When I think of China I think of the Great Wall, Pandas and the Terra Cotta Warriors. I didn’t realise that in addition to seeing these historic landmarks and magnificant animals I could also take a short 4.5 hour direct flight from Darwin to Shenzhen and get a taste of China.
This is what I did in December and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Shenzhen is located in the Guangdong Provice and is close to Hong Kong and Macau. It has a relatively young demographic with the average resident aged 35. It’s also a mecca for technology, having the largest electronics market in the world, Huaqiangbei which is located in the Futian district.
In addition to technology, Shenzhen is also known for their shopping of all things such as clothing, bags, glasses, homewares and so much more. There are massive shopping centres throughout the entire city. Some centres such as Louhu Marketplace is a great to barter while other centres like Coco Park offer name brand options. I even have a contact for you to get some custom made clothing from a local tailor.
If you are like me and shopping isn’t your idea of a holiday, don’t worry there are plenty of other things to entertain you. For those traveling from Darwin the direct Donghai flights are every Wednesday and Sunday so you can plan a 3 night getaway or a week long holiday. I did the Wednesday departure and Sunday return and it was a perfect length to check out the city, although I could easily have stayed a full week and explored the surrounding areas. Here’s a list of some of the other activities you can do while visiting Shenzhen.
Another highlight you can find in Shenzhen is delicious cuisine. Experience mouth watering Cantonese food ranging from Dim Sum to Hot Pot and everything in between. If you are an adventurous eater look for house specalities and eat like a local. Don’t worry, if you aren’t a fan of Chinese food you can find every other nationality available.
There is no shortage of things you can do even if it just means people watching and exploring the beautiful and clean city. Transportation around is plentiful with local buses, subway or taxis. Taxis are inexpensive and easy to get, although from 3:30pm-4:30pm they do a driver swap and will only take you if your destination is on their way.
Overall Shenzhen is a destination I would not only recommend but also go back to. It’s clean, friendly, inexpensive and diverse. The only main issue is the lack of English speaking people. It’s easier if you get the name of place you will visit written in Chinese from the hotel so you can give it to the taxi driver- or even better visit one of the electronic malls and get yourself a translator (I got one for $100 and it translates 65 different languages). In addition to the language barrier you also need to use cash for everything as international cards aren’t always allowed because they require a 6 digit pin code and we only have a 4 digit one. There are ATMs located throughout the city and because it is relatively cheap you won’t need much spending money.
If you are interested in taking a trip to Shenzhen and adding another stamp to your passport, check out my package deals here. Note that in order to visit China you do need to get a VISA, but don’t worry, I can help with that as well!