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Shopping trips – Part 4: Shenzhen, your guide to shopping and relaxing
If you’re on vacation in Hong Kong and bargain shopping is your thing, pop across the border to the shopping emporium of Shenzhen.
In our previous post, we advised on getting to Shenzhen and why you should go. In this post, the shopping experts at Budget Direct Insurance offer top advice on what to buy, how to buy it, and where to relax after your spree!
What to buy
Anything and everything is available, from running shoes, handbags, jewellery, audio-visual equipment, even ski wear. But some of the very best buys include:
- Tailored clothes – head for the fifth floor of the Luohu Commercial City when you arrive and bring clothes you want to be copied. The whole floor is dedicated to reams of fabrics and tailoring shops. Have a look round and see who is busy, or ask other shoppers. Lots of Hong Kongers and expats shop here so tap into their local knowledge. Give your tailor a couple of days to make up your piece; it will be less rushed, and they will arrange for delivery to your hotel in HK.
- Prescription glasses – these are very cheap and good quality. There are many opticians to choose from. They will make your glasses up within hours - head here first and get your order in.
- Tea – stock up on your favourites. Teapots make great gifts and souvenirs.
- Bags and Watches – make sure to inspect for quality before you buy.
Extra Tip Take an ‘Aunty’ trolley. You will get tired and probably buy more than you want to carry.
How to bargain
Some traders can be quite aggressive and pester you (Missy, Missy will be a phase you’ll become familiar with!). Be polite and smile, don’t make eye contact and walk on if you are not interested.
Bargain hard with a smile and pay only what you think is a fair price. On some items expect to bargain down more than 60%. If you go too low, traders just won’t sell, but always smile and laugh while you are bargaining, this will get you a better deal.
Take plenty of cash and be careful with it. You can pay by card (commission may be charged) but cash is best; use HK dollars or go to an ATM near the shopping centre and take out renminbi (Chinese currency).
Our favourite bit
If the trader doesn’t have your size or colour, they will literally go up into the roof of their shop or outlet, disappear for a bit and re-emerge with the desired item. You have to admire that commercial spirit!
Head for Laurel Restaurant on the fifth or top floor. Delicious food - Peking duck comes highly recommended and is very reasonable. Go for an early lunch to avoid long queues later.
Word of warning Be aware of what you can and cannot take through customs at Changi Airport.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good Travel cover.
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