wutong mountain


wutong mountain

Originally uploaded by maryannodonnell

Went to a wedding yesterday at the Wutong Restaurant (梧桐山酒楼) in Shatoujiao, Yantian District. The wedding itself was fun and I’m grateful for the opportunity it gave me to visit Shaotoujiao, one of the more interesting parts of the city.

Shatoujiao is famous because its the location of Chung Ying Street (中英街), which explicitly actualized the One Country, Two Systems policy with Chinese stores on the southern side of the street and British stores on the northern side. For the historically minded, you can also look at boundary stones from the March 16-18, 1899, when the boundary was marked at the end of the Second Opium War. Chung Ying Street is also one of Shenzhen’s 8 contemporary sights (a direct quotation of Xin’an County’s 8 classic sights).

Wutong Mountain is a national park and as such, one of the few mountains in Shenzhen that remains intact after 30 years of land reclamation. It is possible to climb Wutong and enjoy both clean are and views of the city. There are also bits and pieces of history quite literally scattered along the trail because the trail has been built, moved, and reworked for thirty years. The particular bit of trail in this picture comes from the mid-80s and reproduces the architecture and feeling of other famous (and if operational now degraded) parts of Xiangmi Lake and Eastern Lake/Reservoir.

The trail meanders up Wutong from behind the Wutong Restaurant, itself an artifact of the late 80. However, it is now bounded by a scenic highway and decaying mansions, which look like early 90s buildings, that popped up throughout the city before the mid-90s building boom. At the foot of the mountain, new high rises are also going up and seem favored by people who prefer the noticeably cleaner air and fewer people of Shatoujiao. Importantly, Shatoujiao is as close to downtown as the Eastern OCT, but much cheaper. Indeed, remains of the previous Hakka village still interrupt the landscape. The trail itself is fun to walk, the Minsk is nearby (for those interested in ironic twists of history), and seafood restaurants abound.

There are decidedly less pleasant ways to spend an afternoon in Shenzhen.

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