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To Shenzhen, China
If you are planning to visit Shenzhen from Hong Kong, you need a visa to enter the China. You can either have your visa ready in your home country before travelling to HK or you can have your visa done in HK. I have visited China Travel Service at Tsim Sha Tsui to have my single entry visa done. It was quite easy, but you just need to pay the higher price as comparing to get your Chinese Visa at home.
There are several ways to go to Shenzhen, either coach, taxi or MTR train. I would share with you my experience by using the MTR train.
You need to catch an MTR train on the East Rail Line (Blue Line). I usually catch the train at Hung Hom Station. How to go to Hung Hom Station from Tsim Sha Tsui? There is a pedestrian underpass between Tsim Sha Tsui Station and East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. You can walk to East Tsim Sha Tsui Station and It is a comfortable walk like in an airport. When you arrive East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, take the MTR train to Hung Hom Station. You need to alight from West Rail Line train (Red) and transfer to the East Rail Line (Blue) at Hung Hom Station. Then, the train will take between 45 minutes to 1 hours to reach the Lo Wu Station.
You can also alight at the Sheung Shui Station, then Lok Ma Chau Station.
Lo Wu Station: Shenzhen Railway Station, Shenzhen Long-Distance Station, Shopping Mall, Dongmen Old Street, and etc. It also links with the Luo Hu Station, Shenzhen Metro.
Lok Ma Chau Station: Shenzhen CBD, OCT Bay, Window Of the World, and etc. It also links with Futian Station, Shenzhen Metro.
You can consider buying a Day Pass (20 Yuan) to travel with Shenzhen Metro.
There is a special line for foreigners, so make sure you get into the right line to avoid the local crowd. As usual, you need to fill-up the white card, and get your passport ready! Nothing is complicated here! Enjoy Shenzhen and China. It is a great way to start your real China adventure here!
- Budget Travel
One day cross-boundary pass
For a one-day visitor, the 'Tourist Cross-boundary Travel Pass' is available at the Lo Wu border crossing for HKD $85 and will save you so much time lining up at metro stations and fumbling for the right money.
Strongly recommend this tip as a time saver and travel companion.
I think that other tickets for a longer duration are available but the one-day option is also good value for money in what you will read about as an expensive tourist destination.
KCR (Now part of MTR)
The Kowloon Canton Railway is the suburban commuter rail system of Hong Kong. It can take you all the way into Mainland China as well as many smaller towns and villages in between. I used it to go visit the railroad museum.
UPDATE. The KCR was merged into the MTR in 2007 to improve regional efficiency and more importantly back-end efficiency.
Hong Kong to Dongguan (Mainland China)
I traveled from HK airport to Dongguan (or Dongwan), Guangdong, by Limousine Service. Given the advice from locals, it seems this is the most convenient option to travel both ways between the two locations and in case one has to reach a specific hotel. Having Hong Kong territory a special status, citizens of countries that have an agreement can travel there on a waiver visa program. Entering Mainland China otherwise requires a visa and I don't know if it's possible to get it right at the airport. It is advisable to obtain it at the local consulate in your country before traveling.
The service I used has a counter in Terminal 2, C02 location and tickets can be purchased with a credit card. Price as of January 2012 was HK$ 230 one way. Total travel time to destination is about four hours
A comfortable 7-seater van leaves right in front of the above mentioned C02 counter and reaches the border in about one hour. The van takes a preferential bus lane to minimize the waiting time. Passengers' passports are collected and presented at the toll-gate-style window and the van's sliding door is opened to allow the inspecting officer to see the occupants. Shortly after this, the van stops and passengers are moved to a different van which proceeds all the way to the Hyatt hotel in Dongguan. From here, another van takes the passengers to their final hotel destination.
Clean, easy and relatively inexpensive for the quality level of the service.
- Road Trip
Luohu Border Crossing
From Luohu Train Station (Luohu HuoCheZhan) follow signs for Hong Kong and you will reach the border checkpoint. It is easy and quick to pass through, taking you straight to the Hong Kong side - Louhu now becomes Lo Wu - where you use ATM cash machines, exchange money or purchase travel cards with Chinese RMB and ask English speaking staff any questions.
The overnight train
A very inexpensive way of traveling from China to Hong Kong is to catch the overnight train services and then the MTR when you arrive in Hong Kong.
The ticket from Guilin to Shenzhen was approx 55 Yuan (US$9.00 in July 2008) and represented the transport and accommodation costs.
The trip took 14 hours, the compartments sleep 6, the beds are very comfortable and the trip proved to be hassle free. (For the cheap cost of the ticket you can always book out the entire compartment!!)
