ADD TO LISTSituated across the border from Hong Kong a short 40 minute train ride away, Shenzhen is a designated special economic zone and the results are evident by the rapid growth and development the city has undergone. This urban city is in some ways more like Hong Kong than the rest of China, but also experiences some of the drawbacks from rapid development in the form of smog. It's a popular day trip destination for cross border shopping, and there are several attractions within the city such as the Splendid China museum.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Shenzhen
I love the transition from Hong Kong to Shenzhen - while walking through the long corridor into China, the funniest thing is the large number of "no spitting" signs entering Hong Kong... And when you get to Shenzhen you see why they need those - it is amazing! Also in Shenzhen I saw the only woman I have ever seen who made me feel short - she was lik 7 feet tall and Chinese - amazing! I also had a lengthy search for a postoffice to mail some postcards before returning to HK - people had no idea where it was or how to get there when I would ask - in Chinese even - and I was followed by a guy who was probably working for the government as I searched randomly for one following signs when I saw them and so on - he must have been spying, as would be expected in sensitive border zones ;)
If visiting Hong Kong, you should try to go to China, it's pretty easy. Just take the subway train into LoWu and voila! However you do still have to go through both the Hong Kong immigration and China immigration so check it out before you go if you are able to get your visa at the border. I know for Brits you can't (I learnt the hard way) but for Canadians is no problem. Once through all that just walk straight out of the station and into the shopping mall and shop until you drop. There's tons to look at and some great restaurants.
This is where the Hong Kongers do their shopping as it's way cheaper than Hong Kong, so take along a small suitcase or better yet buy a cheap one there and fill it up!
Be prepared for long border crossings between Hong Kong and Shenzhen! Once you're through, the giant mall near customs is a great place to have clothes custom tailored. Within the mall, you may be approached by various females asking you to eat at "their restaurant". Those are usually pricier than normal, so pick and choose your own instead!
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