Type : City Break
Best Date : Year Round
Expense : Medium
Things to do : Sightseeing, Shopping
Points of Interest: Window of the world, Happy Valley, Shun Hing Square, ect
Shenzhen a Chinese city which connects Hong Kong and mainland China, Shenzhen was a market town which connected to Kowloon, however at 1980 it was given a city status. It is a Chinese city which is constantly improving, with tourism also growing. There isn’t plenty of Landmarks for tourists to go to however, the culture is very rich so visiting wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Ok this trip was a long time ago, and it was a fairly quick one, I don’t have too much but I’d still like to write about it. We went to Shenzhen as a little detour from our Hong Kong trip. First impressions of Shenzhen was not very pleasing, it seemed like the immigration people didn’t really like us, they didn’t even say the words “welcome” or at least “have a nice trip” not even a “thank you”. However the tour guide that was waiting for us in Shenzhen was friendly and she was even smiling throughout the trip, her English was not very clear, but we understood her at least. Firstly we had a complementary lunch at a restaurant (I don’t know the name as everything was in Chinese), the meals was pre ordered for the tour, it was nice traditional Chinese foods and they gave us a variety, the drinks were charged though. We had sweet and sour, duck, egg fried rice, some vegetables and offcourse pork belly all with quality taste. I did however see the waitress look a bit sad, as sad that she was about to cry, I also saw her supervisor was somewhat looking at her as if she was in trouble, it was hard not too notice which kind of ruined the experience. The restaurant experience was good however it was again very difficult to communicate. After Lunch they took us to the hotel to unwind (I don’t have a clue on the name). The hotel was nice although very old fashioned and very dim in lighting. Communication though is very difficult as staff do not learn English, the only way we can communicate is by writing our query on a piece of paper where they will translate through a computer, they will also reply using the computer. I guess they are very patriotic, with the belief that they don’t need to learn English, understandable.
After a short stay at the hotel the tour took us straight to “Window of the Worlds” which has large replicas of world attraction like the Eiffel tower, pyramids and even the coliseum . It was cool but not too impressive. We didn’t stay too long at the “Windows of the World” few pictures then we left really.
We then got dropped off to Dongmen which was a shopping area. It was interesting to see what china had to offer. It did have the common world brands like Nike, Adidas, Uniqlo, McDonalds ect. There were also markets, which had nice stuff, but also had counterfeits which surprised me as the real stuff were just right next to it. I did however find some behaviours very disturbing, locals would throw rubbish rudely at street cleaners or just right in front of them while it is visible they are trying to clean, what was worse was that the cleaner was actually a frail old woman, now as someone who grew up in the western world we all know this is not on! We then looked for some dinner, very difficult as everywhere was crowded. Finally we saw a simple restaurant where we ate traditional Chinese food, it was lovely. After dinner we then went back to the hotel to grab some sleep.
The next morning, we woke up and grabbed our complimentary breakfast, it was very simple noodles and rice, with coffee or tea, nothing too interesting but it was good enough to start off the day. After breakfast we with the others from the group stuck together for a walk around Shenzhen, it was nice with friendly people around. We saw night clubs, Chinese buildings and the Chinese way of life.
After that it was time to go home our guide picked us up from the hotel with a coach which would take us all the way to Hong Kong. All in all Shenzhen was a nice way to witness Chinese way of life, it was rich in culture and the food was lovely, I probably wouldn’t be in a rush to go back, but it is a good insight of what other Chinese cities or province may be like.
There are various methods of going to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, but I believe the train is most convenient. As I previously said we was part of a tour group, we was picked up from our hotel with an airconditioned bus which drove us to Fo Tan station, from Fo Tan we said good bye to our tour guide and took a train to Lo Wu station which is just on the edge of Hong Kong’s border with China. We then had to go through the Hong Kong Immigration and once cleared had to walk through to China and go through its immigration, there is plenty of walking and the station is very crowded with locals and tourists. Our tour group had a group visa but we . The coach took us straight to our hotels.
Going home was different and we went by coach all the way to Hong Kong airport, we off course had to stop at the border to walk through Chinese immigration, where are bus would pick us up again.
In Shenzhen we were transported with ease using the coach. We were transported to the Window of the worlds and Dongmen shopping district. However when it was free time, we took taxi, it was hard to communicate with the driver even when we were showing him our hotel card which supposedly showed its address. After finally arriving at our hotel we paid our fare but the driver didn’t want to give some change, or was acting like he didn’t understand us, never mind.