Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

Going to Shenzhen? Essential Shenzhen is the must have eBook

If you are visiting, day touring or moving to Shenzhen for work or business then this is the must-have guide book, Essential Shenzhen.

At least I hope it is! Coz, I wrote it. I had a simple aim with this guide book, which was to give you the fast-track for getting the most out of your time in the city. I spent over four years in Shenzhen and have put all those discoveries into this book.

The eBook is available for download on Amazon Essential Shenzhen.

For example, here’s the index from the book read more

Your One Page Guide to Yum Cha (Dian Xin)

Your One Page Guide to Yum Cha (Dian Xin)

A relaxed morning with a table full of delicious sweet and savory treats, with trolleys passing at regular intervals offering up even more, sound like your kinda thing? Then for sure you’ll be a fan of Dian Xin, also referred to as Yum Cha.

It’s a specialty of Guangdong province and it’s not to be missed. It’s also wildly popular in Hong Kong of course, but here’s a hot tip, head to Guangdong where it’s only part the price and sometimes twice as good. I’ll suggest a few places later in the post. read more

Qingyuan – A peaceful outpost of Guangdong’s Mega-Cities

Qingyuan – A peaceful outpost of Guangdong’s Mega-Cities

Looking for a nearby escape from the mega-metropolises of Shenzhen or Guangdong? Then this place is probably just for you. Fresh air, nature and simple laid back life make this small city a gem.

I shouldn’t say small, actually it’s quite large in size, being a prefecture-level city that has numerous other cities under it’s wing. The actual Qingyuan city is quaint and comfortable in many ways, it abounds with nature and features a beautiful river, the Beijiang, running through it’s center. read more

Lets Eat…. Chang Fen (Rice Noodle Rolls)

Lets Eat…. Chang Fen (Rice Noodle Rolls)

This simple dish is a real favorite of mine and a staple of the Cantonese breakfast scene. Take an early morning wander along the streets anywhere from Hong Kong to way out past Guangzhou and you wont be able to miss it.

Rice noodle rolls, or zhu cháng fen (cantonese: chee cheong fun) which translates literally to pig intestine noodle, named so only due to its looks.

Every morning the steamer, specially for making rice rolls, is parked out front of the shop and the chef goes to work producing rice rolls fresh on demand as customers grab breakfast on their way to work. read more

The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai

The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai

Zhuhai is conveniently connected to Macau making it a popular destination wth travellers. It’s also a beautiful coastal city featuring attractions such as Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Lovers’ Road, Imperial Hot Spring Resort, The New Yuan Ming Palace, Ocean Spring Resort, Jintai Temple, Mexi Memorial Arch, many islands and much more.

The Top 15 Hotels in Zhuhai (ranked by value, location, foreign friendly, review rating) :

Zhongshan Yihe Grand Hotel
5-star hotel

Area: Zhongshan
Located in the vibrant Xingzhong Avenue within walking distance from entertainment and shopping options. It boasts 5-star facilities like an indoor pool, a spa and tennis courts. read more

The Top 15 Hotels in Shenzhen, China

The Top 15 Hotels in Shenzhen, China

Hotels are chosen based on suitability, overall value, star rating, location and visitor reviews.

Shenzhen was a city that I spent a lot of time in, living there for more than two years. It’s convenient, with it’s metro system, and offers a lot of western comforts. It is mainly visited for it’s significant electronics industry, proximity to Hong Kong, and job opportunities but it also offers tourist attractions and value shopping.

The Top 15 Hotels:

Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai
5-star hotel

Area: Nanshan, Shenzhen
Located in Shekou District, Shenzhen, offering outdoor pool and indoor pool. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all public areas. read more

The Top 15 Hotels in Guangzhou

The Top 15 Hotels in Guangzhou

These Guangzhou hotels are selected based on proximity to the city center, visitor ratings, overall value and suitability for foreign visitors.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong, and in all respects, a mega-city with population exceeding 9 million. Popular attractions include Yuexiu Park, Canton Tower, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Baiyun Shan, Bright Filial Piety Temple, Chimelong Tourist Resort and Baomo Garden to name just some.

It’s also a key destination for international trade featuring regular trade shows mostly held in the Panyu District, and many wholesale markets with the clothing markets being world famous, it’s also famous for shopping at Shanxiajiu Pedestrian Street and Beijing Lu shopping street, see here for a full list. read more

The Top 15 Hotels in Foshan

These Foshan Hotels are ranked and chosen based on their suitability for foreigners, their locations and by the reviews of previous guests.

