Written by Staff Writer
Nantong county in the southern China city of Shenzhen has seen an amazing change over the past couple of centuries, shifting from a non-industrial area to one of the country’s best-known international urban regions.
But as the nation’s aviation hub and manufacturing hub, this area was one of the first areas in China to be transformed by industrial development in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Fast forward to 2019 and Nantong’s signature paving stones — called baijiu, a steamed or steamed waffle-like structure — are making a spectacular comeback, transforming this once industrialized city into one of the fastest growing regional business destinations.
Experts say this trend is on the rise in China’s major urban areas, especially of the Jiangsu province, through an estimated 56 billion yuan ($8.27 billion) worth of new baijiu projects in the coming three years.
City of relics
Alongside Shenzhen’s Airport Plaza, the road leading to the city’s aging ancient Luomai monastery is lined with a trove of relics and artifacts. Weeds cover the nearby ruins of a local eucalyptus grove, spreading into the nearby river.
It’s a testament to the complex and rich historical role the Luomai monks played in the social and cultural transition of the area in the 19th century, during the Iron Age.
Tourism has undergone another transformation in the past two decades, as the city has since been transformed into a global tech hub.
CNN’s Tom Kim explores Shenzhen’s Foshan and the growing industry around spending money.
The city’s tourism centre reported 2.65 million overnight stays in 2017, reaching 4.7 million in the previous year.