In 1979, Shenzhen (then mostly underdeveloped countryside facing Hong Kong) was designated the first of China's Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The plan was to create a sealed off enclave to experiment with market reforms and performance incentives without posing a threat or risk to the established economic system elsewhere in China. Shenzhen won the honor as it could easily connect to the capital and management resources of Hong Kong and serve as a buffer between a more open border with Hong Kong and the rest of mainland China. Currently it has a population of approximately 8 million, compared to only 300 thousand in the 1980s.
As a purely economic creation, the city lacks much in terms of historical sites but much like Las Vegas, if you have enough money, anything is possible. Since the 1990s, Shenzhen has cultivated tourism and shopping as another cash cow to supplement industry. The various theme parks and shopping arcades attest to all Shenzhen now has to offer to those with an interest other than business.
In 2008, Lonely Writers Publishing published the first China-Mainland Shenzhen English guidebook: "Shopping in Shenzhen". The guidebook was written by a community of expatriates, and published with the Shenzhen Press Group (深圳报业集团出版社). In 2009 "Living in Shenzhen", the 2nd guidebook will be published.
In most cases, a visa should be obtained from a Chinese embassy or consulate before arriving anywhere in China; see the China page for more information. Chinese visa procedures tightened up quite a bit before the Beijing Olympics. As of late 2008, they have loosened a bit but nowhere near completely. You may have to show airline ticket and hotel accommodation in China before any visa is granted and will be only single entry for 30 days only and this applies to all foreigners. It is now a major issue for anyone trying to do business in China.
Certain nationalities visiting from Hong Kong can obtain a single-entry five-day Special Economic Zone Tourism Visa on arrival for costs ranging from 160 to around 1,000 RMB. The office at is located at Lo Wu (Luohu) upstairs after clearing Hong Kong immigration and customs, and currently only accepts RMB as payment, so be sure to obtain sufficient cash in advance. It can be reached at tel. +86 755 8232 7700. The visas are reported to be available for Canadian, New Zealand, and British passport holders, but often unavailable on United States passports. There is no visa-on-arrival office at Lok Ma Chau.
Getting a tourist visa in Hong Kong now takes 3-4 days and costs HK$150-1100. A list of costs is available. The old approach of arriving in Hong Kong and immediately applying for a visa is no longer worth the cost as you may be forced to pay expensive hotel bills in Hong Kong until your visa is granted. Macau's visa office is less crowded and the hotels a bit cheaper, but it takes just as long. In general, only single and double entry visas are granted to visitors without HKID cards, although foreigners with previous entries into the mainland or Hong Kong student and work visas have been known to be approved for multiple entries.
You can get a taxi van that will take you from HK Airport to Lo Wu Station, through customs and immigration, for HK$150. Well worth it if you have a valid visa. The drivers and or desk staff will speak good English.
Shenzhen Bao'an Airport  has domestic and international flights. Direct coach 330 (approx ¥25 at time of writing) connects the airport with downtown with its final stop next to the KeXueGuan Metro Station. Mini-bus K568 connects the airport with Shenzhen Rail Station in Luohu, which is within walking distance of the Lo Wu Border with Hong Kong. Other local buses serving the airport include 327 and 355.
For those who plan to travel to other mainland Chinese cities from Hong Kong, Shenzhen airport makes a viable alternative to Hong Kong International Airport. While most cities in China have direct flights to Hong Kong they are much more expensive than flights to Shenzhen as flights between the mainland and Hong Kong are considered to be international flights and hence, priced as such. With good scheduling you can do your international travel through Hong Kong and then connect via buses or ferry to the Shenzhen airport for your domestic needs, but make sure you have your visa ready before you attempt this. The downside is that Shenzhen airport is not quite as efficient or reliable as that of Hong Kong, so flight delays are more common, and information on delays may be more difficult to obtain.
In addition to domestic flights, the airport also serves limited international flights to the following destinations:
- Bangkok Airways flies direct from Bangkok, Thailand.
- Air Asia flies direct from Bangkok, Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
- Silkair and Tiger Airways fly direct from Singapore.
Taxi fare from Shenzhen Airport to Lo Wu downtown will cost you around ¥100 plus ¥10 for toll.