Foshan is a famous industrial city in Guangdong, located south of Guangzhou. Foshan is the ancestral home for overseas Chinese including it’s most well known, Li Xiaolong (Bruce Lee).

U Service Apartment 4-star hotel

Area: Foshan

A 3-minute walk from the Ancestral Temple and Lingnan Tiandi. Features self-contained accommodations with free Wi-Fi. It also provides car rentals and meeting facilities. read more

The Top 15 Hotels in Dongguan

The Top 15 Hotels in Dongguan

These Dongguan hotels are chosen and rated based on their suitability for foreigners, proximity and guest reviews.

The city is located between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and is renowned as an industrial region being home to many factories and there are several trade shows throughout the year. For travelers, key points of interest are Humen Bridge, Naval Battle Museum & Opium War Museum, New South China Mall, Keyuan Garden and Yinxian Resort.

Leisure Hotel 4-star hotel

Area: Dongguan

Located 11 miles from Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Centre in Dongguan. It features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. read more

Inside: A China Hoverboard Factory

Inside: A China Hoverboard Factory

Some months back, while in Shenzhen, I had the opportunity to visit an Electric Balance Scooter factory, or if you like, Hoverboard factory.

A lot of the LED factories, e-cigarette factories in Shenzhen are located in the sub-districts, such as Shajing which is where we headed. Now, when the word factory is mention you may have conjure up images of large sheds or warehouse type buildings, yes there is those, but actually many manufacturers start out in industrial bases which are simply row after row of multi-level concrete slab buildings, nothing glitzy nor glamorous. read more

A snapshot of China’s Staggering Growth in Satellite Images

A snapshot of China’s Staggering Growth in Satellite Images

Some images released by NASA give a visual insight into the staggering growth of one of China’s fastest growing regions, the Perl River Delta, Guangdong.

Once upon a time this fertile farmland with fishing villages on the coast and rice fields inland, has in just 17 years, grown from 10 million people to 42 million people.

From 1988

2014

Comparing the light green areas of farmland to the now light grey colored urban areas, it’s quite staggering with the urban area now covering 7,000 square kilometers. In comparison the greater metropolis of Melbourne Australia is 9,990 square kilometers and holds 4.4 million people. read more

A quick trip to the Magical SanMen Dao

A quick trip to the Magical SanMen Dao

This is a spectacular place, beautiful, peaceful and simple. I was truly fortunate to have an old friend in town who offered me a chance to tag a long with a family trip to this beautiful spot. this trip was to Sanmen Dao (Sanmen Island) which is off the coast of Shenzhen, but I think technically its part of Huizhou.

Actually I’d thought I’d lost all the photos from this trip, but I have managed to find four!

After driving to Dapeng Peninsula from Baoan and then to Dongchong Beach where after arriving late at night we hired some tents and set up camp on the beach for the night. Whats more peaceful than going to sleep listening to the waves roll in? read more

Two Days in Heyuan

Two Days in Heyuan

Heyuan is a city famous for it’s beautiful lake and the culture of the Hakka people, one of China’s larger minority groups. I had a chance to ride shotgun on a family trip from Qingyuan to Heyuan, so I jumped on board.

The major attraction is Wanlv Lake, which almost seems like an ocean. It features cruise boats which hop between it’s islands featuring various attractions. It’s also the reservoir that feeds Hong Kong with it’s water supply.

The dishes in Heyuan are Hakka style dishes the most famous being Braised Chicken in Gravy, Dongjiang Beancurd in Stuffed with Minced Pork, Strewed Pork, Chicken in Aspic, Mandarin Fish braised in Broth, Preserved Duck, Streamed Grass Carp, Stuffed Tri-treasure, River Prawn in Wine Sauce, and Potato Filament Pot. read more

Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple

Shaoguan and Nanhua Temple

Shaoguan is a quick and easy getaway from Shenzhen or Guangzhou being linked by the High Speed Rail. It takes about 2 hours from Shenzhen and 1 hour or so from Guangzhou.

On this trip I came from Qingyuan, I missed the fast train having ended up at the wrong train station but I managed to exchange my ticket and hitched a ride on the much slower T8354 train. This one takes about two hours from Qingyuan to Shaoguan, and it’s a bit of a squashy ride on the hard seats, but it’s full of life, once the train starts rolling the attendants chuck on a microphone and walk up and down the isle spooking various wares.. Don’t expect any peace on this ride. read more

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

A morning at Fei Lai Temple of Qingyuan

Reading the net and according to locals, during the week boat hire to Feilai Temple is quite expensive, so I was pleased to find that you can walk there. There’s actually lots of tour boats going up and down the river, but most are private chartered for tour groups and they don’t stop at the temple, although apparently there are other boats on the weekend.

