Chegong Miao is two Metro stops to the west of Central Futian and separated from it by the green of the Shenzhen Golf Club and the scruffy remains of the Honey Lake Entertainment Centre scruffy, yet, it hides some wonderful restaurants. It was originally split between two landlords. To the south, the city-owned Shum Yip had built an industrial estate specialising in electronics and to the north the Agricultural Science Institute had its offices, laboratories, and China’s first large chicken farm. The 55-storey China Merchants Bank Building stood rather forlornly on Shennan Avenue and paddy fields were all around.

Changes in recent years have been phenomenal. The factories moved out and were replaced by electronics R & D firms. China Merchants Bank, opened in 1987 is China’s first joint-stock bank and the first bank to test financial reform due to market mechanism and not government commands.

Soon the five star hotels followed: Marriott have their Shenzhen HQ at Chegong Miao and the latest addition is the Langham, a best in class luxury hotel. East Pacific Group built Shenzhen’s first luxury residential development, East Pacific Gardens and followed it up with several new residential developments including what they claim to be Asia’s tallest residential tower, East Pacific International Residence.

The best place to experience the buzz of the electronics and finance industries is at Chegong Miao Metro Station at peak hours, 8.45 a.m. and 6.30 pm. Thousands upon thousands of Shenzhen’s bright young things pour through the station to their workplaces. There is a mall in the station called Fashiontime. We’re not talking high-end here; it sells the sort of things that office ladies love: wearable fashion, mobile phone accessories and general bling. And, it’s always packed. Add to that office lunch and dinner places and you have the recipe for one of the liveliest places in the city. Friday night is the time to see and be seen. Chegong Miao is no longer peripheral to the CBD, it’s an integral part of it.


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