Whether you’re day tripping from Hong Kong or planning to devote some time to getting to know the Southern Chinesemetropolis, it helps to push aside your preconceptions about Shenzhen. The frenetic city has seen phenomenal changes over the last thirty years, but there’s a lot more to the mega-city than cheap massage parlors and flashy bankers. Here are ten pointers that will help you look beyond its bright, futuristic lights and get the most out of your visit.

It is the world’s 4th tallest building (2018) and China’s second tallest, with a world-class observation deck at 550 meters (1,804 feet), mall, and the world’s second highest luxury hotel. Visitors enjoy the mall’s restaurants and the view.

Just across the Hong Kong border lies UNESCO-awarded city of design Shenzhen, a southern Chinese metropolis that has exploded in size since it became a Special Economic Zone in 1979. Once a market town of 300,000, it is now the stomping ground of over 10 million citizens across ten districts. While it is home to mainland China’s first stock market and MacDonald’s, the city has a lot more to offer than the window it has provided into the world of capitalism. Read our guide below for tips on how to make the most of Shenzhen’s historical, design, shopping and culinary offerings.