- Budget Travel
Catamaran to China
We took a catamaran back to mainland China. The trip was very comfortable and took about 2 hours. $HK 170.00 for first class . We went with the Chu Kong passenger Transport Co. from HK to Guangzhou. They had two crossings one at 8:30AM and One at 2:30.PM. It was interesting as to see the water change from blue to yellow as we left the South China Sea behind and entered China's Pearl River
- Budget Travel
From Hong Kong to Shenzhen by metro
This is much simpler than I thought. You get the metro to Lo Wu station at the very end of the line and follow the signs on the platform. It gathers everyone into the correct lanes and deposits you at the HK Immigration desk. Through there in 15 seconds. Then across a long bridge over the river and you are in China (This is not a part you can avoid noticing). You queue for Immigration (foreigners on the left) and get through in 10 minutes. You are required to put all luggage through an X-ray machine, then Hey Presto, you are in heaving, smoky, hustling, shouting, pushing, shoving Shenzhen. Turn right for taxis, and it looks as if Shenzhen station is just a few metres away from the front of the border post (certainly within walking distance even with heavy luggage). Note that most taxi drivers in Shenzhen are Mandarin rather than Cantonese-speaking (as is the whole city seemingly): all the Cantonese-speaking Shenzhen taxi-drivers are now plying their trade in Hong Kong!
To and From Yangshuo (Guilin)
By Train: HKG - Guangzhou (3 hours) then Guangzhou - Guilin (14 hours).
By bus: HKG - Shenzhen (1.5 hour) then Shenzhen - Guilin / Yangshuo (10 hours). Price HKD250-280.
Tickets available at Shenzhen bus terminal, as well as China Travel Service in Hong Kong (www.chinatravel1.com/english/index.htm).
Goto China from airport without pass Hongkong
It's usual that for people go to South China fly to Hong Kong first. If you don't like to spend time in Hong Kong like I do, there is a ferry you can take and direct to Guangdong from Hong Kong airport.
As many people know, though Hong Kong is part of China, but they have a separate custom from mainland China. Without taking the ferry, you have to first come to Hong Kong custom in airport for entering Hong Kong, then go to Hong Kong custom again in Luohu or Huanggan for leaving Hong Kong, until now you can see the China custom.
On your way out the airport, there is a desk to sell ferry ticket to many places in Guangdong. It's before the Hong Kong custom. When you buy your ticket there, they will have bus take you direct to the ferry so you don't have to see Hong Kong custom at all. It really saves lots of trouble. Another good thing is, they even help you pick up your baggage from your airline. Just buy the ticket then wait for the ferry, that easy! But for each additional baggage they pick up for you there is a $30HKD charge.
For more information about their service you can visit the website below.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
KCR - Kowloon Canton Railway
Runs commuter service between Lo Wu (border with Shenzhen), Tuen Mun, Kowloon & Shatin.
East Rail runs from Lo Wu to Hung Hom Railway Station (South Kowloon).
West Rail Runs from Tuen Mun to Nam Cheong(Sham Shui Po - West Kowloon).
KCR also offers Intercity Passenger Service to Shanghai, Guangdong & Beijing. They are based at Hung Hom Station.
Light Rail is also offered by the KCR to residents living at Northwest New Terroritories. You will probably encounter it if you are exploring Tuen Mun & vicinity.
For a complete Route Map, please click on the following link: KCR Route Map
KCR has direct links to MTR at Nam Cheong, Mei Foo, & Kowloon Tong. There are also direct bus links that could take you anywhere in Hong Kong.
- Family Travel
To Hong Kong by boat
We landed in Shenzhen at about 4 pm and we were met by 23 degrees Celsius. Once we had picked up our suitcases we started looking for a way to get to HK. We soon found a sign saying ”To HK” and a boat displayed on it. It turned out to be a company called TurboJet. We bought tickets to Kowloon for about 190 RMB each – make sure you don’t pay extra for insurance. The boat-pier is only a short bus ride away and it is included in the ticket.
After filling out a departure card we got on board the TurboJet boat. For Norwegians this will be a pretty common sight because the boat is like most fast boats that traffic Norwegian fjords. The only thing that disappointed me was that I could not go outside to take a look at HK as we were approaching it. The boat trip only takes about 1 hour and the boat docked at the Ocean terminal/Harbour City. Arriving here is almost like arriving at an airport: you have to go through immigration and then you pick up your suitcase to go through customs.
The Ocean terminal is more or less in the heart of Kowloon.
Star Ferry - it's one of the best way to take pic while you are resting on the ferry which contact Kowloon peninsula and HK island. It is cheap too! (adult not even over HKD3.0)
First ferry- contects with other island from Hong Kong island like Lamma island, Lantau island, Cheung Chau island, etc. these lines usually takes longer time (at least 30mins and depends on the distance between islands)
Train travel to China and beyond
For train travel to China and beyond check out the following web site.
It has links to good maps, timetables, prices and pictures of the trains.
Enjoy your adventure
Flying to Mainland China? Consider Shenzhen Airpor
Flying to Mainland China? Consider the Shenzhen Airport
If you are flying to or from Mainland China, it may be cheaper to fly using the Shenzhen Airport. There is a shuttle bus between HK and the Shenzhen airport. Information is at the below web site. However, there is a lot of business travel between Shenzhen and other parts of the Mainland. So be sure to check using one of the travel web sites like www.elong.net. I have additional information about air travel in China as a transportation tip on my China page.
Please rate this and my other tips should you find them useful, interesting, or like the photographs.
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