From Hong Kong airport, there are very frequent bus and van services that can take you from the Hong Kong airport to most hotels in Shenzhen. The bus/van fare is ¥190-250. If you're a seasoned traveler, you can take the bus/van to Huanggang border, go through immigration and then get your own taxi to take you to where you want to go. The bus/van fare to Huanggang is ¥100-150. The bus/van companies have counters inside the airport. The staff at the information booth should be able to direct you to the their counters. There is also ferry services from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen, check at the information desk for their schedule. A further alternative is to take "Skypier". This service takes you direct from HKIA to the mainland (Shenzhen or Zhuhai) without going through Hong Kong immigrations or Customs or in fact the city itself. There is a booth before you get to Immigration and you purchase your ticket and ask them to get your luggage transferred and then you go by bus to the ferry and then straight to China. It is cheaper and easier than going in to Hong Kong Central or Kowloon. If you exit China this way you get HKD120 departure tax given to you when you arrive at HKIA.
Shenzhen has border train and bus connections to Hong Kong. There are trains to Guangzhou and buses to most nearby cities.
There are 5 land border crossings: Lok Ma Chau, Lo Wu, Sha Tau Kok, Man Kam To and Shenzhen Wan which is the new bridge across the bay..
Lo Wu is the only port for train connections and the most popular connections, operating daily from 6:30AM until midnight, so be aware that the last several trains do not go to Lo Wu. It is the last stop of the KCR East Rail train (HK section). East Rail, which connects to downtown Kowloon at East Tsim Sha Tsui, is the only way to reach Lo Wu. As it is in a restricted area, Lo Wu Station is only for travelling to Shenzhen or beyond, so a visa or other travel document is required to travel there without being fined.
The MTR East Rail Line commuter train which connects East Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau with several intermediate stops mainly serves Hong Kong locals. It interchanges with the urban section of the MTR at Kowloon Tong Station and East Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal. For those traveling to or from Hong Kong Island, it is recommended to transfer to Cross Harbor Bus in Hung Hom Station or the Tsuen Wan Line at East Tsim Sha Tsui.
The journey from East Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu takes 42 minutes and costs HK$33-36.50, first class is charged double. Trains depart every few minutes but some short trips are operated in rush hour, so check the destination screen before boarding. The train can be crowed during rush hours as it serves millions of commuters along the line as well.
For more details, check the MTR web site .
The road border crossings (such as Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang) are accessible by cross-boundary coaches from Hong Kong.
China Railway high-speed trains are available to Guangzhou, where there are more trains to the rest of China than are available in Shenzhen, not to imply Shenzhen's rail service is too limited. The CRH trains leave every thirty minutes during the day and tickets can be easily bought right before departure. Tickets can be purchased at CRH windows or at ticket machines.
There are ferries from Hong Kong (TsimShaTsui, Central -also know as HongKong/Macau and the airport), Macau, and Zhuhai. They land at the ferry terminal at Shekou. There is further information available online: Hong Kong Ferry Info , Shenzhen Ferry Info  (site only in Chinese, English version under construction).
The Shenzhen Metro (深圳地铁) is the most convenient and easy to understand method of transport around the Shenzhen city area. It is very affordable, each ride is ¥5 or less. The train comes about every 3 minutes. Unfortunately, as of 2009, the Metro only runs until 11PM. Here are some useful web resources:
- Shenzhen Metro at Wikipedia 
- A set of Shenzhen Maps 
- Shenzhen Metro official website (Chinese) 
- Unofficial Map and station names (English) 
- Bilingual Shenzhen Metro Flash Map 
Taxi meters start at ¥12.50 for the first 2 kilometers, then ¥0.60 for each 250 meters. Late night costs slightly higher.
Local buses run everywhere and start at ¥2 for most trips. The longest bus trip in the city will cost ¥7. Smaller or "mini-"buses start at ¥3, they generally drop you off right at the door. The mini-buses were supposed to be phased out, but some are still operating. They have now been phased out within the Special Economic Zone but are still operating around outside of it. Most bus lines operate every 5 minutes. Be very careful of your wallet and try not to use your phone on a bus (it can get snatched out of your hand). Note that this is no more likely to happen than in any major American city.
