Event Detail


Field Trip: "Shenzhen - From Ming to Modernism"

lead by Thomas Bird
Saturday, 30 Mar 2019
For registration, please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For this exciting new field trip, we welcome Thomas Bird to lead a tour showing the dramatic growth of Shenzhen from a fishing village, to a manufacturing hub and now China’s thriving powerhouse.

The day begins with a tour of Shekou on southern tip of Shenzhen, where the first factories opened in 1979 and was a base for oil exploration in the South China Sea. It is now a zesty and dynamic business neighbourhood.

Then, set back in time, in nearby Chiwan, the group explores the Tianhou Temple built in 1410. It is said that the Ming admiral, Zheng He built the temple as an expression of his thanks to Tianhau, the goddess of the sea. Located inside is a tomb holding the last Song Emperor.

The morning continues with a drive east to Nanshan, to visit Nantou Ancient City, with its Ming-era walls. This was the yamen that once governed Hong Kong. 

A private lunch is then served in a fine Yunnan restaurant followed by a visit to the OCT Loft, an ex-manufacturing hub turned hipster art district. The group then continues east to the Central Business District and to the Modernist Ping An Finance Centre, completed in 2017.  This is now Shenzhen’s tallest building, also securing status as the second tallest in China and the fourth tallest building in the world. The group rides one of its 80 high speed lifts to its observation deck on the 116th floor. 

The tour then drives to Longgang to visit one of the walled Hakka villages, followed by Laojie, the old village of Shenzhen before returning back to Hong Kong.

Thomas Bird is a writer and photographer with interests in travel, culture & ecology in East Asia. He holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Studies from SOAS, University of London.

Thomas has written for the Guardian, South China Morning Post, DestinAsian Magazine, CNNTravel, The Wire, LA Review of Books, Geographical Magazine and several other publications. He has also contributed to a variety of guidebooks including The Rough Guide to China and presented an RGS talk in 2017.

Depart City Hall Central at 9.00am transportation provided by private coach
Guided tour of Shekou
Chiwan and Tianhou Temple
Nantou Ancient City
Lunch in a Yunnan restaurant
Central Business District
Ping An Finance Centre
Longgang and Laojie
Depart Shenzhen at 5.30pm and arrive at City Hall by 6:30pm

Cost $980 per member, $1,180 for Member’s guests. Children are welcome.

Please note a China visa/ valid travel permit is required. Please apply yourself and personal travel insurance is recommended.

In view of the limited places, early booking is advised. To reserve places, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and state how many places you would like to reserve. You'll then receive the booking instructions, a booking form and detailed joining instructions. Please note that this field trip must be pre-booked. 

See other events in 2019