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Lo Wu featuring Shangri-La Hotel ahead, Coach Depot to Right, and Railway Station Left

The Iconic Centre of Shenzhen, the Twin-Towers in Green

Fast Food Chinese Style

Girls relaxing in one of Shenzhens  Many Parks

A Typical Shenzhen Street

Greater Shenzhen featuresm Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, and lovely Scenery

A Typical Shenzhen Street, Complete with Local Wildlife of the Human Kind

Shenzhen Zoo featuring an endangered Southern Chinese Tiger. Note the Zoo Keeper is actually inside the cage!
Tourist Guides for China
ShenZhen Tourist Guide (October 2008)
General Comments:

Shen Zhen lies to the South of the Pearl River Estuary bordering Hong Kong. It has most excellent transportation both within the city, and for either Mainland and Hong Kong destinations

20 years ago Shenzhen was a small fishing village. Today is is a bustling city of 4 million people, and growing exponentially. It is the showcase City of the policy of 'Openness' as bequeathed to the Nation by their most esteemed leader Deng Xiao Ping.

Deng is perhaps the most important of all the Chinese leaders of the modern era; although most of you will immediately think of Mao Ze Dong in this context. The Chinese revere 3 figures actually, Deng, Mao and Sun Yat Sen - the democrat from Guangdong, and founder of modern Taiwan; for you see they all fought together for a new China and battled the Japanese invaders as Brothers

Shenzhen is built as the Chinese computer city, and specialises in PC hardware manufacture and software integration. It also specialises in Import/Export, having a container port that makes Felixstowe look like a backwater project. It also attracts other industry, and very successfully, as Shenzhen business has a way of being compatible with foreign thinking, unlike other nearby cities; and this is obviously related to the nearness of Hong Kong, which lies just a short walk away across the border

The main transportation hub is called Lo Wu, which has excellent integration. The mainline railway station exits to an open air Plaza opposite the main Intercity coach station. At the North end is the Customs entrance for Hong Kong travellers. Note: Once across this border you can only catch the Hong Kong light railway (KCR). The hub also has a dedicated underground taxi ramp, and over ground by a major local bus terminal. And were not done yet! To complete matters, the city Underground railway system (Subway, Tube, Metro) also has a station here! Very impressive, and all pedestrianised

This Plaza has a Shangri-La Hotel at one end, or you can stay in the cheap Railway hotel above the train station for Y178 per double room per night. Their third floor restaurant is huge and excellent. Face the Shangri-La Hotel and go left of it via subway (Underground pedestrian walkway), and follow this road for about 500 yards, Opposite is JolliBee, the Filipino fast food chain that is challenging MacDonald's on quality and price all over Asia, complete with waitress and dedicated service. The food is good, but check out all the pictures on the walls before ordering if you can't read Chinese and want more than a burger?

However, this Plaza is also beset with very persistent Hawkers who want to show you around the Mall above the Coach station. They are paid a miserly commission by certain store owners if you buy something. Don't use them, and be as offensive as necessary to get rid of them!

Neither is this Mall my favourite shopping experience, and some stall holders can be over zealous in trying to make a sale. It is worth putting up with if you want some reasonable and handy Western food. The BBC (British Born Chinese) restaurant on about the third floor, and obscure in a Western corner - does serve some very good food if you make the right choices from the menu. Experiment and see for yourself. The door staff only allow suitable patrons inside, so you will not be bothered here and can relax for a while

The highlight of my many visits to Shen Zhen was a trip to the Artists Village. I am not sure where it is, but it takes around 20 minutes by local bus from Lo Wu. Avoid the glossy and expensive main street shops, and head into the special village crammed full of small outlets selling their own products. Many are noted local artists, or Art college students trying to make some extra money. There are some individual works of art, but mainly the place makes copies of famous Masters - and very good too! The medium is usually oils or water colour, but there are interesting exceptions and novelties. I found one place that just did remarkable silk embroidery, featuring tapestry's, scrolls, and cards. Check the opening hours, as I think they only open during office hours

Somewhere nearby is the Mobile Phone Street. This offers the latest reverse-engineered Western phones and other personal devices. Prices are stupid, and virtually everything is fake. Quality is usually excellent however, and even after years of service you will have a hard task to tell it apart from the real thing. I'm not sure you wanted to know this?

I recommend you visit Shenzhen if you are into computers or International trade, but although I know this city quite well, it would not top my list for tourist attraction - yet. I think this will change within 5 years, as Beijing has decided Shenzhen will also become a 'Beach-paradise', and I am confident it will be so. Meanwhile the main tourist attraction seems to be the Artists Village and the Aircraft Carrier Minsk - which is worth a look round, and Shenzhen Zoo which is definitely worth a few hours to see Panda's and endangered Chinese Tiger's amongst other attractions

Border Crossings
There are now 7 Border Crossings into Hong Kong, plus one into Shenzhen itself. The latter is only to verify migrant Chinese workers credentials, and of no concern to you unless you bring Chinese staff with you?

The main crossing point for Chinese is a nightmare! The Chinese side is ok, but then you have to wait for a coach to take you several miles to the 'British' side. Once there queue's can take more than 1-hour,and once through you have to hang around waiting for the rest of your party headed for the same Hong Kong destination. As usual, they have many express channels for the very few Hong Kong residents making the crossing, whilst the Chinese and other Foreigners wait ... and wait ..... and wait. Atrocious actually!

If you have business or pleasure in Shen Zhen, then go to Lo Wu, it is friendly and fast. Otherwise for through traffic I highly recommend the new border crossing. However, this is way out in the sticks, and if you are only crossing for visa reasons, you may have to wait many hours for a coach back - go to Lo Wu. Of the others I have only done one, which was a backwater somewhere, and totally excellent! I have no idea where it is, but it was so fast I kept everyone waiting whilst I filled in my details for Customs

Shen Zhen is an industrialised and commercial city which is spreading exponentially to envelope smaller villages and towns nearby. It is the Gateway to Hong Kong, and for most travellers, this is the only reason they come here. Do take time out to visit The Artist's Village - wherever it is?
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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