The best part of living in a foreign city is discovering something new each day. Yesterday we explored Window of the World, a theme park in Shenzhen that features more than 100 replicas of the world’s most famous landmarks.
Just getting to the park was an adventure in and of itself. Normally we rely on my iPhone’s Maps app to guide us around the city. So far, it’s been reliably handy when navigating the city’s public transportation. Yesterday, however, was a different story. We were only given one bus option and that bus just never came. Finally, a friendly stranger who spoke a little English helped us take a bus to another stop where we would be able to transfer to a different bus that would take us to the park. Before the next bus arrived we had to make a potty stop and by that point the kids were hungry. After filling their tummies we decided we were tired of the busses and used DiDi to take us the rest of the way.
Although we got to the park much later than we had originally planned, we still had plenty of time to explore. We started in the Asia region of the park and added many spots to our growing list of dream travel destinations.
We followed the park’s circular path to visit replicas of the Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Eiffel Tower. Egypt featured some of the nicest public restrooms I’ve seen in China as well as some pretty cool pyramids. After the sun went down, a variety of colored lights illuminated the park and we wandered around to see replicas of Niagra Falls, the Statue of Liberty, and the Moai of Easter Island.
When we needed a break from the intense Shenzhen heat, we headed to the indoor snow area where we found an ice rink as well as a small ski slope for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. The kids were mad that we wouldn’t let them play in the ‘snow,’ but now we know where to go if we feel like skiing in Shenzhen.
At times I felt like one of the exhibitions myself as we were frequently stopped to be photographed by locals. As far as cultural differences go, this is a pretty big one. It’s not unusual for a Chinese person to whip out a cell phone and take a picture of the kids when we’re out and about. Sometimes they try to be discreet about it, but often they’ll ask to pose with one or both of them. Since Window of the World is a big tourist destination, we were stopped more than usual for photo ops. I’m starting to get used to the phenomenon, but I still find it totally odd.
We ended the night by watching an awesome fireworks show and dragged our tired bodies out of the park around 10 pm. There was so much to see and do that it would be easy to spend an entire day exploring the park. I’m not sure if we’ll make it back to Window of the World, but if we do there is still plenty more for us to see!