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Splendid China and the China Folk Culture Villages

This article was originally published on December 24, 2010, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

Main Gate of Splendid China and the Folk Cultural Villages
I have a secret: I've never been inside Windows of the World, nor have I been to Happy Valley. The one is too flashy, the other too scary.

No, when I'm in the mood for one of Shenzhen's "Big Three" theme parks, I head straight for Splendid China and the Folk Cultural Villages. I'm a big fan of Chinese culture, and this two-sided park has it all.

The (miniature) Great Wall of (Splendid) China--a kilometer long and a meter high
In addition to Chinese culture, I love miniatures and models as well. (I had model trains as a kid.) On the Splendid China side, you can take a mini-tour that covers all of China, from the kilometer-long Great Wall to a view of the Three Gorges that may not exist anymore. Tibet's Potala Palace (but with more oxygen); the Forbidden City; Hangzhou's West Lake; and almost every other Chinese tourist site you can name. And all in one place!

A couple in ethnic costume in the Folk Cultural Villages
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, culture comes alive. The Folk Cultural Villages are just that: 22 life-sized village compounds or houses representing that many of China's 56 fascinating ethnic groups. Imagine visiting people from Xinjiang to Fujian all in an afternoon!

Genghis Khan rides again in the horse show in the Folk Cultural Villages
What's more, there are shows and dance performance all through the day, as well as seasonal festivals reflecting the cultures of various peoples. A perennial favorite is the "Genghis Khan" show, with "soldiers" (some of them women) doing horse-back acrobatics in a mock battle.

Admission to both sides costs 120rmb; walk east from Huaqiaocheng (OCT) Station Exit D, or west from Qiaochengdong Exit B, to reach the front gates.

Get yer souvenirs outside the front gates--on your way in or out, or any time
GPS Info:
  • 22.5329,113.9871



Yangzhou's Five-Pavilion Bridge in miniature
"I want to thank the little people..." (Get it?)
A miniature Hakka "round house"
Life-sized people on a wedding boat in the Folk Cultural Villages

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