Shenzhen | Ants in Pants

Shenzhen

Русская версия   In 1979, Shenzhen was still a settlement of farmers and fishers with only several hundred thousand people at the borders of Hong Kong. Having become one of Chinese Special Economic Zones, todays Shenzhen is a modern megalopolis with hotels, skyscrapers, smog, and speedways. In addition, there are many cheap flights Air Asia performs all over South-East Asia from Shenzhen, while the options of flights from nearby Guangzhou and Hong Kong are much more expensive. Shenzhen is easy to reach by train, and it often becomes a hub on the way to some other destination. This post tells what to see in Shenzhen within several hours.
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In 2014, the train ticket Guangzhou – Shenzhen cost only about 10 euros, and it was easy to but in special machines at the railway station.
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The speedy trains depart almost every hour. 10 minutes before the departure, a small room for its passengers opens at the railway station. The train is quiet, quick, and very convenient.
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By the way, at the station we also tried to buy the tickets very much in advance to get on the train from Nanning to Guangzhou. The cashier could talk only through writing, and it turned out that it is possible to but the ticket in advance only through the phone or the Internet.
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Having reached Shenzhen in less than two hours, at the railway station, we addressed the information center to find a map – but were not too successful. On some reason we were sent to the second floor of the railway station to some library, which of course was not there. We could find a map only in a big and fancy hotel Shangrila on the way to the city. Judging from the map, we decided that there was not much to see, and decided simply to work towards Shenzhen business center and Book City Fair. Walking seemed to be a good idea, as everything was very small on the map; in fact, the distances turned out to be enormous.
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We were walking and walking, also trying to buy Malaysian money in the banks on the way. Everybody recommended China Bank for that, but China Bank employees let us know that as foreigners we were supposed to have made an appointment in advance. Quite tired, we decided to take a bus. We asked at the bus stop, which bus number we needed, and stepped into the recommended number 113. When we showed the map and our destination on it to the conductor, however, she started to show with all possible gestures that this was the wrong one. We stepped down. As we learned later, this was a right bus. But at that point of time we could not find anybody else to speak English, and decided to go on by foot.
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On our way, there was a huge electronics mall, selling everything from diodes and transistors to oscillographs and laptops. The prices were quite high, especially because you expect much lower prices in China.
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In front of the center there were many tents selling different food and some other strange things.
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You can only guess what the dishes were made from. The cup we bought did not resemble any products known, and – what had almost never happened in our lives – we threw away the food as it was simply impossible to eat. This lets you judge about the authenticity of the Chinese food in Europe.
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Near the mall, on the improvised scene, a man was shouting something out into the microphone, throwing the tows around. Vitya caught one of them almost automatically – when it was not caught by the girl nearby. That is how we got out travelling partner Pika. This is his first photo, still in the Motherhood.
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In search for the food again, we found Chinese khinkali  Having tried one, we were satisfied, and only then bought more.
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Since we still did not know which bus to take, we walked enjoying the surroundings, and watched people preparing for Chinese New Year…
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… saw the Central Park…

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… or just had rest.
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Finally, we reached a huge Shenzhen Book City.
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It did not have books only, but also a number of cute shops with small and nice things Nastya is so fond of. While Vitya was reading at one of the benches, Nastya bought miniature play cards and Uno – so necessary while travelling! By the way, there are indeed many books there, but most of them are in Chinese . In front of the Book City there is a monument to the City Father and a small park, but we did not go there, as it was high time to start moving towards the airport.
It took more than an hour and 16 yuans to get there. It is important to go till Hourui, not Airport Eastern. At the exit D there will be the buses 316 waiting for you. The signs show it well enough. The airport of Shenzhen is very beautiful, and even though our flight was late, in an hour we departed to find new adventures – in Malaysia.