I must admit visiting Shenzhen was not meant to be on my itinerary on any of the previous two visits to Hong Kong. However, my friend went to Shenzhen from the USA for a year and did have a few things to say about his life there.
Why I decided to visit Shenzhen
I was visiting Hong Kong for the third time in March 2019 and had some time on hand so decided to cross over the order to check out what the hype is about. Visa on arrival was another attractive proposition to make things easier. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Since I was working remotely, decided to spend a week in Shenzhen to get more time to explore.
This is a summary of my experience. Hope you find the information useful if you decided to include Shenzhen on a trip to Hong Kong.
I will start with the arrival in Shenzhen from Hong Kong airport as that’s what most people do while coming from the west – Europe, USA and India.
Have also written about the location of Shenzhen since many will not be familiar with its geography. Have included plenty of maps to make it easier to understand.
History of Shenzhen is quite interesting as well. How it transformed from a sleepy village which no one knew to this modern metropolis it is today.
Visa on Arrival
Shenzhen’s visa on arrival or VOA is a great way to attract visitors to the city to explore. Have written about the step-by-step guide to visa on arrival for Shenzhen, cost of visa, where are the offices located and the restrictions on the visa. How to get a Schengen visa (which is a visa to travel to Europe) will be covered elsewhere. Visitors should not confuse between Shenzhen (in China) and Schengen (multi-country European travel visa).
Attractions / Places to see
There are several brand new attractions in Shenzhen which should keep your whole family entertained.
What to Eat
Since I am a majorly vegetarian, I have tried to include some tips for being a vegetarian in Shenzhen.
Comparison with other cities
There there is a comparison between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and Macau. How to optimise your itinerary and what are the differences between these cities that I observed.
Be aware of the year-round Weather of Shenzhen and timezone.
What to buy
Suggestions of what souvenirs and other electronic items you can buy and where to buy those. Famous street markets in Shenzhen, how to go there and how to bargain.
Warning about the Internet
What sites work, which doesn’t and how and why you should plan a few things in advance to avoid surprises.
Nightlife & Bars
Shenzhen does have a decent nightlife (and please do NOT compare it with its neighbour Hong Kong). So check out some of the best nightclubs and bars in Shenzhen.
Tips of communication for foreigners
You should also be aware of the challenges you would face in communication. English is not spoken at all am afraid. Here are some tips about how to communicate if you don’s speak Chinese.