With all the unrest going on in Hong Kong right now, I have decided to return home earlier. Yet, there is still one last trip that needs to be completed. That is the trip to Shenzhen! Shenzhen is located in Guangdong province in South China. Surprisingly enough, it is only an hour’s bus drive from Hong Kong! Not only that, but you will most likely be able to get a 5-day Shenzhen visa at the border in order to explore the city instead of having to apply for a lengthy Chinese Visa. The city’s proximity to Hong Kong and the ease of accessing it makes it an ideal destination in Mainland China.
This time I traveled there with the Hong Kong University debate team. We were planning on participating in the Shenzhen Chinese University regional debating tournament. So, the eight of us hopped on the bus and headed to Shenzhen. Before we could reach the city, we had to cross two different customs. First the Hong Kong customs and next the Chinese customs. This is a relatively easy process and we did not face any problems there. Of course, you can also travel to Shenzhen by ferry or train and perhaps avoid some of the bureaucracy in between. At the time of the trip though taking the much faster and much more comfortable train (compared to the bus) was a bit risky because of all the protesters targeting the Hong Kong train system. Nevertheless, once I arrived in Shenzhen, I could tell I was in a completely different environment.
The city is very modern and all the taxis/buses I could see around me were all electric. Apparently, the city was established as an economic zone around 40 years ago and since then its population has skyrocketed from around a million to nearly 15 million people. There is notably a lot more space than in Hong Kong. Unlike Hong Kong you are not going to see may skyscrapers seemingly “stuck” to each other. There is plenty of space for buildings to stand alone. Not only that, but the distances covered within the city are gigantic. Our taxi must have traveled around 30 miles to take us from the city center to our Airbnb which was also located in a relatively populous area. The apartment was located inside what I can only describe as a guarded neighborhood of residential skyscrapers. The apartment was beautiful. Now were ready to head out for a Chinese dinner!