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Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a large city in southern China, located right on the border of Hong Kong. It is a modern metropolis with a population of 12 million. With its palm tree-lined streets and huge shopping malls, Shenzhen is quite distinctive from other Chinese cities. It is a vibrant technology hub and best known as the 'silicon valley of China'.

Shenzhen has 3 CBDs: Futian, Luohu and Nanshan. Each has large shopping and entertainment complexes, as well as skyscrapers and office buildings. Amongst these are 'urban villages': local neighborhoods where you can grab a cheap bowl of noodles or get your hair cut for 20 rmb. This mix of the modern and traditional gives Shenzhen a charming 'East meets West' feel, similar to Hong Kong.

Getting around Shenzhen is very easy. There is an extensive subway system that spans all districts of the city and even connects to the Hong Kong subway (getting between the two cities takes around 1.5 hours). This makes Shenzhen an ideal location for those who want to explore further afield on their days off.

Shenzhen has a tropical climate with hot summers, mild winters and almost year-round sunshine. It has the best air quality of any Chinese first-tier city.

As a relatively new city that grew from a small fishing village in the 1970s, Shenzhen has a vibrancy to it. It is an immigrant city with people coming from all over China to seek a better life. As such, it is very diverse and you can find cuisines from every corner of China, as well as foreign restaurants.