There is also an International Airport in the Bao'an District. Planes in China are often late (around 3-4 hours). Beijing is by far on the bottom of the list for OTP, whereas long distance bus and train connections to just about anywhere in China leave on time. (Luohu station, Metro stop: Luohu, exit A. This is the same station as the connection to Hong Kong at Lo Wu. NOTE: Buses are located under the Shopping Center, while trains are located next door. As this is where the border crossing for Hong Kong is, the areas are very crowded all day long. Watch your belongings.
Free shuttles run from the basement of Luohu's immigration building to and from various attractions such as spas in the area.
- Get a card of your hotel (if you are lost and no one understands your Mandarin)
- Get your hotel staff to write down the destination names for you on paper. You may also learn some phrases from the [Chinese phrasebook].
- As a migrant city Mandarin is more widely spoken in Shenzhen than the Cantonese common elsewhere in the region. Taxi drivers are more likely to speak Mandarin than Cantonese.
- Shenzhen is a linguistic melting pot. You will likely hear every dialect and accent of Mandarin as well as the Guangdong languages of Cantonese, Teochew, and Hakka.
- C:UNION — This is a great place to discover Shenzhen's surprisingly vibrant alternative community. A variety of live bands from around China and sometimes abroad perform here every Saturday night, followed by a dj playing electronic music. Shows start around 8PM and drinks start at ¥30. You can also check out the surrounding neighborhood whose restaurants and small art outlets create a hip vibe along the brick pedestrian roads. Metro to Ciao Cheng Dong, exit A. Walk right and then take a right at the OCT building with the green lighting.
- Base Bar — A live rock music venue in Shangbu, Futian. Great vibe and great interior deco. There are nice three-sided booths along the walls for larger groups. A variety of acts play into the early morning; door cover can sometimes run up to ¥100 so check online[www.basebar.net] to make sure that the given night's acts are worth seeing. Friendly waitstaff with Communist Star armbands serve up cocktails starting at ¥30 (the Gin-Tonic is a must) or bottles of Jim Bean for ¥380. Accessible from the Ke Xue Guan metro station, not far from Party City. Or show the Chinese address to a cab driver - 福田区上步南路1019号.
- Dafen Oil Painting Village — Home to hundreds of artists duplicating classical Western paintings and doing original work, is accessible by bus 106 from Luohu (¥3).
- Happy Valley Theme Park, .
- He XiangNing Art Museum (何香凝美术馆)  — China's second national modern art museum, in addition to the National Art Gallery of China. It contains an excellent collection of world-class modern paintings, and is currently host to the "Fresh Eyes 06" exhibition. It is well worth a visit for anyone interested in art. He Xiangning Art Gallery is located in Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) of Shenzhen. It is accessible via Shenzhen Metro at Hua Qiao Cheng (华侨城) Station, Exit C (or, if closed, use Exit D). Walk west towards the McDonald's restaurant (in direction of terminus station, from Exit D towards Exit C). The art gallery is next door to McDonald's (on the left). Admission is just ¥20, and entrance is free on Fridays.
- Minsk World  — A military theme park centered around the former Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk. The island, flight deck, second and fifth decks of the carrier can be toured. A short film on the carrier's history can be viewed in a small theater to the left of the entrance from the shore. Many key captions and display boards are in English, but Mandarin is predominant. There are tour guides stationed at various exhibits that will give brief explanations of them in Mandarin only. Periodic performances with a military theme occur on the flight deck and fifth deck. For ¥30, you can take a 5 minute motorboat ride around the starboard side of the Minsk and get a good view of it that is not possible from the shore. There are also several exhibits of PLA military equipment on the grounds. Admission is ¥110. The park can be reached via taxi from Lo Hu.
- Safari Park Shenzhen.
- Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center — A huge outdoor park with a pagoda and beautiful waterfall. Metro: Qiao Cheng Dong, exit A. Admission is ¥50.
- Shenzhen Horse Racing Club.
- Shenzhen Musuem. Located at 1008 Shennan Road Central, the museum that aims to "carry out patriotic education". Exhibits are labeled in english. Has a focus on local history, from the "corrupt and racist English Government" of the Opium Wars, to the growth of Shenzhen from a fishing village to major city over the last thirty years. Closed Mondays. Metro: Shi Min Zhong Xin.
- Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Resort.
- Splendid China & Chinese Folk Culture Village — This part combines two different sections. The first part is a miniature park of China. You can find the famous Forbidden City, Terracotta Soldiers, Tibet Potala Palace, Huangshan Mountains, Yunnan's Stone Forest, and of course the Great Wall of China. This miniature park covers 300 thousand square meters, fully forested with beautiful greenery and flower. The second part of the park is build up from 56 different houses, each one representing one of the 56 nationalities in China, such as Miao, Yi, Bai, Mongol, Uygur and many others. You can find here real people, culture, fashion, habits, religion, language and food. Do not miss the greatest colossal performance at Chinese Folk Culture Village. Metro: Qiao Cheng Dong.
- Window of The World — Travel around the world in one day. This 480,000 square meters park has a beautiful natural landscapes and wonderful lighting at night. Inside, you can climb the 1:3 ratio Eiffel Tower, Egyptian Pyramid, Pisa Tower, Taj Mahal of India, Grand Canyon, and other famous places of interest. Metro: Shi Jie Zhi Chuang.
- Xian Hu Buddhist Temple.
Spas and Massage
Shenzhen is a popular place for Hong Kong people to go to get a massage. Prices are low compared with Hong Kong, though generally higher than elsewhere in China. A foot massage, pronounced “xi jiao”, (which actually often consists of massaging your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and feet!) costs ¥25-50 for 60-80 minutes depending on the location, time of day, and quality of the establishment. A full-body massage (pronounced “an mo” or “song gu”) costs ¥50-150 for 90-120 minutes.
In recent years many large spa and massage complexes have appeared in Shenzhen. For an entrance fee of around ¥100 (waived if you purchase around ¥160 of spa and massage services) you get 24 hours of access to a spa pool, saunas, showers, baths, and other amenities depending on the facility such as a gym or pool. Paid services often include Internet access, billiards, and rentable "multi-purpose rooms" with KTV/karaoke and games. Complimentary items include drinks (sometimes restricted to juice) and fruit; food can be bought for ¥20–¥50 a plate. For around ¥50 for 45 minutes (not including a ¥10–¥30 tip and often a 10% service charge) you can have head, foot, leg, shoulder, back, or hand massage while lying in one of the many reclining chair-couches — two types at once if you wish — and watch personal TV, read a book, or relax. For around ¥150 you can have 90 minutes of full-body Chinese, Thai, or Hong Kong-style massage in a private room or with your friends. Chinese Medical Massage and aromatherapy oil massages are usually available at a premium. Masseuses and masseurs hail from various regions around China and are listed with pictures and statistics in catalogues and can be selected by number. Very few of them speak any English.
Spa complexes can be found around the border crossings with Hong Kong, so as to cater to the relatively rich Hong Kong population looking to unwind. In the basement of the Luohu customs and immigration building (not the LCC mall) free shuttles are available to various spas, some of which also have themed waiting areas with price lists and pictures of the facilities. Some spas have representatives standing around to give out discount tickets (often ¥20) as an enticement.
Near Lok Ma Chau border crossing:
- SLF International Spa Club  branded as Water Cube is brand new, hence in excellent condition, and tastefully designed with an interior resembling a luxury hotel. Although English is barely spoken by anybody, the staff are clearly trained to be first class and they try their best to be helpful — and sell massages, which cost ¥48 for 45 minutes of lounge-chair massage through ¥128–238 for 90 minutes of full-body massage in the usual styles, 10% service charge and tip separate. The spa is visible from the main street outside Lok Ma Chau border crossing and metro stop, and shuttles are available to Luo Wu and Huanggang border crossings. Gym, fruit, full drink menu including iced lemon tea and coffee, gym, and videogames complimentary; internet, karaoke and VIP room rental, billiards, table tennis, and of course food all charged separately.
