From ‘Devoid of Culture or Spirit’ to #2 Cities to Visit in 2019


ShekouDaily   |   October 26, 2018

You may have already seen the news that Shenzhen came in at #2 in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2019.

Ping An Financial Centre (Kohn Pedersen Fox) stands out on Shēnzhèn’s skyline © HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock

Despite the joy, pride and excitement of seeing our lovely city make the list of one of the world’s most popular travel guides, my first response to this news was laughter. 

I laughed not because Shenzhen doesn’t rightly deserve being in this list, but because the news instantly reminded me of what Lonely Planet published about Shenzhen in their ‘China’ book I purchased before my first trip here in 2006. I dug around and it turns out that I still have the book, so I can just show you. Lucky for us as I can’t bring myself to type out their terrible description of the city.

Two clips from page 573 of Lonely Planet’s ‘China’ book, 9th edition, published May 2005. The two clips do not originally appear side-by-side in the book. They are combined here for reference only.

It’s amazing how much a city can change in a few years and how much the opinion of a travel guide can change in 13 years. Congratulations Shenzhen! Let’s see what the next ten years will bring. Hopefully, I’ll finally be able to convince my mom to come visit.

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