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Finding the most beautiful villages -- in Shenzhen
Latest Updated by 2006-03-20 11:16:34
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THE Shenzhen Municipal Tourism Bureau recently launched a collection of village tours by local travel agencies to promote the natural, cultural and historical sites in many of the city's villages. Some of these villages, which have been in existence before the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was founded, were left in place during the city's urbanization, preserving the folk traditions and architecture.

The move is part of the "2006 Village Tour Year" in China, a nationwide campaign by China's National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

So far 24 one-day village tour itineraries have been introduced by local travel agencies. These tours, in Chinese, mainly target Shenzheners to learn more about their city. The following are some highlights of the Shenzhen village tours.

Baguang Village

In brief: A retreat from the world

Located in Yantian District along Daya Bay, Baguang Village is one of the best-protected original settlements in Shenzhen. Baguang actually comprises a collection of 18 small villages, extending along the coastline like brilliant pearls.

Baguang Village features the biggest forest of heritiera littoralis trees in China. Popularly known as looking-glass mangrove, the tree belongs to the mangrove species and is only found in a few Asian countries. The forest is at least 200 years old. The oldest tree, 25 meters high and 4-and-a-half meters in diameter, is more than 300 years old.

To survive centuries of typhoons, the trees have developed giant roots above ground. The roots, more than two meters high, intersect with one another in a jungle web. Walking through the woods, it's hard to believe this is part of Shenzhen.

Another highlight of touring Baguang Village is the grand sea view. The bay, almost undisturbed by the outside world, is a tranquil spot to pick up shells, take a boat out for fishing, or watch the sunset. The seafood here may be Shenzhen's freshest.

Price: 98 yuan (US$12) per person, including a guide, transportation, a seafood dinner and travel insurance.

Tel: 8219-4111, 8231-3399, 8219-2900

Hehu Village

In brief: Experience Hakka culture

Although a young city, Shenzhen has many historical sites. Hehu Village is one of the best-preserved. This village in Longgang District contains China's largest group of enclosure houses, a feature of Hakka culture.

Hehu Village is believed to have been built in 1817. It comprises 187 houses, almost all from the Luo family. The houses are typical of Hakka architecture, with a pond in front of the building complex, an enclosed layout, and windowless walls, all for protection.

Many of the construction details are still practical. The yards bring the houses air and sunshine. The houses' drainage system is still operating. Two wells can supply water to the entire village, although a modern water supply system is in use.

The itinerary includes Dafen Oil Painting Village, internationally known for its oil paintings -- both copies and original, and Yuanshan scenic spot, with a view of mountains and an impressive waterfall.

Price: 88 yuan per person, including a guide, transportation, a seafood dinner and travel insurance.

Tel: 8219-4111, 8231-3399, 8219-2900

Sanmen Island

In brief: Guangdong's Saipan Island

Some one-and-a-half sea miles from Shenzhen's Dapeng Peninsula, Sanmen Island is called "Guangdong's Saipan Island" and is certainly much easier to get to than a North Pacific Island.

For more than 30 years, from the 1950s to the 1980s, the island was an off-limits military area. Even today, military infrastructure can still be found.

The lure of Sanmen Island is its beautiful beaches, with Moon Beach the most famous. The deep blue seawater is clean, and the beach is never crowded. It's a perfect spot just to lie on the sand or search for shells and sea crabs. Beyond the bounds of a day trip, Moon Beach is an attractive camping spot with its fresh air, quiet, and star-studded sky.

A 298-meter peak is worth the climb for the view. And lovers have the promise of keeping their love permanent if they make a vow to the "love stone" at a far distance in the sea.

Price: 150 yuan per person, including a guide, bus and ferry transportation, a seafood dinner and travel insurance.

Tel: 8219-4111, 8231-3399, 8219-2900

Editor: Wing

By: Tang Li Source: Szdaily web edition
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