Shenzhen Hot Spot: Window of the World by Ashley Dubois

Upon walking into Window of the World (WoW) in Shenzhen, I was worried I’d been ripped off to the tune of 180RMB and a very long subway ride. The entrances to different attractions aren’t well marked and when you first enter the Global Arena, all you can see is a large amphitheatre with a wall covered in a mashup of Egyptian hieroglyphics, Greek and Roman style warriors, and hilariously out of place LED Christmas lights. Thankfully, first impressions aren’t everything, and the park provided more than I expected to get for the equivalent of $35CAD.

500412122 (1)Night shot overview of Window of the World

WoW is a really large park opened in 1993 in the middle of the downtown district of Nanshan. It has miniature statues of famous monuments from all over the world and is arranged by region. The park regions consist of: the Global Arena, Asia, America, Africa, Europe, Oceania and the International Street. While entering the park, you’re near the International Street and will likely move toward the European Area next. At first, the close proximity of all the important monuments seems a little strange, but once you get into the feel of the park, you begin to get used to the layout. The majority of the regions were fairly well symbolised, but I found Africa to be severely under-represented as it almost solely displayed monuments from Egypt and other Northern African countries. The European section was also slightly skewed (but in an entertaining way) as it had an abnormally large number of Dutch related monuments such as a giant wheel of cheese, huge windmills, and an entire field of fake tulips.

254315 (2).jpgDay view of park

Having been to several Chinese parks before, I was anticipating that the layout for WoW would be large, but I was not prepared for the number of monuments there. My friends and I arrived in the afternoon, and we didn’t get to see everything before it was dark (and very cold) and security asking us nicely to go toward the exits. In case you are unable to see all the areas of the park, I’d say the highlights for me were the Eiffel Tower, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and the heads from Easter Island.

Ashley WOW 2Taj Mahal at Window of the World

Although it takes the whole day to fully enjoy the park, there isn’t really anywhere to get a good meal. There are many shops along the way which sold corn on the cob, hot dogs, chips and water, but that was about the extent of your options. I would recommend packing some sandwiches and a bottle of water if you’re someone who gets peckish.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of rides which were available within the park for no additional cost. There was a haunted house, a rollercoaster, a flume, rock-climbing, a 4D theatre and many more. If you’re looking to enjoy these aspects of the park, arrive a little earlier in the morning because they close before the park does. WoW also offers a number of performances throughout the day. I was able to watch a mash up of Latin dancing styles, and an African dance number during the time that I was in the park, but they also advertise for regular ice skating performances as well.

Ashley WOW 3Eiffel Tower at night in Window of the World

As we were herded toward the entrance of the park by security, we stopped to watch the “end of the night” light show. People were already cheering as we approached, and many (of what looked like) lasers lit up the sky. You almost forget that you’re in China while roaming around the park and seeing all the places in the world you’d like to visit; but at the end of the day you’re subtly reminded as you watch giant Chinese characters light up on the side of the Eiffel Tower.

Window of the World is located at 9037 Shennan Avenue, HuaQuiaoCheng, in Nanshan District, Shenzhen (Window of the World metro stop on Lines 1 and 2). More information can be found at www.szwwco.com.

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