We flew into China on the evening of December 1st. We had no idea what to expect from this booming metropolis. We chose to fly there due to the cheap air fare and the need to book an inbound flight for our visa. Besides Shenzhen is short hop to Hong Kong where we planned to travel to the next day.
After descending into a thick smog we where thrown into a crazy and way too expensive taxi ride from the Airport to Shenzhen. The traffic was still dense even after midnight and the skyscrapers kept on getting higher with misty neon signs flying past. The area of our hotel looked very grand with major roads and skyscrapers all around yet it felt a bit seedy. We booked the hotel purely on guess work as no reliable information was available in English. The Garden Inn turned out to be a pretty good standard budget hotel. It even had a floor with an internet café dedicated to gamers!
The next morning after checking out and leaving our bags in the hotel we went for a wander around the area (Lohu?) before setting of to Hong Kong. The streets seemed a lot friendlier by day with major shopping malls and market areas all around us. We saw no westerners anywhere but the city did have a strangely American/European feel. Not what were expecting at all.
Christmas decorations were being put up and the people were all very smartly dressed in suits. Even though there seemed to be no other foreigners we could spot all the signs and even the menus had both Chinese characters and English translations. After a quick breakfast of coffee and croissants in a department store we went on to get our bags and on to get the bus to the train station to our next destination in Hong Kong.