Getting to Shenzhen
As a key city in the vibrant economic Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen is wellconnected by all modes of transport – it’s just a case of choosing which is best for your journey. Coming from Hong Kong, the train is certainly the quickest and easiest way to get here, while boat is the best way to arrive from Macau. Moving on into the rest of China there are good bus and rail links to Guangzhou and Guilin. For destinations farther afield, flying is the way to go.
If you’re arriving from Hong Kong or overseas you will have to clear immigration and customs, which can take anything from just a few minutes to an hour . The Luo Hu border crossing is open from to every day.
You’ll find substantially lower airfares from Shenzhen than over the border in Hong Kong and many travelers come to Shenzhen purely for this reason – the airport sees nearly 10 million passengers per year and has managed to attract a number of international carriers, which predominantly serve Asian destinations.
You can buy airline tickets from hotel travel desks, the airlines, the CAAC or at the airport itself. Bao’an International Airport (www.szairport.com ) is located 12 miles west of the city center and can be reached by regular buses: #K568 runs from the square west of the train station or bus #330 departs from the CAAC on Shennan Zhong Lu.
Flight destinations, frequencies & durations: Beijing (20 daily, 3 hrs); Chongqing (10 daily, 1 hr 40 mins); Guilin (7 daily, 55 mins); Hangzhou (11 daily, 1 hr 45 mins); Shanghai (23 daily, 2 hrs 25 mins); Xi’an (6 daily, 2 hrs); Yichang (1 daily, 1 hr 30 mins).
If you’re feeling flush, Heli-express (www.heliexpress.com) operates helicopter services between Shenzhen’s Bao’an Airport and Macau’s Ferry Terminal. There are five flights daily that take between 15 and 25 minutes and cost around ¥1800.
Chances are you’ll arrive in Shenzhen by train from either Guangzhou or Hong Kong, both of which have good rail connections. The KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway) from Hong Kong takes less than 40 minutes, after which you’ll have to clear immigration and the journey from Guangzhou is only a little longer.
Shenzhen’s efficient new train station is just over the Luo Hu border from Hong Kong and has well-signed designated areas for buying Guangzhou tickets, another for Hong Kong tickets and then a general ticket office for long-distance destinations. There are even automated machines for tickets to Guangzhou, but they weren’t working at the time of writing. The station is on the subway line and is next to both the local bus station and the intercity terminal.
Destinations, frequencies & durations: Beijing (2 daily, 23 hrs 30 min-29 hrs 30 mins); Guangzhou (71 daily, 1 hr 10 min-1 hr 40 mins); Guilin (1 daily, 16 hrs 30 mins); Hangzhou (1 daily, 22 hrs); Hong Kong (every 3 minutes, 40 mins); Shanghai (1 daily, 25 hrs).
Shenzhen is connected to destinations around the country by bus and for once it’s actually preferable to use the bus over the train for a long-distance journey – modern and comfortable overnight buses to Guilin and Yangshuo take around 12 hours and leave at .
The main Luo Hu bus station is just east of the train station, but Guilin and Yangshuo buses leave from the Qiaoshe station across the overpass to the west. There are also luxury buses (¥180) to Hong Kong Airport from some of the upscale hotels, including the Century Plaza, Guangdong, Landmark and the Shangri-La.
Destinations, frequencies & durations : Guangzhou (frequent, 3 hrs); Guilin (several daily, 12 hrs); Hong Kong (frequent, 1 hr); Yangshuo (1 daily, 12 hrs).