Shenzhen may be China's youngest city, but this is one metropolis that's definitely come of age. A small farming town until 1980, Shenzhen was chosen by Deng Xiaoping as an incubator in which the seeds of China's economic reform were to be nurtured. The results are the stuff of legend; a quarter century later Shenzhen is now among China's richest.

Until recently, most visitors thought of China's youngest city as a place to pass through on the way from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. But over the last several years, the city has seen a complete transformation, with zippy subways, beaming modern shopping malls, and an uptick in top-notch restaurants.

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