Near Luohu border crossing:
- Queen Spa. This spa is showing its age like an old resort hotel in Las Vegas, although it remains a popular tourist destination in part because it has the notable advantage of having English-speaking staff on duty and identified with clearly visible tags year-round. The entry fee of ¥98 is waived after ¥168 of spa services paid, not including the 10% service charge and tips of ¥10-30 per 45 minutes. Foot/head/leg massage is ¥56/45 min and Chinese massage ¥168/90min. Perks include a swimming pool, a gym, videogames, and free ice-cream and juice and fruit. Free WiFi and five-minute Internet terminals are available in the shared area. The spa has a range of VIP services available such as private Royal Club rooms with a semi-private second swimming pool and Rolls Royce transfers from Luohu (¥30) or the airport.
- Gold Coast Club  at Building 1-4, Kaili Hotel, 2027 Jiabin Road East, Luohu. Beautiful interior, entry fee of ¥138 with 10% service charge. Party room rental for ¥60/hour to ¥120/hour depending on size with karaoke and chess and games included.
- Sentosa International SPA Club, shuttle available, offering in March '09 four hours of Chinese massage for ¥108 and ¥88 for any three types of foot/head/leg/etc massage.
Caution: In most hotels, prostitution is widespread. In some seedier areas, "massage" may actually mean sex. Use your best judgment.
See also China#Massage.
- Lo Wu (Luo Hu) Commercial City is just across from the Hong Kong border. It offers a very different experience to shopping in Hong Kong and is therefore worth a visit if only spending a short time in China. Spread over several levels are many small stores, each selling similar products: watches, jewellery, handbags, clothes and DVDs. These products are rarely authentic but they are often very well made and detailed fakes. There are many stallholders pressuring shoppers to part with their money but the atmosphere is one of enjoyable bartering. This is the place to go for Western sizes in clothing and shoes. This is also the place to go to have massages and nails done dirt cheap as well. Metro: Luohu, exit A.
- Dong Men Pedestrian Street is the place to go for clothes and small-ticket items. This place is better than Luohu Commercial City in terms of price and range of items. Other than several department stores, most are smaller stalls. The price is cheap, even at local standards. You can easily spend a day there. Metro: Lao Jie, exit A.
- Dong Hai Pacific Mall — New movie theatre and 4 level mall, featuring array of restaurants, coffee shops, clothing and other goods. In the heart of 东海 (Dong Hai) neighborhood on the west side of 福田区 (the FuTian district). Just 2 blocks from the Sam's Club/Cinema complex (see below). Accessible from 车公庙地铁站 (CheGongMiao metro station).
- Wal Mart — Currently there are 8 stores but more are being built all the time. Also check out Carrefour, and Sam's Club. Sam's membership is ¥150. In Futian, they are building a huge Sam's/Wal Mart/ multi-plex theatre.
- MixC Shopping Mall is currently the largest (and easily the most expensive) shopping mall in Shenzhen. Highlights include the following: Olympic size indoor Ice Skating Rink, Golden Harvest Cinema movie theater, Ole (high end supermarket with many imported items), Spaghetti House and Starbucks. Metro: Da Ju Yuan, exit C-3.
- Hua Qiang Bei — Much like Dong Men, this is the place for anything electronic. Starbucks is here too. Metro: Hua Qiang Lu, exit A.
- Jusco — The Japanese supercenter if you crave Western gadgets, it has a location in Shenzhen, next door to the CITIC Mall (which also has Starbucks). Metro: Ke Xue Guan, exit D.
- KingGlory Plaza — A mall, along the lines of MixC. It is fairly high priced. It includes a movie theater as well as the "IN" bar/nightclub (that's the name of it) and "Yellow" bar. Metro: Guo Mao, exit A.
- Shekou — The expat hangout with everything Western that you might be accustomed too. Bus numbers 113, K113, 204, K204 and 328 to the end of the line (to the West) will get you to Shekou.
- Shenzhen Book City, 5033 Shennandong Rd, Jinshan Plaza, Metro: Ke Xue Guan, exit A. This is a huge bookstore with a great selection of books, music, movies, and multimedia products. The bookstore is the second biggest in the country.
- Coco Park — New shopping mega complex, located near 购物公园 (shopping center Gou Wu Gong Yuan) metro station. Sports clothing, fashion, some restaurants, including "Norway.Oslo" which has some outdoor seating.
- SEG Electronics Market — A huge market for all things electronic. The first two floors are components (ICs, wires, switches, etc.) and the other 4 floors will supply you with any electronic device your heart desires. Located At the corner of Huaqiang Rd. and Shennan Blvd. Metro: Hua Qiang Lu.
