dear fellow travellers,
do not follow dvd touts from the Dong Men Shopping Area. I am an avid dvd collector. i know china still sell fake dvds even with the recent crackdowns. they are no longer selling them in open but selling behind shops fronts. I have bought fake dvds in other chinese cities but had no problems.
in shenzhen Dong men shopping area, i was approached by few people whispering "sexy dvds". i had no interest in "sexy" dvds but asked them if they had hollywood movies. i followed them to a dark corner in a builing and chose about 7 dvds from their portfolilo. when they came back with the disks, i paid them with a 100 yuan note. there were 3 of the team surrounding me and it was quite dark. they inspected my 100 yuan note and shouted "older". i was bit distracted with 3 people surrounding me so i gave then another 100 yuan. this process repeated 3 times as i had four 100 yuan notes in my wallet. the note was returned to me each time. I ended up paying with honkg kong notes. I only realised that i got swapped with fake 100 yuan notes when i went to another store to buy something else. they informed me that the four 100 yuan notes that were counterfeits. given that i always exchanged my money in major banks in china, i realised that the dvd sellers must have swapped my real notes with the counterfeit ones.
i suppose it's my fault for trying to buy fake dvds, but if ruined the good experience i had in rest of china.
Beware of touts
Once you cross the border in Shenzen in Lowu, if you are not in a group, you will find many touts on the roads trying to get you to their establishments.
As there is a daily deluge of tourist pouring from Hong Kong, they are very experienced to scan and identify potential "customers" who are first timers.
There are those less threatening that will be at a corner just advertising anyone passing by. There will be some who will stalk you. Just do not be surprised or annoyed. Avoid eye contact and just go to another shop or restaurant or hotel lobby to get your orientation before continuing your journey.
Also watch out for pick pockets. The noise, people and lack of English signs compared with Hong Kong just add an element of adventure if it is your first time in China and Shenzen.
A friend bought some fresh lychees. Choose to best picks and reaching back Hong Kong found some "rotten" ones at the bottom. What a laugh.
Immigration in Shenzhen
First trip to Shenzhen came from Singapore (business) did the usually stuff filled in all the landing forms. Got to passport control, she takes the passport, squints, put the passport picture upto my face examines it closely again looking for and cut marks on the plastic to see if another picture has been inserted, calls over another colleague he does the same, passes it over to colleague next to her same again. Now a good 10 mins has gone and i am sweating buckets, everyone in the queue behind is looking, no explanation hands back the passport. The photo is only 3 years old i ave not aged that much, those 10mins felt like years though. Whats that all about??? i travel to China numerous times (shanghai, Beijing) and all over Asia i live in the UK where we have 3 hour check-in due to high security levels i go to the USA where their security is only seconds from a full internal body check talk about feeling small.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Pickpockets at Shenzhen
Shenzhen is notorous for pickpockets so be very carefully especially in crowded shopping areas and places of interest. Always carry your valuables in front of you so that you can see them, or put them in a waist pouch. Make sure not to put all your money at one place and stay alert especially when someone bumps into you.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
Unscrupulous taxi drivers
When you take a taxi in Shenzhen, make sure that the driver turns on the taxi meter. If not, leave the taxi and take another one. Unlike taxi drivers in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Shenzhen taxi drivers are generally dishonest and are out to take the tourist for a ride. They know that you are not a Chinese national. I am ethnic Singaporean Chinese and speak Cantonese and Mandarin. I was with my Hong Kong friend and the taxi driver could tell that we were not local and asked me how much I would like to pay!! I insisted that he turn on the meter. Taxi drivers in Shenzhen generally do not speak English. If you do not speak Mandarin, please have your destination written down in Chinese or else you risk being taken for a ride.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Fake Ren Min Bi Currency Note!!
We changed RMB right after we exit Chinese customs @ Lo Wu (since we get to Shen Zhen via KCR train from Kowloon). This licensed money changer is located inside customs' building and yet, we got 1 fake RMB 100 note out of 15 pcs. Consider lucky ya!
This is our first time travel in China and we had a bad experience with this piece of fake RMB 100 note... Learn more in my "tourist trap".
We can't do anything about that coz we realised that fake RMB is all over Shen Zhen, passing onto tourists like us (shopkeepers did check every RMB notes they received from us!), coz they knew that we won't do anything much but sigh...
Beware, not only RMB 100 but RMB 50 also! We brought back this fake money for souvenir and we still could not differentiate a fake and an "original" note...
My advice, change RMB at your home country (bank) before travel though the exchange rate might not as high as in Shen Zhen. But this could save you from unfavoured incidents & hassles!
