Posing in front of the Civic Center building, best pic I got
IF I was asked to choose my favorite place to relax in Shenzhen, I would say the Lianhua Hill area. When the weather is clear and I have the day off, no place is better. Containing some of the most beautiful scenery in central Shenzhen, in the heart of Futian District, the area boasts the best of both worlds: a calming natural setting and convenient shopping nearby.
Last May Day I enjoyed the holiday by first checking out the book mall and then taking a stroll along the hill path. My day began by taking the Metro to Children’s Palace Station and walking to Shenzhen Book City CBD Store. I enjoy their Eon import bookstore very much because they have an ample selection of English-language books. The nearby library also has a broad range of tomes from both the United States and the United Kingdom, and even though I live in China to learn Mandarin, I am still grateful that there is international literature in my native language on hand.
The book mall has lots of other shops to choose from, including various high-end restaurants, but I wasn’t there to partake in consumer culture. After some snacks, I climbed to the top floor. The roof leads to Lianhua Hill Park, where some friends of mine were waiting.
At the entrance to the park there is a square where kite enthusiasts gather. I hadn’t planned to fly a kite that day, but when the opportunity presented itself I spontaneously bought an inexpensive one from a vendor. The vendor even helped with a refresher course on how to fly a kite, a skill I haven’t practiced much since childhood. It was fun to see my kite go higher and higher into the air, and it provided good photo opportunities for my friends.
Eventually, we made it all the way to the top. The hike might not be too demanding as far as mountain climbing goes, but compared to other mountains in Shenzhen, such as Wutong Mountain, which require hours and hours of work, Lianhua Hill makes it easier for a briefer and simpler afternoon outing.
Once at the top, the whole city of Shenzhen is visible and is perfect for taking pictures. Besides the famous statue of Deng Xiaoping, the view of the iconic Civic Center building is one of my favorite sights.
We took the leisurely path back downhill as a cool breeze came with the setting of the sun. Back near the book mall, the large square contains many aspiring musicians and artists during the evening. At a mere (optional) price of a few yuan in tips, we could listen to rock musicians as well as watch caricaturists and painters practices their craft.
It was a wonderful day and I didn’t even have to travel very far. The diversity of activities in Futian District is the reason I have stayed here the past four years and counting. I can’t wait until my next opportunity to further explore Lianhua Hill Park.