The walk to the temple takes a track through the riverside village houses and on to a small track that follows the Biejiang river. There’s great views along the way and its about 30-40 minutes, quicker if you run, but don’t do that. read more

???? Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

???? Qingyuan Taihe Ancient Cave

Here’s an amazing spot in Qingyuan that you should definitely take the time to visit. Featuring amazing natural scenery, a temple and pure mountain water rock pools for swimming.

I will never forget swimming in amazing rock pools after the walk to the temple at the top of the mountain. The temple is not big, but worth the healthy walk up the steps to the top enjoying the amazing views along they way.

At the base of the mountain there is a public swimming pool, walk to the right and straight past that and up the mountain trek. It’s stairs all the way and winds it’s way up alongside the amazing valley stream and inviting rock pools. The water is crystal clear and you’ll see many locals collecting water as they believe it is quite pure and has health giving properties. read more

Qingyuan – A perfect escape from Shenzhen (or Guangzhou!)

Qingyuan – A perfect escape from Shenzhen (or Guangzhou!)

If you are looking for a getaway from the hustle of Shenzhen or Guangzhou, like I was, you might want to check out Qingyuan. It’s a city packed with hot springs, eco theme parks and natural attractions. Fast trains from Shenzhen or Guangzhou make it a quick journey, from Shenzhen North Station it takes around 1 hour and from Guangzhou North about 15 minutes and Guangzhou South about 30 minutes. There are trains from GZ that go to Yingde Station which is useful if you are going to the Baojing Palace (a special cave). read more

A day in Zhongshan

A day in Zhongshan

Guangdong Provinces’s smaller cities can be quite fascinating and uniquely diverse, Zhongshan makes a perfect example of this, here’s a small city set inland from the coast and some distance from the big powerhouse cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen yet it’s amazingly culturally diverse and seemingly mature city city. It’s by no means an ugly city but it certainly hasn’t got a big ticket nature drawcard, that’s brought people here from all over the world, but it has. read more

A day in Foshan City

A day in Foshan City

Foshan City of Foshan District, Guangdong Province, is located about 2 hours by bus from Shenzhen, and 30 minutes from Guangzhou. You can also take the metro from Guangzhou to Foshan. The area is known for being large base to the ceramics and furniture industry, but it’s also a city packed with culture, character plus scenic and historic sites.

Foshan consists of five administrative districts being Chancheng, Nanhai, Shunde, Gaoming and Sanshui Districts. So, it’s spread out over a pretty big area, it’s important to note, as when you ask for a bus from another city to Foshan, you’ll need to know where in Foshan exactly, as there’s several inter-city stations. Like me, more than likely it’s the city center your’e headed to first of all. read more

Sanshui District of Foshan

Sanshui District of Foshan

Whats in Sanshui? A giant sleeping Buddha that’s what! The small city is about an hour by train or bus from Guangzhou and the main attraction is the Forest Park which features scenic areas, a go kart track, Confucius Temple and Crocodile Park. For accommodation I stayed at the Sanshui Garden Hotel, which is OK, some English speaking staff can be found there.

The Giant Buddha and The Confucius Temple are both located within the Forest Park. I went during the week and saw no other way than to walk from the entrance to the Buddha which took 15 minutes or so, many on weekends when there’s lots of people they have small carts running… The walk isn’t too bad though. The temple is close to the entrance and go kart track, and it looks like they are building a temple further inside the park. read more

OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

Some time ago I remember seeing an ad on the English news channel here in China for the OYC Hotel and thought I’d love to check that out one day. The attention getting feature in the ad was the huge cave and hot spring located underneath the hotel, now we are in Zhaoqing for a couple of days, how could I miss checking it out.

The OYC hotel is a five star hotel, although some people get confused by translations which say it’s a seven star hotel, but really it’s a hotel beside Seven Star Lake and Seven Star Crags. Perhaps the impressive location beside the scenic area is worthy of adding another two stars, considering you can enjoy the amazing views straight from your room or wander out the gate and walk or hire a bike and ride around the lake. read more

Zhaoqing and Dinghu Mountain

Zhaoqing and Dinghu Mountain

Located in Guangdong province, Zhaoqing, a small sceneic city featuring a wetland park and mountain nature reserve, makes fora great escape from the hectic and sprawling cities of Guangzhuo and Shenzhen. Craving for fresh air, and a reminder of nature, on the bus we went.

Actually, we took the train to Guangzhou where we stayed the night, explored the local cafe scene, and the next day caught the bus from Tianhe Bus Station and headed to Zhaoqing. First stop was Mount Dinghu.

