Shenzhen is one of China's wealthiest cities, right up there with Shanghai and Beijing. Situated just a 45-minute train ride north of Hong Kong, the thriving city exemplifies China's breakneck transformation from peasant economy to capitalist giant. Its rapid rise can be traced back to 1979, when Deng Xiaoping selected the sleepy fishing port as a special economic zone. Money, bulldozers and cheap labor poured in. Dim sum joints and illicit massage parlors gave way to gleaming shopping malls and faceless skyscrapers. A city of 14 million sprang up seemingly overnight.