- Mingtong Electronics Market — Few minutes from the SEG market houses watch parts, electronic toys, and mobile phone parts.
- Central Walk — Another Shopping complex in Shenzhen. Base tenant is Carrefour, but also has usual shops, restaurants and a cinema. Starbucks and Italian Best Coffee (Illy Coffee) are located here. Subway (Sandwiches) also has opened here. Located one block away from the exhibition centre on Fuhua Road. Take Metro to Exhibition Centre stop and Central Walk is located at exit B. 5 minutes walk from Coco Park.
Major credit cards i.e. Visa, Masters, HSBC are accepted throughout Shenzhen. JCB and American Express have limited coverage. Cirrus, Plus & Maestro facilities allow owners to withdraw money from banks. Remember to activate your card for the pin usage. MixC has ATMs for some of the international credit cards, where cash can be withdrawn in those ATMs against your credit limit.
Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, and most Chinese banks accept foreign cards. You may check with your bank to see if they have a local branch here. Most ATMs are open for 24 hours. Some are only opened if you swipe the card at the security doors.
At places in Luo Hu, cash is highly recommended. Some places charge an extra 10% for credit card purchases. The shop assistants will bring you to shops that have credit card processing machines. At shopping centers, remember to check with the cashiers to see if they accept credit cards before making purchases. There are few shopping centers that accept credit card with passport verification, though you may lose your discount on the purchase.
For currency information, see the China page.
It would be a lie to say that food preparation standards in mainland China, including Shenzhen are up to the standards in Hong Kong or the developed world. That being said, to not eat local food, is a great disservice to yourself. Chinese food, especially local food is fantastic. From super spicy dishes, to sweet and delicate yummy dishes, to fresh fish pulled right from the ocean, Shenzhen has it all. As a migrant city, all of the regional cuisines of China are represented with restaurants ranging from hole-in-the-wall establishments for working class arrivals to opulent restaurants for businessmen and politicians entertaining guests. If you are a foreigner, spending ¥100 on a fantastic meal is no problem (though, you can spend ¥35 on a fantastic meal in Shenzhen). Treat yourself, and enjoy the wonderful foods of Shenzhen!
Upset stomachs are common in mainland China especially for foreigners who are not accustomed to local water and food. Food from street stalls, food which is uncooked, raw vegetables (eg salads) or unpeeled fruits may make you sick. Washing doesn't help, because tap water in China is generally unclean. In summary, be sensible and only drink and wash with bottled water.
There are a lot of bars and restaurants in Shekou which is the main residential zone for Shenzhen's sizable Western expatriate community. There are plenty of eateries in the Hua Qiang Bei area, for non-China based brands, eg McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, AijiSen.
Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) is famous for its numerous dining options, including some of the best Korean restaurants in Shenzhen. All are within easy walking distance from the Hua Qiao Cheng (OCT) metro station, behind the recently opened InterContinental Shenzhen Hotel.
- 名人 (Celebrity Club), DongHai, FuTian. Specializing in Cantonese food, and famous for "dim sum".
- Tivoli Ristorante Italiano & Bar, Sea World, Shekou.
- Xiao Fei Yang (literal translation "little plump lamb") — Lamb meat imported from Mongolia, it is a steam boat based Mongolia cuisine. There are other meats and vegetable ingredients for the steam boat on the menu. One type of steamboat is called 'Yung Yong'. The steamboat is separated into two halves, one half contains normal non-spicy soup stock and the other half contains 'Ma la' (literal translation "numbing spicy") soup stock.
- Prince Kitchen, 5-6/F, CITIC Plaza, 1093 Shennan Zhong Rd. Serves fantastic mix of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Steaks. Even whilst being quite dark inside, you can still see it is very stylish.
Tap Water is not safe to drink in any part of China. You should boil it continuously for 1-2 minutes in order to kill bacteria, spores, etc. Some hotels have free bottled or distilled water in their rooms but such water may still make you sick. Try it but if you get a stomach ache soon afterwards, stop drinking it (or boil it first). One in five people have Hepatitis, and if you are eating local food, wash your cups and eating utensils in a bowl of hot water or tea beforehand. TB is also prevalent in China, and many people use black light cabinets to sterilise their drinking cups.
