Shenzhen Day Trip

Shenzhen is just across the border in mainland China. The main reason for going to Shenzen is to shop!

Goods in Shenzhen are cheaper than Hong Kong because that is where most of them come from. Getting to Shenzen is not hard using the MTR/KCR transport system in Hong Kong. A 5 day visa can issued at the border for most nationalities. Warning: USA passport holders cannot get a visa at the border.

 

Lo Wu Crossing

Firstly you need to buy a ticket to Lo Wu. Lo Wu is on the East Rail Line so if you are joining it from the MTR you will only be able to buy a single. It is about 30 minutes travel from the island.

At Lo Wu you will cross the border. Once you have exited Hong Kong you will need to get your visa. The visa's are issued upstairs, it is a biggish area but keep following the crowds and you will see an escalator going up. Once upstairs you need to fill in the visa application and take a ticket from the ticket machine and wait for your number. If you are doing this at the weekend or over a holiday this can mean a long wait!

 

Lok Ma Chau Crossing

To alleviate immigration the border crossing traffic at Lo Wu, a second border checkpoint is available for crossing at Lok Ma Chau on the Lok Ma Chau Spur MTR line.   Like passengers travelling to Lo Wu, the Lok Ma Chu station and area is restricted to passengers with a permit or a passport and visa to mainland China.

 

Visa Fees

The visa must be paid for in Rimimbi(Chinese currency) for those eligible for visa upon arrivals at the borders  For others, visas should be arranged in Hong Kong prior to attempting to cross the border into mainland China.

Visa fee (Update valid on 31st of May 2014)

5 day tourist visa fee is 168 RMB.  Exceptions are following countries that have different fee: Armenia 420 RMB, Ethiopia 487 RMB, Angola 681 RMB, Congo 747 RMB, Gabon 512 RMB, Cameroon 480 RMB, Cote Divoire 737 RMB, Moldova 455 RMB, Ukraine 409 RMB, U.K. 304 RMB, Panama 579 RMB, Brazil 369 RMB, Bolivia 414 RMB, Ecuador 414 RMB, U.S.A. 956 RMB, Venezuela 585 RMB, Chile 429 RMB, Romania 512 RMB, Russia 393 RMB, Mexico 371 RMB, Poland 475 RMB, Bulgaria 504 RMB, Montenegro 160 RMB.  Tourists from remaining countries pay 168 RMB. 

The fee can be paid in RMB or you can pay by credit card - this has been confirmed in Lo-Wu crossing. 

 

Visa Process (at the border)

Once your number comes up the process is very fast and you will have your visa in about 5-10 minutes. Go down stairs and go through Chinese immigration. Again there could be a queue here depending if you go on a weekend or holiday.

You have to fill simple form (takes less than one minute), indicate what type of visa you are applying for and it's issued within few minutes.  Very simple process, some officers speaks English without major problem and on top of it they were really friendly in my case.  Please do not forget to fill entry/exit form when crossing border afterwards.  You can get this form as well in same visa office.   

 

Immediate (Cheap) Shopping 

 Exit the building and in front of you, slightly to the right you will see a big department store, you can't really miss it! Takes about a 2 minute walk to get there.

There are 5 floors of shopping! The place is huge and full of small booths selling masses of bags, watches, phones and every sort of electronics, jewelery etc you can imagine. The preferred currency is the RMB but you can use HK dollars here as well. Bargain hard and don't worry about walking away as the shops repeat themselves on every level. You will get more choice here than in Hong Kong. Lots of people from Hong Kong come here to get clothes made and if you get hungry there are restaurants.

Getting back is quicker. Exit China and fill out the Hong Kong visa forms and enter Hong Kong. Buy a train ticket from one of the machines and just wait for a train. There is a train about every 15 minutes.

Have fun shopping!