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Shenzhen

Travel Guide Asia China Guangdong Shenzhen

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Introduction

Shenzhen is a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) just across the border from Hong Kong, in China's Guangdong Province. It saw spectactular growth from the 1980's onwards, growing from a village to one of the biggest cities in China. Now a thriving metropolis with many dense skyscrapers, shop and technology companies.
It is also one of the richest with lots of business and trading going on. Being South China's financial centre, it is home to the Shenzhen stock exchange, one of only 3 trading in China.

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Sights and Activities

  • Window of the World is a somewhat tacky tourist attraction. 130 miniture reproductions of the world's most famous sights are presented here. A cheap way to visit the world. (RMB120)
  • ShenZhen Splendid China Folk Culture Village displays the life of China's 56 ethnic minorities.
  • Xichong beach

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Events and Festivals

Shenzhen celebrates the same festivals that are common throughout the rest of China, including:

  • Chinese New Year or Spring Festival
  • Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival

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Weather

Weather is comparable with that of neighbouring Hong Kong with hot and humid summers from May to September (monsoon season as well) and cooler (but still not cold) winters from December to February. March - April and October - November are pleasant times for a visit.

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Getting There

By Plane

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (SZX) has flights to most destinations throughout China. It is more economical flying to/from Shenzhen compared to Hong Kong, especially regarding domestic flights.
Low-cost airline Air Asia has daily flights to/from Kuala Lumpur (~RMB1,000, 4 hours), Kota Kinabalu (~RMB1,500, 4 hours) and Bangkok (~RMB900, 4 hours).

To/from the airport

  • Bus: Regular bus and minibus services link the airport with the rest of the city. Intercity bus services to some other nearby cities such as Hong Kong and Dongguan are also available. To get to/from the airport there is a regular bus service from the main bus station next to the train station taking 1 hour. Buses currently run every half an hour from 7:30am to 5:00pm at the Hong Kong side, and from 10:00am to 9:00pm at the Shenzhen side.
  • Local taxis, and often some taxis from Dongguan, pick up passengers there.
  • Boat: TurboJET also operates fast ferries to Kowloon (Hong Kong), Macau and the Hong Kong International Airport at the nearby Fuyong Pier. Free shuttle buses connect the Pier and the airport.

By Train

Frequent trains go to Guangzhou and you can choose between highspeed trains (less than an hour, RMB75) or local trains (about 2 hours). Trains to Hong Kong leave frequently. The border with Hong Kong can also be crossed by foot.

By Bus

There are regular services to Chaozhou (5 hours), Guangzhou (1,5 hours), Shantou (4 hours), Xiamen (8 hours) and Zhongshan (1,5 hours). Hong Kong is a short hop away or can be reached on foot from the bus station.

By Boat

Fast ferries go 13 times daily to Hong Kong with about half of them continuing to Macau.
There are hourly services to the airport of Hong Kong as well. These all leave from Shekou, Shenzhen's port.
From Shenzhen airport, there are 6 daily services to Hong Kong and 3 to Macau.
Zhuhai has ferries roughly every half hour (taking one hour). Boats go all the way to Haikou, taking 18 hours.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Shenzhen or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 22.5442297
  • Longitude: 114.0577948

Accommodation in Shenzhen

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Shenzhen searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Shenzhen and areas nearby.

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This is version 19. Last edited at 3:31 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 20 articles link to this page.

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