Some bars in and around Shenzhen:
- The Terrace Live Music & Thai Food, SeaWorld, Shekou.
- McCawley's Irish Bar & Restaurant, Shekou.
- Mustang Sally's, Shekou. Closed due to flooding.
- French Kiss, SeaWorld, Shekou. Closed due to flooding.
- The Beatles, SeaWorld, Shekou.
- X-Ta-Sea, SeaWorld, Shekou.
- Soho, JiaBin Rd, LuoHu.
- Beer Paradise, Shekou. Serves lots and lots and lots of beer.
- Mary's Bar, Shekou.
- Vbar, Windows of the World, (on the 3rd floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. See below).
- Ibiza, Hua Qiang Bei.
- UBar, Jiabin Rd, LuoHu.
- Kingway, LuoHu. Beer factory and beer garden.
- Yes Bar, LuoHu.
Note: If you want to drink beer, Tsing Tao is a popular Chinese beer, or try Shenzhen's own Kingway (金威啤酒) beer, brewed in two locations in Shenzhen and available in any convenient store, bar, or restaurant. In stores such as a.best or Wal-Mart it will cost ¥3.50 per can, or ¥3.80 for a large bottle (need bottle opener). 7-eleven sells Kingway for ¥9, and local restaurants about ¥12-35. Bars typically charge slightly more that restaurants, it will cost you somewhere in the ¥55-80 range, though many have specials such as 2 for 1.
- Orient Sunseed Hotel, ☎ 86-755-29912222, . Orient Sunseed Hotel in Shenzhen, China is located in Nanshan District. It is just a five-minute drive from Bao’an Airport and a 20-minute drive from the city center. Also nearby is the railway station. The hotel is near on some of the famous tourist spots in China namely Dapeng Fortress, Lotus Hill, and Dameisha and Xiaomeisha Beaches. It has air-conditioned rooms, all of which have a cable TV, wet bar, hair dryer, electric kettle, telephone, private toilet and bath, shower, bathrobe, and complete bathroom amenities. : At the conjunction of Fuyong and Haoye Roads, Qiaotou Tongfuyu Industrial Area, Fuyong Town, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Rates start at CNY 311.14+.
- Empire Hotel, tel. 86-21-61226688, Ext. 7800, email: email@example.com, . A 4-star hotel near the East Gate Business Street, Donghu Lake, and Yijing Villa. It features cozy, fully furnished guestrooms, multifunction conference room, business center, health club, and restaurant.
- Shenzhen Guest House — Located at the center of the busy Dongmen Commercial Area, this 3-star hotel has 584 well-kept guestrooms on offer. Business and leisure facilities are also available to suit a variety of needs.
- Lee Garden Inn— Located five minutes from the railway station, the 3-star Lee Garden Inn Lee Garden Inn has 100 guestrooms for the business traveler. Conference facilities and broadband internet are also available.
- Sunshine Hotel Shenzhen(Sunshine Hotel Shenzhen), . Sunshine Hotel is located in the Luohu commercial district of Shenzhen, and only a five minute walk brings you to the center of business, shopping, entertainment, and the Guomao Metro Station (Exit A).
- Home Inns — It is the biggest and most reliable economy hotel chain in China. It features high quality and consistent standard rooms with very reasonable prices.
- Crowne Plaza Hotel (Aka Venice Shen Zhen Hotel in Mandarin) — A four star hotel, located near Window of the World Train station, the Window of the World & Happy Valley (Amusement park). Nice facilities, seasoned staff and excellent service.
- Holiday Inn — Right in the middle of the center and only three stops from the border. Very new and clean hotel, excellent services for business and leisure travelers. Also includes free Wi-Fi internet access. The staff speak English reasonably well.
- Orient Fashion Hotel  Hua Fa Building, Zhenxin Road, Futian District. A 4-star business hotel with 140 guestrooms furnished with the essential amenities the traveling executive needs. The hotel also houses a multi-purpose conference room, that can accommodate up to 150 guests, and bar and restaurant.
- Oriental Ginza, Futian district. Four star hotel with excellent service, English speaking staff, and services for both business and leisure travelers. Also includes free internet access. You can get a huge room for less than US$60/night.
