Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beijing To Hong Kong And Back In One Day? Yes You Can!

Reasons you could be making a run to Hong Kong vary. For me it was the expiring of the 30 days duration on my Visa. My F visa expires next year, but the duration of stay for each time I enter is 30 days only. Couldn't I just get a visa extension? I did.
But from my experience, you’re only allowed to do that once. You can read more on my experience extending my visa here. I went to Shenzhen to take the subway to Hong Kong and back, just for the Exit-Entry stamp.
Me tremendously bored at Beijing Airport
So at about 4:30 am I take a taxi from Chaoyangmen to the Capital Airport. I tried to find a bus running at this hour, but with zero luck. I reached the Airport at in about half an hour and took my flight from Beijing to Shenzhen.
Shenzhen Airport Top Left, Luo Hu Port Bottom Right & Left

At 10:30 am I was at the Shenzhen airport and already on my way to the famous Lo Wu Port.
The subway can be easily seen as soon as you exit the Shenzhen airport. Taking the Line 1(green line), straight from Airport East Station to Luohu Station, I got off and walked out right in front of the Luo hu Port in which I walked right into immigration in Hong Kong. 
Getting the HK visa only takes about 30 to 45 minutes at max. After which you find yourself at the MTR train station at Lo Wu. I tried to just get right back in Immigration back into Shenzhen but that isn’t possible. 
After getting a 100 RMB exchanged enough to buy me a train ticket I get off at the first station –Shang Shui. Few minutes later I catch a train back to Lo Wu and get through immigration, and what do you know, I'm back in Shenzhen by 2 pm. 
I took the flight back to Beijing at 5:30 pm and I was back in the capital by 8:30 pm. 

The most useful resource was the Mtr website. Hong Kong train operator MTR has updated its customer website so that users can not only search the route, time and fare of Hong Kong train service, but also the underground system of Shenzhen.

For your knowledge there are four land border crossings between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Lo Wu
Probably the busiest and most popular border crossing among the four. Best part is that there is a busy shopping mall at the Shenzhen side. The last train destined for Lowu border departs from Hong Hum, Kowloon at about 11pm. I read up that this crossing would be crowded during public holidays but having gone during the national holidays (5th October) I did not come across any unusual crowded-ness till I reached back in Beijing.

Lok Ma Chau/Futian 
This border crossing is a diversion from  the Lo Wu one. It is also connected at two sides, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, by railway.

Huanggang/Lok Ma Chau
The biggest advantage no doubt is its 24-hour operation. You can find buses and taxies going to/from the border 24 hours. And the biggest disadvantage lies in its traffic and immigration clearance arrangement as you have to get off the bus to clear the customs and immigration of Hong Kong, and then onto the bus to go to the Shenzhen check point, and off again- if you go in the direction of Shenzhen, and vice versa.

Shenzhen Bay 
This border crossing is used by vehicles only, as it has no rail connection at both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen side. This is its limitation. But since it is closer to the Shenzhen Airport, the bus to/from Shenzhen Airport usually uses this crossing. The immigration and customs clearance for both Hong Kong and Shenzhen lies under one roof, a stark contrast to the Huanggang/Lok Ma Chau border.
If you take a taxi from Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon of Hong Kong, for instance, it takes only about half an hour to reach the Shenzhen Bay border, and costs about HK$220. It probably takes you 10-15 minutes to clear all the customs and immigration. Right after leaving the customs and immigration hall, there is a taxi stand – you can take the taxi to anywhere in Shenzhen. ( was a great resource)

[All images are self clicked]

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