This is the last recap of my tourist activities in Guanzhou and consequently China. It was by far one of the most interesting too so I enjoyed myself immensely! A great way to wrap up the trip.
On our 3rd day in Guanzhou, we had an outing to a nearby city called Shen Zhen. We were going there to spend the day at the Splendid China Folk culture village. It is a theme park with two areas: Splendid China Miniature Park & China Folk Culture Village. The Miniature park covers over 30 hectares and contains miniature imitations of over 100 of the biggest tourist attractions in China including the Great Wall, the 9 Dragon wall and the Yu Garden among others. Yes, they have over 100 tourist attractions! The Folk culture village features displays of the daily life and architecture of China’s 56 ethnic groups. The only 3 I was familiar with were the Tibetan, Mongolian and Korean nationalities. At each “village” of a type of ethnic group, one could meet people of that ethnicity, play dress up with their traditional clothes and watch a traditional ceremony. The theme at the time we went was weddings, so there was some kind of wedding related show taking place at most of the villages.
After breakfast we set off to Shen Zhen at 9am and we arrived an hour later. We didn’t see much of Shen Zhen itself however we did pass by some massive silver skyscrapers on the way to the Splendid China. Shenzhen was only a village just over 30 years ago and now it is now considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. It serves as Southern China’s financial center and also has the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies.
As always, when we arrived, we were pretty excited. Cameras fully charged, we tumbled out of the bus ready to take on Splendid China! Our guide let us take photos in front of the huge display at the entrance before directing everyone to the gates. We were to go see the Miniature park first, have lunch then take a leisurely stroll through the folk culture village where we would watch two shows. We attracted quite a lot of attention from the Splendid China employees and other Chinese tourists while we walking through the park. At times the attention was nice, at other times it was exhausting to have to explain for the umpteenth time that your hair does not grow out as a braid. I actually didn’t know how to say hair in Mandarin before the trip but I do now!
I was pretty psyched to see the Miniature park and it did not disappoint! All the miniatures were painfully detailed, down to the little statues of people in the various buildings and the carefully placed bonsai trees. China of course has natural tourist attractions and those are also present in the Miniature park, all scaled down to 1:15. Waterfalls, mountain ranges, gorges etc, it’s all there!
Whenever we approached a corner , thinking around the bend would be the exit, we were greeted with more miniatures. One needs at least a day in the Miniature park alone to fully appreciate everything there. Near the exit, there was some construction going on-they are still expanding the park! No one does sensory overload like China.
The miniatures I was looking forward to seeing were the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Confucius temple and the 9 Dragon wall.
We also stumbled upon the Yu garden and temple which we had actually visited in Shanghai. The miniature Great Wall snaked through the whole park and I can barely comprehend how massive the real one is!
Eventually we stopped raising our cameras fearing our batteries would run out of power and pleaded for a lunch break. Our guide Joy led us out of the park for lunch at the restaurant just outside the cultural village. Enjoy more photos below!
In part 2 I’ll share our visit to the folk culture village side of the park.