Some claim that the best sights of Shenzhen are it's shops, they might be right. Shenzhen certainly lacks the bonafida sights that most cities of eight million can boast; unsurprising considering the city was little more than a fishing village fifty years ago. However, as the city has expanded, they have also thrown up some attractions, from Soviet era aircraft carriers to mini Eiffel towers we look at what to see in Shenzhen and the city's best sights.
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1. Window of the WorldShenzhen's number one attraction, Window of the World is a collection of around 150 replicas of world sights and landmarks. The word miniature doesn't really do the recreations justice as they are large, in some cases two thirds of the size the original. The focus is firmly on Europe, with recreations of Britain's Houses of parliament, the Eiffel Tower and Rome's Collesium. Elsewhere, there are substantial American and Asian collections. On top of the replicas, there are also themed streets and food as well as dance shows. The park also puts on an impressive laser and light show. Tacky? Yes. However, the Window of the World, with its theme park atmosphere, is a excellent way to keep the kids entertained. Shijie Zhichuang tel. 0755 2960 2840
2. Splendid ChinaSister site to Window of the World, Splendid China focuses on the sights of Mother China. Offering replicas of the country's best sights, such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors, the miniatures here are somewhat less monumental and less impressive. Splendid China is at least instructive in seeing the best China has to offer, but if you were to pick between the two parks, Window of the World is far better. Jinxiu Zhonghua. Tel. 0755 2660 0626
3. Minsk WorldHands down the wackiest sight in the city, Minsk World is a decommissioned Soviet era aircraft carrier. This hulking carrier is now open to the public and you tour around several decks of this mammoth ship. The size truly is impressive. There are four decks available for touring, including the top deck, filled with rusting Russian MIGs. Unfortunately, English language explanations of the various displays are patchy at best. The site is also home to various pieces of People's Liberation Army hardware, including rocket launchers and helicopters. On certain national days, Minsk World also hosts military parades and shows. Mingsike Hangmu Shijie. Tel. 0755 2535 333
4. Dafen Oil Painting VillageMost major Chinese cities now host 'Artists Villages', where thousands of artists live and turn out millions of replicas of the world's best paintings. However, forget any ideas of a quaint artists retreat, the estimated 5000 plus artists in Dafen often produce the paintings in factory conditions, turning them out like a car on a production line. However, there are also hundreds of individual artists who will paint a replica Rembrandt or Monet in just a few hours. Paintings costs as little as $40. Even if you don't plan on buying, it's a fascinating cultural phenomenon and walking through the dusty streets, lined with works by the great masters is nothing short of bizarre. Dafen Oil Painting Village,BuJi Neighbourhood, LongGang District