It is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of China's third-largest city, Guangzhou. In 1979, Shenzhen — then a group of farming and fishing communities along the Hong Kong border with a total population of a few hundred thousand — was designated the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
The plan was to create a sealed off enclave to experiment with market reforms and performance incentives without posing a threat or risk to the established political and economic system elsewhere in China.
Visitors are also starting to recognize some fascinating historical sites, particularly those related to the Hakka culture and Hong Kong's annexation after the Opium Wars, which are scattered throughout the suburban area.
A 2010 study conducted by Forbes magazine ranks Shenzhen's population density as the 5th highest in the world.
Shenzhen also boasts the highest per capita GDP in China, pulling in an impressive USD13,581 in 2009, but this is hotly disputed due to the method whereby the population figure is derived.
Shenzhen won the honor because of its proximity to the abundant capital resources and management expertise across the border in Hong Kong.
Since then, it has been a real boom town and today is a bustling city of 14 million.
Although little visited by international tourists, Shenzhen is a popular destination for Chinese domestic tourists.
Shenzhen (深圳; Shēnzhèn) is one of the most populous cities in China.
It is situated in Guangdong Province adjacent to Hong Kong.