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When they get things right in China, they do it in style. There is no finer public transport system in the world than the Shenzhen metro. It’s clean and comfortable, and for the most part the temperature is reasonably well regulated in the stifling heat of Shenzhen summers.

A Station Stop on the Shenzhen Metro

What I don’t understand is why in the winter they turn up the heat in the stations and on the train to make it feel like a furnace. It’s not Beijing, the temperature isn’t minus twenty outside and I don’t think it’s ever snowed here.  But in a country where energy saving is key, and air conditioning is often inadequate to the task of keeping you cool in the sticky humid peaks of July and June no expense is spared in blowing boiling hot air in your face in the winter.

I really don’t mind sweating in the tropics but there’s something viscerally wrong when it’s in the middle of December. But I’ll happily put up with it in exchange for a well subsidized and well run metro system.

It costs less than 70p ($1) for the longest journey and less than 20p (30 cents) for the shortest. It’s always on time and you can almost always find a seat too. Compared to the London Underground back home it’s a miracle moment, and one the Shenzhen government can be rightly proud of.

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