Sweet Fragrance Lake Amusement Park / 香蜜湖游乐场

I spent the week-end in Shenzhen. This city is famous for its still very popular kitsch theme parks like Window on the world or Shenzhen folk culture village. Therefore, I am very fond of the place I visited1: an abandoned waterpark from the 1980s!

An early waterpark in a growing megalopolis

As you might know, Shenzhen used to be a simple fishing village. During the period of « reforms and opening up » (改革开放) policy initiated in 1979 by Deng Xiaoping, special economic zones were created in Guangdong province (Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou) and Shenzhen grew extremely rapidely. The urban development and economic transformation of Shenzhen resulted in large-scale construction projects such as Sweet Fragrance Lake.

Development of Sweet Fragrance Lake, Internet sources

Sweet Fragrance Lake Amusement Park was built in 1981. It was the biggest amusement park in Shenzhen. It closed in 2005 because of economic reasons and because an expressway got planned right in the middle of it, cutting it into two halfs.

The expressway, Waterpark, Dec 2016

A cheesy castle reconverted into a food-themed street

First, one can visit the interesting area of castles and palaces, which got reconverted into a food-themed space.

Cheesy castle, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Kitsch palace, Waterpark, Dec 2016

However, the « delicacy street » will also be demolished, as a new real-estate project will start in 2020.

Remains of the amusement park over the water

But the most beautiful part of this park is located around the lake, which is why I called this place the abandoned waterpark. Indeed people walking or fishing around the lake get to appreciate a very uncommon urban landscape.

Water rollercoaster and pirate boat, Waterpark, Dec 2016

There is another abandoned rollercoaster on the ground that loops the loop.

Another abandoned rollercoaster, Waterpark, Dec 2016

When one gets further in the compound, one gets to reach the nice ferris wheel, which is still in a pretty good shape.

Ferris Wheel in the sunset, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Ferris Wheel entrance, Waterpark, Dec 2016

The best views by far were the ones of the huge rollercoaster on the water, displaying harmonious symmetrical designs.

Rollercoaster in water reflection, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Water rollercoaster, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Rollercoaster cars, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Symetry, Waterpark, Dec 2016
Ride into the sun, Waterpark, Dec 2016

I hope I will have more opportunities to go back to this enchanting place in the next months, before too much redevelopment alters the area!

Reflection landscape, Waterpark, Dec 2016
  1. I thank Gui for suggesting to go there, it was really worth it.

2 thoughts on “Sweet Fragrance Lake Amusement Park / 香蜜湖游乐场

  1. I spent my childhood in Shenzhen as my family were the ones who had a huge part in building that amusement park. This was in the early 80s when the reformed just happened and Shenzhen was super muddy and had maybe four buildings. My dad designed all those weird looking castle and tall buildings with waterfalls.. there was also a beautiful resort with pagodas and lakes. It was the wild west back then, the place was sparse but at one point it rivaled HK’s ocean park. So it was a big deal. I haven’t seen that roller coaster silhouette in years and now, it brings a tear to my eye. China was so different back then, my most vivid memories though is hanging out at the square where everyone (in Shenzhen!) hangs out. We used to blow fireworks at all hour of the day with the soilders from the army. That was so fun. Thank you for posting this!

    1. Dear Donna,

      Thank you very much for your reaction to my post on this amusement park. I was really touched by the memories you shared and I am delighted that this blog can be enriched by first-hand experience of former visitors/residents. If you agree to share any more materials to add to this history (more details on the origins of the park, maybe also photos of what it looked like then? Maybe I could interview you?), I can display them on this blog.

      Thank you again!

      Best regards,
      Judith Audin

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