong Kong for the next couple of days to photograph the New Year Fireworks – one of the biggest annual fireworks in the world.
The cost the the whole trip is RMB7,995 per person sharing. This includes all travel from the day you are picked up at the Hong Kong Airport until the day you are dropped off at the airport! It also includes all hotels, all meals and all entrance fees at parks. (Depending on the exchange rate, RMB7,995 is about R16,000).
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