A day of wandering around Shenzhen and Mid autumn festival
Soooooooo, as I said before, eventhough my 1 year gap trip is over, it doesn’t mean that I’m gonna stop traveling! This time I went back to Hong Kong for some administrative stuff and to visit my girlfriend. I took the opportunity to check out the South of China, more specifically: Yangshuo-Guilin-Shenzhen. To get to Guilin-Yangshuo I originally planned to go by overnight train from Shenzhen, but “luckily” there weren’t any tickets available anymore so we booked a plane ticket from Shenzhen to Guilin instead. My traveling partner was quite pleased to hear the change of plans… But in the end I was kinda please as well since it would save us more time since we didn’t really have much time to spend anyway for this trip.
Hong Kong – Shenzhen
To enter Shenzhen (China) via Hong Kong land border you of course need to have a valid VISA. I applied for one myself for 360HKD (1 entry) and took about 5 working days and decided to go through the Shenzhen bay control point. We were staying in Tuen Mun and the checkpoint was an easy 20 min bus ride away with bus B3X. Once you’re at the bay port just follow the crowd of people and queue up for customs. Chinese people tend to work fast at these places so it took us only about 30 minutes to get through and be in Shenzhen!Mind you, once you go through, there is no metro stop nearby, so you’ll have to take a cab to the nearest one. The cabfare was like 15-20 RMB and about 15 minutes. I think there were buses there as well but we didn’t want to figure out which bus to take and where to stop and since it was cheap we might as well take the cab. I think all in all it only took us roughly 1,5 – 2 hours to get from our place to Shenzhen subway. Not too bad! No wonder so many Hong Kong people come to Shenzhen for the weekend…
The first day we had some time to spend before our plane left so we wandered a bit downtown and were looking for a Dunkin Donuts store since we heard there were some. But to our disappointment, we visited 3 places where they would have a store (according to their site) and found out that they were ALL GONE! 🙁 It’s kinda odd as well to see so few American/Western branded stores and food chains around. Oh and we stopped by Sea World. I was expecting to look at some colorful fishes and be amazed by the underwater world but was (again) disappointed to find out that Sea World is just a place (now under construction) for shopping and fast food eating. It’s called Sea world because there’s a HUGE ship there that’s used as an hotel. Why Shenzhen, WHY?!After we explored Shenzhen for half a day by subway, we made our way to the airport which was conveniently at the end of one of the subway line. So it was fairly easy to get to.
Mid Autumn Festival
We came back to Shenzhen on the night before mid autumn festival. I had totally forgotten about it and I don’t know if it was coz of that, but the streets seemed fuller and crowdier at night than usual I think. I was staying at a hotel near the Dongmen food/shopping street.
Anyway we went to take a look at the festivities for a bit down the Dongmen street and saw a lot of sky lanterns around town already so we wanted to find out where they lit them. And the answer was FREAKING EVERYWHERE! In the past people have said it’s dangerous and causes a lot of trash but since we’re in China…. WHO CARES?! #YOLOEventhough we were in the middle of the city, a lot of the lanterns did make it above the buildings and sent away. You could see groups of people trying to send some off and of course couples. Some people write their blessings and wishes on it in hopes that the gods upstairs could answer them I guess.
Dongmen shopping street
As we were walking down Dongmen shopping street around 10pm, a lot of the stores were close or already closed. We walked down towards the end where there was an open area for people to light up their lanterns, we hung around for a bit and headed back to the beginning. But to our suprise, the walking street has turned into an instant night market with a small walkway and people selling random (counterfeit) goods on both sides. There were tons of people and you could barely walk. We even saw a stall that was selling all kinds of animals, even a squirrel! Of course, not to eat….hopefully.At the beginning of the Dongmen street, they’ve set up all these small eating stations with all kinds of street food goodies! Fried squid, sausages, sushi, even scallops and oysters! It was packed, greasy, crowded, smokey, but the food was pretty good though. Too bad I didn’t manage to get some good close ups of the food and oysters that we got, but it tasted pretty damn good! The reason why we stopped by Shenzhen was to get pampered at one of the many big spa comlexes, but there’s more on that in a seperate post.