Sure, there are some great new luxury hotels and shopping malls, but there isn't much else. The art scene in Overseas Chinese Town isn't all that impressive and is nowhere near affordable. As for entertainment, visitors can always visit one of Shenzhen's many cheesy theme parks, like OCT East, Window of the World, and Splendid China. Even the Chinese call it a cultural desert. The most cultural destination in Shenzhen is the Hakka museum in Longgang district.
This seems to be the selling point of visiting Shenzhen in 2010:
Affordable luxuries extend to shopping and eating. The jumble of stalls at Dongmen are clogged with pirated DVDs and knock-off handbags, while there are new fashionable restaurants in Shekou, a leafy district with an expatriate flavor. Shenzhen is getting greener, too. The city recently welcomed the first LEED-certified building in southern China: the aptly named Horizontal Skyscraper, billed to be as long as the Empire State Building is tall.Yes, you can buy a knock-off of anything in Shenzhen. In fact, it's more difficult to find the genuine article in the city. I bet the reporter didn't stop in the Starbucks or any bars when he visited Shekou, or he would've found enough expats who begin conversations with "You know what's wrong with China..." to want to get out of that neighborhood fast.
While unbreathable air days like the one above are less frequent than they used to be, the city still has a long way to go to become green.
My friend J., who still lives out in Nanshan district commented on this excerpt: " 'Dim sum joints and illicit massage parlors gave way to gleaming shopping malls and faceless skyscrapers.' Not in my neighborhood; illicit massage parlors stil outnumber gleaming shopping malls 20 to 1."