GETTING ORIENTED THE TOURIST BUS ROUTE
A good way to get oriented is to take Route 1 sightseeing bus Guan Guang Che .
This is a double-decker bus that runs from the beach at Dameisha right along Shennan Ave. to the former checkpoint at Nanshan.
For most of its route the bus travels along Shennan Avenue. Shennan Avenue by itself is rated as one of Shenzhen’s top tourist attractions, something you will appreciate as you pass through its brilliant stands of bougainvillea and lush tropical vegetation. But you will also see the great skyscrapers of Luohu and Futian, the wings of the Civic Centre, and the bright confusion of the theme parks. Don’t be surprised as the Eiffel Tower and the Lion of St. Mark come into view as you approach Windows of the World.
The fare is $10 for the whole route or $2 for any one section. You can get off the bus at any stage, cross the road and catch the same bus coming from the opposite direction when you want to go back. The conductresses are usually very helpful so you should be able to get by without speaking any Chinese.
THE FUTIAN CBD
The original administrative centre of Shenzhen was built in the east of the city around what is now the area of Terminal One and the Da Ju Yuan or Grand Theatre. It comprised a City Government building now the headquarters of the Communist Party, various museums, a library, art gallery, the Grand Theatre itself, and other public facilities such as the Youth Palace.
As the city grew, it was decided in the early 1990s to move the city centre to the west to a new site in Futian. Some truly heroic buildings were planned to reflect the city’s ambitions as one of China’s great cities.
The centre was planned around an axis that started at the statue of Deng Xiaoping on top of Lianhua Mountain and proceeded through a new City Government Building along an axis of shopping malls to a great Exhibition Centre. The open space along the axis was to be lined with multi storey buildings. A new and spectacular Library, Concert Hall and Youth Palace were also planned for the axis area.
It’s all there now. It’s dazzling, futuristic and green. And, additionally, in 2015 the world’s second tallest building, the Ping’an Buidling being constructed now will be open there.
The Futian CBD area is the biggest must-see of the city. We strongly recommend that every tour of Shenzhen start with a tour of the new CBD.