Memories of old Shenzhen – Part 2: Xichong Beach

Writer: Vanessa Winters  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From:   |  Updated: 2024-03-12

During the National Day holiday in 2007, my college friend and I flew down to South China to enjoy warmer weather over National Day before heading back north to Beijing. Our itinerary included Hong Kong, Macao, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, and Shenzhen.

During our Shenzhen itinerary, we were welcomed by a fellow alumna in our university, who is married to one of Shenzhen Daily’s longest-serving columnist (James Baquet). She then introduced us to her other friends, a great melting pot of cultures both foreign and local.

Even back then, Shenzhen has earned its reputation as a city of migrants, and everyone came from somewhere. At the same time, the city is starting to develop more and find its own identity apart from just being neighbors to Hong Kong, Dongguan, and Guangzhou.

So, to enjoy what was left of pleasant South China weather, here is what Xichong Beach was. We stayed at a cabin-type room, while others stayed in a tent outside. There was a lot of road construction on the way, but it was worth the trip. The beach was clean and there were not a lot of visitors.

What’s great about this trip was not only enjoying the beautiful sceneries, but the bonds forged, as most of the people I’ve met became my lifelong friends I’m still pretty much in touch with. I think that’s the beauty of this city, it welcomes everyone. 

A spot at Xichong Beach during the National Day holiday in 2007. Photos courtesy of Vanessa Winters

The author (L) with long-time Shenzhen Daily columnist, James Baquet.

Beach umbrellas made of straw and wood line up the shoreline at Xichong Beach.

The author and friends she met in Shenzhen, who are still friends up to this day.