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“Not Like in Reviews, but Great Nonetheless”

Dafen Oil Painting Village
Ranked #8 of 486 things to do in Shenzhen
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of the most popular and enjoyable daytrips from Shenzhen, this village is almost entirely dedicated to painting. Get a self-portrait done or request a freshly-painted Van Gogh or Rembrandt.
Reviewed 3 June 2014

I looked at the reviews on this site, and especially at the pictures, and went to the village with those expectations. In actuality it didn't look very much like in the pictures. That might have been because I visited in the summer heat and many artists just didn't want to sit painting outdoors.

It was actually pretty hard to find artists that would paint from a picture for a price, and the price was always higher than I expected even after negotiation.

Still, it's definitely worth a visit. Not only is this a *clean* older quarter in the middle of highrise neighborhoods in Shenzhen (Shanghai could really use one of those), but they also have a lot of art equipment shops that sell brushes, calligraphy equipment, etc. at very reasonable prices. There is a lot of copied art that's pretty and inexpensive around the shops.

What I especially liked (this is very rare in China) was that no one was nagging me to buy their products, and walking through the stalls and streets was itself a pleasant experience.

3  Thank Ynhockey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"artists painting"
in 14 reviews
"art supplies"
in 13 reviews
"original art"
in 13 reviews
"van gogh"
in 11 reviews
"art lovers"
in 8 reviews
"original works"
in 7 reviews
"buy art"
in 7 reviews
"love art"
in 5 reviews
"small galleries"
in 4 reviews
"great artists"
in 4 reviews
"rows and rows"
in 4 reviews
"interesting place"
in 12 reviews
"local artists"
in 4 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 19 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"shops selling"
in 8 reviews
"spend an afternoon"
in 5 reviews
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277 - 281 of 493 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

Dafen is a really spectacular place to see artists in their setting and doing their thing. You can get custom paintings made so bring a really good print out of what you might want and give it to one of the artists to make for you. And as always, feel free to negotiate. It is a really great place to sightsee and just see the amazing skill of the people there as well as to buy some gifts for family or friends back home. I'd recommend getting a cheap hotel and staying a day and a half to take in the whole area.

Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Many shops and artists selling their work.
Can take a picture to get painted on canvas. Lots of variety, skill and quality, add-on's welcomed!
I bought some nice paintings that they delivered to me the next day!
Many can speak english

Thank Candice P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I have a picture of an artist, holding a small photo of a picture by Munch in his left hand, a paint brush in his right hand and a large version of the tiny picture on a canvas in front of him. His studio (and dozens of others) was simply the wall of a narrow alley. Children sitting at lap tops quietly engage themselves while the adult next to them works with intense attention.

I found the alleys more engaging than the galleries. I purchased a large, 38" by 38", original, at least I think it is original, that I fell in love with for $100. When I got back home the frame cost me $230. Anything I have seen in the states that resembles it costs over $1500. It hangs in my living room and is fantastic.

If I am ever in Shenzhen again I'll spend another half day there too. The art gallery coffee shop in the center of the village is neat too.

3  Thank gniston197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 May 2014

I googled and saw this topic and register, I am impressed by the hard work of the artists where I was there !

1  Thank Candra J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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