Dinghu is located 20 minutes or so from Zhaoqing and the bus goes through the city on route to Zhaoqing, so off we hop. The bus stops at a public bus stop where we caught a local bus to the mountain nature reseve. After walking a little ways, grab a ticket at the gate we’re then oonboard another bus which heads up the mountain to the ‘Nine Dragon Tripod’ aka giant three legged bronze bowl that weighs 16 tonnes and stands about 6 meters high and 5 meters wide. read more

A day in Zhuhai

A day in Zhuhai

Located on the coast of Southern China, Zhuhai offers visitors a laid back environment, sightseeing and a relaxing coastal escape. Zhuhai is quite popular with domestic holidaymakers, offering a nearby escape for residents of Southern regions, and also offering great value for those living in Macao, and even Hong Kong, who want to stretch there dollar further.

Outside of public holiday periods and weekends, Zhuhai offers a lot more value when it comes to accommodation, services and eating out in comparison to that found in Hong Kong or Macao, albeit the three destinations offering vastly different experiences. read more

From Shenzhen to Hefei to Fuyang to Maanshan

From Shenzhen to Hefei to Fuyang to Maanshan

The Spring Festival travel peak was nearing an end and there was probably some chance of getting a train ticket or flight once again. For this trip it’s off to meet future relatives.

So how to get from Shenzhen to Fuyang? Theres the train, bus or plane. It’s almost 24hrs travel on a train so I’m guessing a bus is similar. Fuyang has an airport and so does the nearby Hefei, capital of Anhui Province. The train would be a great way to see some more countryside but train tickets are too hard to get. read more

Shenzhen: Dongmen Pedestrian Street – A Mall of Shopping Malls

Shenzhen: Dongmen Pedestrian Street – A Mall of Shopping Malls

Here is another one of those traditional Chinese shopping districts that I’ve come to admire, they span for block after block, most of them have been operating for centuries, they’re vibrant, teaming with life, and they’re packed with keen sellers waiting to do deals. These traditional market places have soul, and character that the modern shopping complexes just don’t have. And the Dongmen market area of Shenzhen is no different.

On my first visit I was looking for ‘Dongmen Pedestrian Street’, expecting a casual automobile-less street with some shops, but what I found was more like a ‘shopping suburb’ spanning several blocks including countless brand name shops, several multi level malls, several multi level markets, food streets, public spaces, ad-hoc stalls set up in alley ways and in every nook and cranny possible. Such is the expanse of this shopping district it needs three KFC’s! read more

Shenzhen gets a new luxury brand shopping center: KK Mall

Shenzhen gets a new luxury brand shopping center: KK Mall

The city of Shenzhen is already well known for it’s shopping options and it’s big modern malls but there’s now a new one on that list, the KK Mall.

KK Mall is part of a large development which includes residential apartments and a financial offices tower which when completed will become Shenzhens tallest building standing at a whopping 441.8 meters. The tower will also feature a five star hotel (of the St Regis chain). The shopping mall section opened to the public on the 26-11, so I went along for a look. read more

The Shenzhen China Hi Tech Fair – More than just Robotic Dolphins

The Shenzhen China Hi Tech Fair – More than just Robotic Dolphins

The city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong is starting to become very well known for it’s hi-tech industry base which has been a big part of the city’s success so appropriately it’s also home to the China Hi-Tech Fair which is claimed to be the number 1 tech show in China. So, how could I not go for a look!

The show has been held every year since 1999 and attracts both visitors and exhibitors from both locally and overseas. The event is held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center which provides a whopping 105,000 Sqm of floor space for exhibitors filling the 9 separate halls, along with conference and function facilities for the many forums and meetings that are held daily during the event. read more

Dafen Village Shenzhen

Dafen Village Shenzhen

Need an oil painting? Heres the perfect place to find one amongst what is an ‘Oil Painting Village’, artists live and work pumping out all sorts of original pieces and the odd replica. How many artists? No one seems exactly sure but many say there could be a staggering 10,000 artists and nearly 1000 galleries operating within this very special enclave.

The figures are sketchy but claims are made that this village is responsible for something like 60-70% of the worlds oil painting production. read more

Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

If your looking for accommodation in Guangzhou and you’re after somewhere peaceful to stay, I think it would be pretty hard to beat Shamian Island. It’s relaxed, peaceful but still only a short taxi fare to the major shopping streets and main tourist attractions of the city.

I think there are four hotels on Shamian Island, including the White Swan Hotel, Guangdong Shamian Hotel, Customs Hotel and the Guangdong Victory Hotel. We chose the Victory Hotel simply due to the deal they had going at the time. read more