Hot springs, spa pampering and Picasso just across the border

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 January, 2005, 12:00am

One of the most important art exhibitions to hit Asia in years is currently being held across the border at the He Xiangning Museum (86 755 2691 8118) in Shenzhen's Overseas Chinese Town.

The exhibition features 262 works by Picasso never before seen in Asia. Works encompass various periods in the artist's creative life, including the fabulous Les Tricornes, watercolours from 1920 drawn for a production of the same name; the 1949 Garmen collection, a series of deceptively simple line drawings; selected works from Picasso's 1942 Histoire Naturelle; and the sensual, highly cubist sketches of the artist's 1968 La Celestina.

Though the works are scheduled to stay in the He Xiangning Museum until January 28, there is talk that Shanghai might commandeer the art sooner than planned. Museum curator Liu Yingjiu said he is doing everything he can to keep the works in Shenzhen at least until January 23, but he strongly advises anyone with a passion for the great master to visit the exhibition soon.

With the opening of the Shenzhen Metro, getting to the museum from Lowu station has never been easier. The trip from the station to the museum (get off at the Windows of the World theme park stop) should take about 15 minutes, and costs a fraction of the taxi fare.

January is also an excellent time to pamper yourself at one of Shenzhen's many spas. Nothing beats the winter chill better than a long soak in a natural hot spring, and the Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Holiday Village (86 755 2776 0341) in Baoan district offers visitors a chance to soak away in the natural Yulu hot springs.

Entry to the public hot springs is 80 yuan for full use of the 10 pools of varying depths and temperatures.

If you are looking for decadent self-pampering, look no further than the Decleor Paradiso Spa (268 Furong Road, Futian district, 86 755 8347 7832), which lives up to its name by offering a chic spa experience.

This month, Decleor is offering 35 per cent off its normal rates for Hong Kong residents. In addition to being the place in Shenzhen for professional quality massage, the spa has a fully equipped world-class indoor gym, a heated swimming pool and numerous hot tubs.

If you are serious about driving out the chill, Decleor employs a full-time yoga instructor who teaches 'hot yoga', practised in a studio heated up to about 45 degrees Celsius.

The spa also has an excellent juice bar serving a variety of healthy, freshly made juices, useful for keeping the germs at bay.

Useful numbers

Shenzhen Tourism Bureau 86 755 8200 3200

Macau Ferry Terminal 2547 5265

China Ferry Terminal 2859 3333

Tsim Sha Tsui 2858 3876

Kowloon-Canton Railway 2688 1333

Four Seas Travel 2200 7848