Normally, I’m the first one to run from anything even remotely touristy. So, when my husband suggested we travel from our Hong Kong home to nearby Shenzhen last weekend, and specifically visit Splendid China Park & Folk Village, (https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangdong/shenzhen/splendid.htm), I was more than a little apprehensive. What could really be that interesting, (and, worth hours away from the fantastic shopping), about a Chinese theme park featuring miniature versions of the country’s most famous historical sites?
I now realize, however, that you need to appreciate Splendid China for what it does best. Firstly, beautifully tended gardens sprawling over 30 hectares, and, secondly, the amazing miniatures, all painstakingly created to extreme accuracy and scale.
Let’s discuss the gardens. Shenzhen is a crowded, grey, and mostly smoggy border city of some ten million souls. To be able to wander the uncrowded pathways, these carefully manicured grounds, is a very welcome respite from the masses.
Hundreds of varieties of unique trees, both native and imported, offer shade on sunny days.
Floral enthusiasts will not be disappointed here, either. Gorgeous displays of a rainbow of colours and variety paint the landscape.
Next, the miniatures. Think of this as a delightful, sprawling, history-drenched art piece.
Around this bend, The Forbidden City, around the next, The Summer Palace. The Temple of Heaven. Three Gorges.
The Great Wall, winding this way and that, as you make your way from one historical point to another.
Such painstaking detail, even tiny rivers and bridges, minute bonsai trees….everything so as to most accurately set the scale.
Not many of us will make the journey to see even a few of these actual sites. Splendid China is not about replacing the authentic experience, anyways. It’s about celebrating the awe-inspiring culture, the architecture, the sheer wonder of this country’s history throughout the centuries.
We spent an entire afternoon mainly in the miniatures section, but the park also boasts an entire other side with full-scale representations of village life for the many tribes of China.
Free cultural shows and interactive displays are also highlighted here.
Despite my initial misconceptions, (and disregarding a few lousy Trip Advisor reviews – some people just can’t appreciate it for what it is!), we really loved the place, and had a fun time exploring all of China’s many wonders…all in one day.