After a few trips to HK, it was time to see something new, ie a day trip to neighbouring Shenzhen to visit Huaqiangbei electronics market and Dongmen Pedestrian Street.
How to get from HK to Shenzhen via train
a. From within HK, get to the East Rail Line. it’s the light blue line that runs vertically upwards. From Causeway Bay you can take a bus across the tunnel to Hung Hom Station.
If you’re on the other side, you can take the green line to the interchange at Kowloon Tong. It’s a long journey ~>30mins, so take a seat and enjoy the scenery.
When boarding the train, watch out for the ending station. There are two, either Lo Hu Station or Lok Ma Chau station. Both stations have a border entry, but I went to Lo Hu as it is closer to the places we are heading to. Make sure your Octopus card has sufficient value as this long ride cost more than the usual downtown trips. I think it was probably 30-40 HKD in total.
b. HK Customs
Since you are leaving HK, you’ll need to go out of HK customs. Alight from the train at Lo Hu station, follow the escalators and signs and customs is right upstairs.
c. China Customs
You’ll walk like 100m and then it’ll be the China entry customs. If you need a visa, you should be able to apply for one upstairs. I didn’t need one as Singaporeans get visa-waiver for trips less than 15 days.
Customs was a pretty straightforward process.
Once you step out, you’re right at the entrance of the escalators down to Shenzhen subway green line Louhu Station in the basement, and on the right is the Lohu Commercial City mall. Apparently you can start shopping right there but we heard their prices are so good so we didn’t bother and instead took the subway to Dongmen.
Once you exit from Laojie Station, you’ll be right at the shops. I suggest you get out to the ground level to get some bearings on where you are. There are many many exits for the station but most exits are fine. Use Exit F if you need to choose one.
It’s a very large area with tens of buildings so enjoy walking around.
I went to Huaqiangbei as well. Same, use the green subway line 1 for another 5 stops or so. Cost is still another 2 yuan.
You can go into the all the buildings left and right of the pedestrian street, between the stations Huaqiang Road and Huaqiangbei.
Good luck looking for what you want.
Ease of travel: Good. It was convenient, just follow the subway lines and signs, no complicated routing or taxi necessary. Cheap journey as well. Both subway have languages and announcements in multiple languages including English.
Safety: Generally we felt pretty safe. Minimal beggars / touts. Overall service was pretty decent and good. Just be a normal level of mindfulness as per usual travel and you’ll be ok.
Note that Google Maps in China is either restricted or lacking in info. You might want to arm yourself with Baidu Maps before getting in. Baidu has more precise location and information, but it’s all in Chinese.
Currency: You’ll need to use local Renminbi. We didn’t try with HKD. Even if you succeed, you won’t get as good a bargain. There’s plenty to shop – clothes, bags and shoes.
There are also tours etc that can bring you into Shenzhen, if that’s your thing. But a one-day solo trip is definitely doable.