Shenzhen 1980 (深圳市 1980年)
I traveled China for three months in 1983, and managed to visit, or "pass through," every province except Tibet, Hainan (part of Guangdong Province back then), Fujian and Taiwan (which I visited in 1980)

However, I made my "first visit" to China on 1980 July 17. I joined a half-day "cross-border" tour operated by China International Travel Service (CITS), Hong Kong. Booking was easy and the price was very reasonable.

Bao'an County, which had a settlement history dating back nearly 1,700 years, was renamed Shenzhen City in January 1979. At this time, the total population was stated at 300,000. The population of the urbanized area was stated at 20,000 - that's "twenty thousand" - and the urbanized land area was stated at 3 km2. Establishment of the Special Economic Zone was approved in August 1980 - that is, roughly one month after these photos were taken. I saw virtually no sign of the amazing changes that were soon to begin.

Travel guidebooks published during the early 1980s state that China began admitting unescorted foreigners in 1981. However, our Hong Kong-based CITS guide said that there was a "new arrangement:" one could obtain a visa to visit Beijing and Shanghai in three days. You simply applied for the visa, she said, "and on the third day, you go." So I might have visited (at least) Beijing and Shanghai in 1980, three years before I actually did.

All photos were taken with a Canon TX SLR. Film was Kodachrome, either ISO 25 or 64.
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