China, Cultural Travel, Shenzhen

Stunning Performances at China Folk Culture Villages in Shenzhen

We had another day in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, before we travel to the next province, Fujian province, to the east.  In addition to its reputation as a high tech hub, Shenzhen is notable for having a variety of theme parks. Some of them are, Windows to the World, Happy Valley, and Splendid China/China Folk Culture Villages.

We decided to check out the Splendid China/China Folk Culture Villages, a combined theme park for one admission of $200 Yuan ($30 USD). The China Folk Culture Villages feature various minority groups of China, whereas the Splendid China features replicas of all the famous man-made wonders as well as natural wonders in China.

Park map at entrance of theme park

We began at the China Folk Culture Villages. The park is well laid out with landscaped winding paths. The park is big, and there are paid trolleys or individual scooters for getting around for those unable or unwillingly to walk.
The park is very clean and well kept, including the toilet facilities.

Entrance to Culture Villages

Since we were there on a weekday, the park was not that busy. We were able to easily walk to the various minority villages to see the cultural dances, skills shows, and other mini-performances that are available throughout the day. We were able to see 6 of the 8 possible shows (Dai, Mosuo, Va, Miao, Li, and Tibetan).

Dai Ethnic dances

Mosuo People Village dances

Va Ethnic Village dances

Miao Ethnic Village Reed Spinning Top

Tibetan Ethnic Village dances

But the main events were the three feature performances included with our entrance tickets. If we had visited on a weekend or a holiday, we would need to select one of three performances, and buy tickets for the other two. But since it was a weekday, we had the option to see all three performance.

There are food and drink facilities throughout the park, everything from snack stands to full restaurants. There were also some impromptu performances such as acrobatics or Cantonese opera singing.

Cantonese Opera singer

After a late lunch of noodles, we went to see the Legend of the Desert show. The story is one tribal warlord invading another along the Silk Road during the Yuan Dynasty.

The Legend of the Desert Show venue

The production was well choreographed and exciting. The quality was just as good, if not better than the Cowboy Stunt shows at Disneyland. It had everything from individual horse stunts to full blown dynamic fighting between soldiers on foot and on horseback, charging at full speed, to pyrotechnics and explosions, and heroic drama and comedy.

Horse riding stunts

Pyrotechnics

Fighting on foot and on horsebacks

It was really entertaining. Since we enjoyed the show so much, we decided to stay and check out the next show at 5 pm.

Performers stayed behind for photos

We crossed over to the Splendid of China to check out the replica wonders of China.

Entrance to Splendid China

It was interesting to see the miniature version of places we have already been to in China, such as the Great Wall, Imperial Palace, Leshan Giant Buddha, Li River, Huangshan, West Lake, Potala Palace, etc.

Potala Palace, Tibet

But is was more interesting to check out the miniature version of places we have yet to visit in China, such as the Stone Forest in Kumming, the Longmen Grottoes in Henan, Confucius Temple in Shandong, and Inner Mongolia.

Longmen Grottoes

Inner Mongolia

Then it was time for the second show, the New Oriental Apparel, a grand folk dance show in traditional costumes. This show has been to more than 10 countries for show tours, representing the best in China, and winning the Chinese National Lotus Award.

Beautiful costumes and over 120 performers

This show was also very well choreographed with over 120 professional actors, with excellent high-tech stage effects. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and were mesmerized by all the colorful costumes and the different types of dances and music.

Continuous changes of costumes

The finale

By this time, we were convinced that we should not missed out on the evening Grand Epic feature performance, Dragon and Phoenix Dance.

Performers posing for photos after the afternoon show

Earlier on, we had spotted a sign outside a big Mongolian yurt styled building that mentioned a dinner and show for $38 Yuan ($6 USD).

Mongolian Dinner & Dance Show

The dinner turned out to be a buffet meal. The food was quite tasty and plentiful.

Buffet dinner while watching a live performance

During the meal, there was a colorful live performance on the Mongolian culture, especially on the Mongolian marriage ceremony.

Mongolian wedding

After the dinner show, it was dark outside, and most of the villages and replicas were all lit up.

Buildings and displays all lit up.

Then it was time for the grand finale performance. The venue was a large outdoor-covered stadium with comfortable seating.

Large stadium type venue for the grand epic evening show

The Show is about the birth, development, and flourishing of Chinese civilization. The performance was very elaborate. The show blends colourful floats, hundreds of dancers with unique stunning costumes, acrobatic performances, laser, fireworks, flying dragons, waterfalls, and other stage effects.

Laser effect illustrating the spirit for beginning of life

Lion and Dragon dances, and acrobatics

Special effects, moon fairy dancer accompanied by other dancers

It was one hour of non-stop performance, interpreting 5,000 years of Chinese Folk customs.

Grand finale

After an unexpected full day at this theme park, it was an easy 20 minute metro ride back to our hotel.

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