Don’t be put off by the title; Shenzhen redefines the meaning of the term “Theme Park”. Whether you love nature, adventure or action, the innovative Shenzhenese have created theme parks to suit sightseers of all tastes.
OCT East is, literally, a theme park of three parts. Heralded as the Walt Disney World of China, OCT (Overseas Chinese Town) features nine square kilometres of entertainment. The theme park features three valleys: Knight Valley, Wind Valley and East Valley, which sit, like petals on a lotus flower, around the central Huaxing Temple.
Sweeping up into the mountains, Tea Valley is not a theme park in the traditional sense. The peaceful valley pays homage to a range of cultures, with particular emphasis on the Chinese Tea culture. Take a walk through the Tea Valley’s stunning botanical gardens before you relax and unwind in one of the tranquil lakeside restaurants set in the reproduction Swiss town, Interlaken.
Knight Valley fits the more conventional definition of a theme park, with a range of rides and attractions, ranging from sedate, child-friendly affairs to pure white-knuckle. You can take a cable car up to the summit of the park, where those brave enough can view the Shenzhen landscape from the viewing platform, suspended mid-air far above ground.
Wind Valley, the most recent addition to the trio of parks, is a hub of tranquillity, featuring a range of purpose-built “towns” amid stunning scenery, as well as two high-grade 18-hole golf courses. Golf enthusiasts can even hire a professional coach for a once-in-a-lifetime golfing experience.
At Window of the World theme park, you can take in some of the world’s most significant landmarks in just one day. A must for model lovers and culture vultures alike, you can take in over 130 monuments, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Egypt’s pyramids, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Buckingham Palace, Niagara Falls and the Eiffel Tower.
There is a plethora of natural parks on offer too, such as the Fairy Lake Botanic Gardens, a park which befits its ethereal name. Based at the foot of Shenzhen’s highest peak, Wutong Mountain, guests can visit one of the province’s largest temples, Hongfa Temple and revel in the magical calm of the lakes, surrounded by endangered plants and babbling streams.