Thoughts on Shenzhen

April 12, 2018

This note is part of my travel series, Giant Leaps: a collection of my experiences from across the globe. You can view all of my trips on here.

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Things I Did: 

  • My friend and I spent a night in Shenzhen on our way to see more of Central China. The subway ride from Hong Kong to Shenzhen is not bad at all…and the border crossing takes just a few minutes. It is super easy (as long as you have a proper Chinese Visa). The cultural differences, though, between Hong Kong and Shenzhen (China) become apparent immediately as you enter the new region. I say this a naive traveler, who had only spent a few weeks in China prior to entering Shenzhen, but it really did feel overwhelming (not in a bad way, just in a wow I am completely lost kind of way). Anyways, we entered Shenzhen with no real agenda and just wanted to see the city. It was a really short trip (only one night) but definitely, in my opinion, worth the time. 
  • We toured the ever-so-famous electronic market that is jam-packed with people bargaining for various parts and pieces. It really is a busy sight, with thousands and thousands of people sliding up and down escalators, walking through aisles of hardware parts, and not really understanding what is going on.
  • We walked around the massive streets that very much reminded me of my “downtime” in Beijing. Lots of really tall buildings and interesting architecture. 
  • We ate really good spicy noodles! 


  • This very short visit to Shenzhen was a small glimpse into the power of the Chinese economy. There is really just so much activity sprouting up across this region, particularly in the manufacturing sector. 
  • Overall, I was not in love with Shenzhen. Granted I was not there for very long, it is definitely less “explorer-friendly” than other places I have visited in China such as Xi’an or Shanghai. 
  • After coming to Shenzhen, I got really interested in Chinese construction and architecture. I began to spend a lot more time trying to understand cities…learned a lot about Shenzhen’s success in recent years and shared a lot of that over Twitter:

Also published on Medium.