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Shopping trips – Part 3: Shenzhen, getting there and what to buy

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Calling all shoppers! We are taking you on a bargain hunt around Asia, finding some of the coolest places to shop. Today, we discover the best of Shenzhen.

If you are in Hong Kong, you can easily plan a day for some bargain shopping in Shenzhen. It’s the first city across the HK border in China so take your passport. The good news is that Singapore passports holders don’t need a visa!

After being declared the first Special Economic Zone by the Chinese government, Shenzhen transformed from sleepy market town to the fastest growing city in the world in the 1990s and 2000s.

Shenzhen, why go?

A friend of the Budget Direct Insurance team has done a serious amount of bargain shopping around the world. She describes Shenzhen as one of her best shopping experiences, mainly because of the huge variety of goods available and the buzz around the place. Try to avoid taking children or non-sympathetic shopping partners!

And don’t go there for high-end designer labels, they are cheaper in HK itself. Shenzhen is a place where fakes rule and bargains abound. Hunt for watches, handbags, clothes, shoes, audio-visual products, souvenirs, curtains, fabrics. When you have had enough, relax with a massage, pedicure and some great local food, all under one roof.

Where to shop

If you only have one day, head straight for the Luohu Commercial City, a five storey shopping centre with small outlets just across the bridge as you arrive, it adjoins Shenzhen Railway Station and Lu Wu Station.

It opens from around 10.30am, so to avoid the queues at the visa office (if you need a visa) leave HK around 8am.

Getting there – from Hong Kong

This depends on where you start from in HK; head for Sheung Shui MTR station (HK side) where you catch a train to Lo Wu (also known as LuoHu), which is at the border. If there are just two of you take the MTR to Sheung Shui, anymore more it may be just as cheap to take a taxi to Sheung Shui.

At Lo Wu follow the signs or crowds to customs. If you have a Singapore passport, you don’t need a visa to get into Shenzhen.

Other passports you will need to check the latest information as things change. US passport holders cannot get a visa at the border and will need to organise this in HK.

Payment for a visa depends on what passport you hold and must be paid in renminbi (Chinese currency).

Now check out our next blog on how to organise your day, best buys and where to go for some R ‘n R from all that bargain hunting!

Word of warning Be aware of what you can and cannot take through customs at Changi Airport.

Want more good reads? You'll love these too:
Shopping trips – Part 1: Outlet shopping
Shopping trips – Part 2: Hong Kong, what to buy and where to go
Shopping trips – Part 4: Shenzhen, your guide to shopping and relaxing
Shopping trips – Part 5: Tokyo, what to buy and where to go
Shopping trips – Part 6: Seoul, guide to best buys and Gangnam style!
Shopping trips – Part 7: Beijing, what to buy and where to go
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