Shenzhen (深圳; Shēnzhèn) is a city in Guangdong Province in China. It lies immediately North of Hong Kong separated for the most part by a narrow river. Shenzhen lies directly en route between Hong Kong and China's third-largest city, Guangzhou which is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) North West of Shenzhen. Shenzhen was a market town of 30,000 people until designated in 1980 as the first of China's five Special Economic Zones. It then became the fastest growing city in history to today become a thriving, well planned metropolis of 20 million people.
Shenzhen is on the list of UNESCO Creative Citiesand ranked second on the list of ‘Top 10 cities to visit in 2019' by Lonely Planet. Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists. They were originally attracted by its theme parks but as the city has developed and prospered they are increasingly drawn by Shenzhen's stunning architecture, numerous beautiful parks, active cultural arts scene, and breadth of restaurants, bars and shopping. Shenzhen's beaches have become famous throughout China. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen's best beaches, was nominated by the China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. Visitors also increasingly recognise fascinating historical sites, such as impressive forts and temples and sites related to Hakka culture and Hong Kong's annexation after the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area. Shenzhen attracted relatively small numbers of international visitors prior to the Lonely Planet 'top 10 cities to visit in 2019' second placing.
Being such a new city, people in Shenzhen have the advantage of planned street grids, modern construction at all but its historical buildings and world leading eco-friendly public transport among its infrastructure. Also considering the often flat terrain, Shenzhen is among the most disabled friendly cities in China.
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