October 6 Miniature China and China Folk Cultural Villages, Shenzhen

We looked at a list of the top ten tourist sites in Shenzhen on trip advisor, and realized that we had been to eight of them. There were just two places, Happy Valley Amusement Park and Miniature China and Chinese Folk Villages where we had never been. We had no desire to go to an amusement park, but we decided that it might be interesting to go to the one other  “top tourist site” in Shenzhen. And after visiting Miniature China and Chinese Folk Villages, we wished that we had gone to see it sooner!

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Ann is standing near some elephant statues in Miniature China

Splendid China in Shenzhen is split into two parts. One part is the Folk Culture Villages, and the other one is Miniature China. If you want a quick tour of China in a day, you can see many miniature models of important sites in China in Miniature China. Jeff and I spent only a brief amount of time in this section because we were more interested in the Folk Cultural Villages. Both sides of the park can be visited with one ticket. The Folk Culture Village features ethnic village settings with people dressed in ethnic costumes, and there are also many shows featuring performers from that ethnic group..

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Ann is standing next to a statue of a mother holding up a baby

Splendid China is situated by Shenzhen Bay in a tourist area of Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) It is a 35-40 minute subway ride from Longhua. This area of Shenzhen is a very pretty to walk around, (and cool in the hot weather!) It has a lot of trees and landscaping, and many statues.

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Jeff is standing next to a statue of a man with a briefcase

Jeff and I rode the monorail around the OCT area, which also goes above the parks. The monorail  goes very slowly, so you get a good chance to see everything in the area.

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Monorail in the OCT area in Shenzhen

In 2003, Splendid China merged with the Chinese Folk Culture Village to form  Splendid Miniature China and China Folk Cultural Villages. The two theme parks are quite different though they are both about China. One features China’s ethnic groups, and the other features famous sites and architecture in China. .

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Dragon statue going down steps in Miniature China

I guess that you could also say this place was like a Chinese version of Disneyland.  It was beautiful to walk around, clean, and had expensive, sometimes not very good food.

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Ann is standing in front of a tea house in Miniature China that could not even make decent tea eggs!

Many of the shows had an extra ticket that we had to purchase in addition to our admission ticket. So I think we spent about as much on our visit here as we did when we went to Hong Kong Disneyland..

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Statue in the shape of a Russian nesting doll. I liked this “Asian version” !

The Folk Culture Village features ethnic village settings with people dressed in ethnic costumes, and there are also dance and music performances.

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A smaller scale copy of a famous statue in China. I have not seen the original statue.

The China Folk Culture Village features displays of the daily life and architecture of some of China’s 56 ethnic groups. All together, there were 24 folk villages depicting different ethnic groups from all over China. Each village comprises three parts: a small museum, a stage, and houses that replicate their ethnic architectural styles.

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Miniature water wheels next to a village that replicates Guillan ethnic architecture

The park’s recreated villages include the following Chinese ethnic minorities:: Yi, Miao, Dong, Naxi, Buyi, Yao, Zhuang, Mosuo, Dai, Wa, Hani, Gaoshan, Bai, Li, Jingpo, Tibetan (Zhong), Uygur, Quadrate, Mongol, Korean, Tujia, and North Shaanxi. I was happy to note that I have seen many of these ethnic minorities in the areas where they live in China. I guess that I have gotten to see a lot of China in the last five years! The next photo is from an area of China where we have not been (yet.)

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A display honoring Ghenghis Khan in the yurt style museum in the Mongol Village area

The park had several shows. Three of them were regular featured shows that required an additional ticket; the horse show, the costumed dance show, and the dragon and phoenix show. There were also two special shows that were free with our regular admission. These two shows were only being offered during the Chinese National Holiday Week (Golden Week), and we got to see them as we were there on the last day of Golden Week.

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Costumed performers in the first Golden Week show

The enthic minority costume were interesting, and I recognized many of them from the shows I had seen in our travels to different parts of China. There were also beautifully costumed showgirls in this show. They were all very tall for Chinese women. Most of them were Jeff’s height (5 feet 10 inches) or taller. They were tall enough to be models.

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Peony costumed show girls in the first show that we saw

Notice the backdrop for this show. It was a replica of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, complete with Chairman Mao’s photo.

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Ethnic plate twirlers and dancers, with Chairman Mao in the background!

There were also beautiful floats with costumed performers on them in the show.

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Costumed performers on a float in the show

The horse riding show depicting a battle led by Genghis Khan. It was a lot of fun to watch, and reminded me a bit of watching the horse shows at Renaissance Fairs.

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Riders in the horse show, dressed in Mongolian ethnicl costumes

The horses were very well trained. It is not easy to get a horse to run and jump over fire!

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A horse and rider jump over a fence on fire during the horse show

I really enjoyed this show!

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Jeff is getting set up to tape video of the horse show

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Riders also staged sword fights on horseback during this show.

The next photo is from the Oriental National Costumes Dance Show. This show had the most beautiful and elaborate costumes of any of the performances. The woman in the photo below is doing acrobatic dance moves, all while balancing a stack of plates on her head. They are not tied down or anything, and she takes them off and juggles them later in her performance.

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An ethnic costumed performer in the Oriental Costume and Dance Show

The performers in the photo below turned and circled on the stage, making the chains of beads hanging from those elaborate hats swing in different patterns. There are many, many beautiful photos of this show that Jeff took while I was just trying to see everything! I tried to limit myself to only a few of them in the blog!

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Costumed hat dancers in the Oriental National Costumes Dance Show

We also saw the China Dragon and Phoenix Dance, which is the night show featuring many dancers with LED lights on their costumes, fire juggling and fireworks.

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This photo was taken near the end of the China Dragon and Phoenix show

This women was the Phoenix. She was twirling and dancing while hanging from wires.

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The Phoenix performer from the China Dragon and Phoenix show

The special Golden Week show at the end of the day (8:45 pm) featured more performers in costumes that lit up, and floats with lights. It reminded me a bit of the Disneyland light parade that I had seen when we went to Hong Kong Disneyland last year. Both Jeff and I really enjoyed our day at Miniature China and China Folk Villages Parks! This place was like a combination of an Asian Disneyland and Las Vegas. I will definitely go back here if I ever return to Shenzhen. This was a great way to end my experience in the Shenzhen area!

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Featured Phoenix costumed performers in the China Dragon and Phoenix show

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