Shenzhen, China, April 2019: Shenzhen beyond the Gangxia residential district is a vast metropolis and for those who thrive on shopping malls, skyscrapers, museums and theme parks, well, there won’t be any disappointment here! Personally, I’m keen to avoid such synthetics of this modern metropolis and given my relatively short time here those features can wait for another day. Today I’m planning on a hike North towards a plethora of green spaces as indicated on the map where hopefully I’ll discover less of the glass and steel, more of the natural features as provided by mother Earth.
I’m heading North towards Lian Hua Shan, a sizeable green space which is consistently flagged as a place worth visiting, according to Apples Safari Internet search engine. The weather is hot and hazy, no blue sky sadly but still bright enough for some decent photo’s along the way such as the image here – a huge structure fronted by white washed stone images of people. The theme running here appears to be sports, music, arts generally so I’d guess some kind of sports and arts venue. Quite impressive, well designed architecture, aesthetically pleasing next to the 8 lane largely empty highway.
Lian Hua Shan is a city park with a difference – there’s a pretty big hill right in the middle of the huge green expanse. Having stomped my way North for the last 50 minutes in the hot, humid air, its a great relief to find plenty of shady paths and a little shop selling drinks, reasonably priced to! The remnants of what used to be a jungle judging by the palm trees and various other plants around here. Perhaps the boating lake is a man-made feature but overall I’m quite pleased to have found a naturally green space in the big big city of Shenzhen. On second thoughts, some of these palms do look like they’ve transplanted. The thing to do now, along with everyone else here, is head uphill. A gentle incline along a well maintained pathway that even grandma and grandpa can hike – lets hope the views at the top are worth the effort!
Keep an eye out for some colourful bugs along the way…
After about 20 minutes one arrives at what I would suggest is the highest natural elevated spot in metropolitan Shenzhen. Unfortunately, blue skies and sunshine are at a premium here, but nonetheless the hike up is worth the effort the views across Shenzhen. Here’s what a city conceived just 40 years ago looks like…
Interestingly, China’s Deng Xiaoping stands watch across the city, immortalised in a giant statue. He’s Credited with policies aimed at turning around the country’s fortunes raising the standard of living for its millions of inhabitants beginning late in the 70’s. A crowd gathers in front of the statues, iron fist’d and breaking into song. No idea what its all about but at a guess I’d say its something to do with reaffirming communist values!
Well, that’s just one of Shenzhen’s city parks. Pretty glad I made the effort for this one and quite a treat to witness some modern day Chinese culture at the Deng statue, and all for free!