- Windsor Hotel (温莎酒店), 2062 Nanxin Rd, Anshan District. While a little far out of the way the staff is friendly (although English is limited) and the hotel is quiet and clean. Sizable doubles with air conditioning, private bathrooms and free internet (they provide the cable). Rooms start at ¥168 per night.
- LOFT International Youth Hostel - Double Bed Room for ¥168. Bigger suites available up to 3 bedroom, for under ¥400. Offers beds in its dormitories at between ¥50-60 /night, with a ¥100 deposit. Modern place with keycards, free wi-fi, and a nearby supermarket. The hostel can be a bit difficult to find as it is in an industrial estate quite far from the center. Take the metro to Qiaochengdong, head out through Exit A and continue straight (West) along Shennan road for 100 meters. You will see a massive red sign, and several smaller ones, marking a building ahead on your right with "KONKA". Turn right (North) just before that, onto En Ping street. Take a left at the T-section and continue along En Ping, the hostel will be on your right hand side.
- Intercontinental Shenzhen - A "first-class" hotel which is almost considered a 6-star rating. With a fine selection of foods including Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian, Seafood, and a wide variety of desserts can be found in it's buffet- roughly ¥300. If you are looking for a simple meal that's relatively cheap, you can go to their Chinese restaurant which has a perfect atmosphere for anyone who attends a meal there. Prices of the basic rooms are around ¥1,498.00- ¥1,678.00, and the more deluxe rooms range from ¥1,648.00- ¥5,678.00.
- Jin Jiang Shenzhen Airlines Hotel. A five-star hotel in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Offers elegant rooms with city views, banquet hall, conference rooms, health club with indoor pool, and room service.
- Master Hotel— A four-star hotel offering 130 guestrooms. Each room is fitted with a living room and kitchen, and boasts broadband internet connectivity and other upscale amenities. Facilities include a business center, restaurant, shopping arcade, and fitness center.
- Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza Shenzhen - 深圳东方银座美爵酒店— Located in the Futian business district, next to Zhuzlin metro station and only 20 minutes from the airport
- Novotel Shenzhen Bauhinia - 深圳博林诺富特酒店— A 4 star hotel 5 km from the central business district of Shenzhen and just 1.5 km from the Shenzhen High Tech Industrial Park.
- Novotel Shenzhen Watergate - 深圳万德诺富特酒店— An ideal destination for guests traveling on business to the port city of Shenzhen, home of the first Special Economic Zone in China.
Note: At Chinese New Year (usually February), prices usually double or substantially.
Crime levels in Shenzhen are significantly higher than in neighbouring Hong Kong. That being said, it is still no reason to panic as the crime levels are still comparable with any of the great Western cities like Sydney, London or New York. Use your usual common sense and avoid going to deserted places alone at night, and you will probably be fine.
Shenzhen has lots of pickpockets, especially in areas around bus and train stations. Also watch out for groups of children, who will tackle and hold you around your legs until you give them money to go away.
Leave your passports in your hotel's safe deposit. Divide your cash by stuffing some in your pants pocket too.
Be careful to exchange money only with recognized places or people as they may give you fake currency. To be safe, only do your currency exchange at the Bank of China.
Be sure to keep an eye on the bigger notes (¥100 especially) given during payment to the salespeople, they may exchange it under the table while you are not looking and claim that you have given them a fake note. It is recommended to always keep loose change (smaller denominations) while taking a taxi or shopping at the market.
Lo Wu District and particularly the old part (for a city which started in 1979) is more localized. You will not find many Westerners there but like anywhere else on earth if you are friendly and patient, people will be the same in return. Almost no one will speak any English in this district but don't let that put you off. There are great bargains to be had in the electronics district. They have a wide selection at great prices. You can catch a 97 bus from in front of the Golden Business Centre (Bentley) for 2 yuan but in the old village the bus stops are not marked. You will know when you are close because the streets will be packed with people, bicycles, taxis, buses and cars going both directions with limited concern for road rules.
This page was last edited at 11:06, on 22 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Stefan Ertmann, Lonely Writers and Nate Parrish, Wikitravel user(s) Pashley, MarinaK and Guiyang laoshi, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.