China: Shekou Sea World, Not What the Name Suggests!

Shenzhen Mini Guide

Don’t’ let the name fool you! Sea World is not an amusement park with performing dolphins. It is, rather, a collection of restaurants and bars as well as a ship that has been converted into a hotel.

Click here for an interactive TripAdvisor guide to Shenzhen

Sea World offers food, entertainment, and accommodation  in a spectacular setting in Shenzhen’s Shekou district.

Don’t get confused with the SeaWorlds of Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; or San Diego, California, in the United States.

Nor with the Sea World of Australia’s Gold Coast.

Shenzhen’s Sea World (two words, not one) is NOT an amusement park in the typical sense of the world, and the last things you will find there are performing dolphins!

It is, rather, a massive outdoor food court, with dozens of food and beverage outlets and a few shops lining a 12,000 square metre plaza, where festivals and other events are often held.

Moored at the foot of the plaza is Minghua, a 168 metre long ship that has been turned into a hotel.

Food + Beverage

Dozens of restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bakeries, and bars line a plaza at Sea World in Shenzhen’s Shekou District.

There are the typical chains that you find at food courts and shopping malls everywhere as well as independent eateries serving everything from regional Chinese cuisine to the cuisines of Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil – the list goes on.

Most of these food and beverage outlets have outdoor seating on the plaza.


Minhua is a ship that has been turned into a hotel and re-christened the Cruise Inn Hotel. Originally owned by French President Charles De Gaulle, it was acquired by China in 1973.

A 4 star hotel, the 9 deck ship has a large lobby with a grand piano, 111 rooms with Internet access, a cinema, a nightclub, a fitness centre, and food and beverage outlets.

Some hotel guests complain that the floors in their rooms aren’t level, but hey! Isn’t that what you would expect staying at a hotel that was converted from a boat?

  • Cruise Inn Hotel, Sea World, Shekou District, Shenzhen, China. 

Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai is within walking distance of Sea World. It has 6 food and beverage outlets, a spa, a fitness centre, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

  • Hilton Shenzhen Shekou, No. 1177 Wanghai Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China. Telephone: (86) 755-2162-8888. 

How to Get There

The closest metro station is Seaworld on the Shekou (number 2) line. There is an exit at one end of the food street.

If you are coming from Hong Kong, there are direct ferries to Shekou Port, which is one metro stop away from the Seaworld metro station. You can walk there in about 15 minutes.

Make It Happen!

Shenzhen is a modern city with all manner of accommodation, from luxurious 5 star resorts to modest dormitories to a capsule hotel with capsules renting for just over US$10 a night.

As a city of migrants, Shenzhen has thousands of restaurants, cafes, and food stalls serving regional Chinese dishes from all over the country as well as the national cuisines of countries all over the world.


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