Located in the Southeast portion of China, right next to Hong Kong, Shenzhen led the life of a small fishing town until only 40 years ago. Today, it is a modern financial hub with a bustling population of about 18 million residents. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the earliest records of Shenzhen show that it was named after a deep drain located in the vicinity. However, there is evidence of human activity during the Neolithic period.
Shenzhen's massive growth and the economic boom began in 1980 when the Chinese government designated the city as a Special Economic Zone for an experiment on how market capitalism could be integrated into a society that had accepted the tenets of Chinese socialism. Because of this, the city became a prime location for foreign investment. The preferential policies applied to Shenzhen were those that created the economic boom in the area, resulting in the city becoming China's second financial capital.
Shenzhen is also home to the world's fourth tallest building. Measuring 1969 feet in height, the Ping An IFC building was completed in 2016 and houses a mall, a variety of restaurants and a luxury hotel. The Ping An IFC serves its visitors and residents with 80 double-deck elevators, some of which go directly to the observation deck on the 115th floor, where visitors can enjoy the view of the city and the ocean. Its innovative design was created to withstand the gale force winds of a typhoon thanks to its reinforced concrete core.
Visitors enjoy Shenzhen's many parks and delicious Cantonese cuisine, of which dim sum and congee are local favorites. As for its economy, Shenzhen is a modern high-tech hub, in which finance, logistics and culture are its driving industries. Its wonderful beaches, friendly residents and impressive retail sector have made Shenzhen one of the best places to visit in China, so don't miss the opportunity to plan a special vacation to Shenzhen, a city known as the gateway to China.