Emerging from a total of 32 candidates, eight tourist destinations in Shenzhen have been judged the city's top tourism and cultural areas.
They include the ancient Dapeng Fortress, Lotus Hill Park, Overseas Chinese Town, Shennan Thoroughfare, Wutong Mountain, Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches, Zhongying Street and Yangtai Mountain.
The results were announced at a ceremony in the China Folk Culture Villages theme park Monday evening. More than 3,500 Shenzhen residents attended the ceremony.
Initiated in November 2003, the campaign to select the eight symbolic tourism spots was sponsored by the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, the municipal tourism and culture bureaus.
It was considered a cultural feast aiming to boost the city's tourism and its cultural heritage.
The campaign attracted more than 1 million votes. Residents from all walks of life voted through Web sites, letters and mobile phone messages and other means.
Although the mangrove reserves, Qiniang Mountain and the Dongmen commercial area netted many votes, they were excluded in the final assessment by a judging panel of scholars and experts from art, literature and tourism circles.
The judging panel considered the mangrove reserves and Qiniang Mountain as ecological treasures that should not be developed as tourism-oriented areas. These places had to be preserved to avoid excessive visits by tourists, which would reduce the quality of natural environment, according to the judges.
Dongmen was thought to have less historical significance compared with Zhongying Street, which has demarcation stones marking the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Officials from the tourism bureau said it would soon arrange day-tours based on the results.
Dapeng Fortress in Dapeng Township in Longgang District was built to repel Japanese invaders in 1394, occupying an area of 110,000sqm. It is the only State-protected cultural relic in Shenzhen.
Located in the north of the new city center, the hill is named because of its shape. Covering a total are of 166 hectares, the hill park is the largest green space in the central city area.
Overseas Chinese Town
Located in the western part of the special economic zone, Overseas Chinese Town embraces the theme parks of Splendid China, the China Folk Culture Villages, Window of the World and Happy Valley. The parks feature a wide variety of replicas of natural scenery and historical architecture, reflecting the essence of traditional Chinese and international culture. The area serves as a model for the city in urban planning, construction and horticulture.
Running through downtown Shenzhen and extending 17.2km, Shennan Thoroughfare is one of the busiest streets in Shenzhen. Many landmark buildings are along this street. It is also a representation of Shenzhen's night scenery.
At a height of 944 meters, Wutong Mountain is the highest mountain in Shenzhen. There are forest parks, sports parks and hiking tracks for visitors. On top of the mountain, one can gaze over Hong Kong and enjoy splendid sea and landscapes.
Dameisha and Xiaomeisha Beaches
Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches are located at Dapeng Bay. Dubbed "Hawaii of the East," the beaches are popular recreational areas during holidays.
"Zhongying Street," in Shatoujiao Township, Yantian District, is part of an alluvial area between Wutong Mountain and the South China Sea. Stone border markers were put along the middle of the street in 1898 when Britain took more land from China for Hong Kong. That is why it has been called "Zhongying Street," or "Chinese-English Street."
Half of the street is still part of Hong Kong .
Famous for "one street, two systems," the street also has a museum and historic sites such as an ancient well, a fort, an ancestral temple and the Sea Goddess Shrine.
Located on Yangtai Mountain, the valley is an important source for Shenzhen rivers. More than 10 reservoirs are located around the foot of the mountain. The valley is particularly enjoyable during rainy seasons. Below the mountain is where the Hakka people live.
(Shenzhen Daily June 29, 2004)