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Rest and relax like a local at one of these spots in Shenzhen

Three words: Shenzhen equals speed. The city has been synonymous with rapid growth in the last 40 years, transforming from a quiet border city to a buzzing tech hub. Today, the fledgeling city has become a beacon of progress, attracting young tech graduates and global corporations.

That said, Shenzhen does not have a landscape of typical greyscale skyscrapers filled with suited men. At the heart of it, the forward-looking metropolis contains a community looking to create a new culture of their own. From family-centered theme parks to new-age bars, one thing’s for sure: all work and no play is not the motto here in Shenzhen.

Go ahead, get away from the hustle and relax like a local at these spots.

The Haploid

(Image credit: Lifestyleasia)

The speakeasy culture may have been appropriated to death, but that does not stop patrons with a desire for novelty and mystery. The Haploid’s allure is no different. It is fronted by a tiny convenience store, but inside, the cosy bar emulates speakeasies in New York, sporting brick walls, neon lights and barstools next to black tables. Award-winning bartender and co-founder Dave Lam can captivate any customer with any one of his 16 signature cocktails, including our personal favourite, I am Groot. This tangy drink is a reference to the Marvel character and comes inside a flower pot, topped with oreo crumb ‘dirt’ and a mint spring.

Directions: Take Metro Line 1 and stop at Convention & Exhibition Center Station. Take Exit D and you will arrive within a 5-minute stroll.
Address: H-Store, Shop #5, Yingjifu Square inside Shopping Park, Fuhua San Road, Futian District, Shenzhen
Opening hours: 8pm to 2am daily

Window of the World

(Image credit: iStock)

'Around the world in 80 days' may be a goal for many travellers, but Shenzhen’s very own Window of the World proves that it does not have to be a pipe dream. This adorable kitsch theme park features 130 reproductions of the world’s greatest monuments on its 48-hectare grounds. Navigate the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, take a picture at the towering 108-metre tall Eiffel Tower or even show some Singaporean pride at the park’s very own Merlion. The city is subtropical all year round but head to the Ice-Snow World to revel in a man-made wintry climate.

Directions: Take Metro Line 1 or Metro Line 2 and stop at the Window of the World Station.
Address: 9037, Shennan Avenue, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Opening hours: 9am to 10pm daily, 9am to 10.30pm on public holidays
Admission fee: ¥220 per pax

OCT Loft

(Image credit: thatsmags)

Searching for one of those industrial chic-styled artsy neighbourhoods? Head to OCT Loft, or Overseas Chinese Town Loft. Previously an industrial complex, this gentrified hipster town is now the focal point for the city’s burgeoning art and design scene. This is home to many contemporary art galleries and cafes serving up western and fusion dishes. A trip here is never complete without visiting Old Heaven Books, a book and vinyl coffeehouse that doubles up as a live performance space. For a night-time tipple (or daytime, we don’t judge), check out the innovative cocktails at Magpie.

Directions: Take Metro Line 1 and stop at OCT Station or Qiaocheng East Station.
Address: Huaqiao Town, 2 Jinxiu Bei Street, Nanshan District, Shenzhen

The Drawing Room And St. Regis Bar

(Image credit: St. Regis Shenzhen)

The Drawing Room is unlike any other lounge in Shenzhen. Located on the 96th floor of the St. Regis Hotel, the endless city skyline is at your disposal whether you are here for some afternoon tea, or looking to sit around with a glass of wine in hand. The luxurious space is lined with floor-to-ceiling royal blue curtains, setting the frame for its panoramic views. Be sure to grab a glass of Yan Mary, the hotel’s personal rendition of the famous St. Regis Bloody Mary.

Directions: Take Metro Line 1, Metro Line 2 or Metro Line 9 and stop at Grand Theatre Station.
Address: The St. Regis Shenzhen 5016 Shennan Dong Road, Luohu District Shenzhen
Opening hours: 11am to 1am daily

Sea World

(Image credit: Nikolay Tanev Youtube)

Rather than an aquatic wonder world, the Sea World in Shenzhen is a dynamic quarter of Shekou that reflects the unique blend of people that live in the city. A quick tour around the area and you will realise the world’s cuisines are at your feet. Mexican quesadillas? Check. Taiwanese Bubble Tea? Check. Hot pot? You got it. Locals enjoy frequenting Baia Burger, a relaxed Italian establishment known for their messy burgers and craft beer. Apart from dining at the countless restaurants in the area, visitors can also expect music shows and events daily to keep them entertained. The cornerstone of Sea World is the ‘Ming Hua’ ship, previously a cruise for French president Charles de Gaulle in 1962. Today, it sits on land and is used as an entertainment hub in Sea World.

Directions: Take Metro Line 2 and stop at Sea World Station.
Address: 1128 Wanghai Road, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen

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