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
Thefts / Robberies
i am over here since 1 year...some tips for you...
if you are in shenzhen and are awwed by the fact of huge skyscrappers and glamourous city.... its time to look upon stark reality on roads...time to focus on road and people around you who are walking nearby you...on any road in shenzhen.
never keep wallet in the pockets of your pants when in buses or in subway trains...keep them in your bags. hold your bag tight during your journey in crowded place.
dont keep passport always with you. try to keep a xerox copy of it. make sure you keep a copy of the chinese visa too...so that it helps you to explain your stay permit in shenzhen or in china if police asks.
dont wear backpacks. while walking, thieves have a tendency to steal by opening the zips....people walking around you wont even alert you on the activity going on at your back !!
worst part is that if at all you become a victim, no one will come to save you or shout at the bad person. its a wild wild world...
mobile fones, electronic gadgets, dont keep them in your hand unless you require them, they might be snatched away...
if you are travelling late nights in taxis, in lot of places there are unauthorized taxis. you can easily be a victim. hence, take red colored taxis....and keep minima money for your bare expenses while travelling at night.
dont carry your atm / credit card in nights. dont carry atm / credit cards in your wallet or card holder. you might lose them if you become a victim of pickpocket...
if anything call up police...but issue is ...do you know chinese ? hence, try to learn some elementary chinese before you come over here...
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
Pickpockets and beggars
Due to its economic boom, Shenzhen is filled with pickpockets and beggars. Please be aware of your personal belongings, especially at the border check points, outside hotels and in street markets. Beggars are observed at many areas and are not what they look to be! Most are not poor at all.
- Family Travel
cellphone snatchers in shenzhen
Be wary. Be very wary.
Shenzhen has a high crime and Ive fallen victim to cellphone robbery. While walking along Huaqiangbei (a shopping district),around the corner to the metro station, one man grabbed at my ankle, naturally I got off balanced and bumped onto another man, who I later realized was the one who took my phone right out of my pocket. This is their strategy, the often work in pairs or more, and you wouldnt know what's going on until it's too late.
The rule of the game in Shenzhen during shopping is BARGAIN (75% starting bid). A calculator will be handy as locals most of the time dont speak English.
It is important that you only bargain once you really like the piece, and intent on buying. As once the shop owner agree on your bid price, they will do all possible to force you to buy it, or at worst shout some colorful *%$^!. At times you cannot say 'thank you, ill search around then come back for it".
My experience of it is in Lowu Shopping Center, he wont allow us to leave his store without buying, as he agree on our bid price (after lengthy bargaining, but last minute I got a change of mind on buying it, so i want to look around first..).
I told him I will call the police for he is harassing us, then he let us go.
There is an extreme amount of beggars in Shenzhen because they attack those on their way across the border from Hong Kong. Although some may be genuine, many of these beggars are fakes and probably making quite a living off of it too.
I've heard many accounts of adults kidnapping children and either injuring them so they look needy or forcing them to act. It's quite sick and although it's hard to ignore them since then follow you until you give in, you really need to keep focused, watch your wallet, and quickly get away.
Always remember to put your passport inside your bag because passport snatchers abound in China entry/exit points. I know someone who ran after the snatcher and caught him but he still had to "pay" the crook so he can get his passport back.
This is serious.
I have no pic of this but read what happened.
Well, we left Hong Kong one bright morning travelling to Shenzhen by car.
Highways are large, no traffic, the sun was shining, I had a good feeling on that morning...
...until we reached the customs.
Customs is there because Hong Kong, even being part of China since 1997, it still has a particular status probably because of its richness.
One more info. Chinese citizens are not allowed to move anywhere for living. If someone is born in a certain place, he has to stay there unless given the permission to go elsewhere. This is because the areas close to the yellow sea, large towns like Shanghai or Hong Kong itself, are growing very fast, the government is pushing this, but could never support 1 billion people wanting to go there leaving the rural, and far poorer inner areas of china. This is the reason of this control.
There were large queues of people at the customs, so we chose one and wait, I came last.
The other guys went through the customs, and when it was my turn, the policeman took my passport, made a call, a bell rang, and some more policemen came out from nowhere.
I was standing in the middle of these guys talking fast in chinese and not explaining nothing to me. After 5 minutes of pure panic a guy told me there was a problem with the passport but that I may procede....
Dunno what happened exactly, but what a scare!!
Photos in Customs
A little tip: do not take photos anywhere in the customs building when going from Shenzhen to Hongkong, even innocent ones, and even if there are no 'no photos' signs anywhere in sight. I got the scare of my life!
Lost in Translation
Well, some public signs may show bad translation...like this...if you don't understand Chinese, then you may need to guess if you were right. Keep-fit Square means Gym Square indeed.
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