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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After a short break I'm back in China. This time to travel from Shenzhen to Beijing and then on to Shanghai to try out the new Fuxing train and attempt the famous coin balancing test at 350km/h (I'll post a video of how it went later). I combined this year's China trip with Japan which I'll post after I'll be done with this thread.

As usual I decided to drop in Hong Kong and Macau for a couple of days. It seems to make a better sense to travel to China via Hong Kong as it helps to save some money on Chinese visas (which are somewhat absurdly expensive). And it's always good to be back in HK to breathe some air of one of the world's greatest cities anyway

Preview video

Departing Frankfurt airport for a long 11 hour flight to Hong Kong


Flight path


Hong Kong greets me with adverts of Belt and Road initiative. We're not in the 'real' China quite yet but adverts like this suggest that we're certainly close


Some scenic urban views from a bus from HK airport




Pedestrian crossing sensos in Hong Kong. I was surprised to see that they're using exact same sensors as in my hometown Vilnius
 

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planquadrat
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10,368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Hong Kong


West Kowloon Terminus, the new glitzy high-speed railway station in Hong Kong. Delayed by 3+ years seems to be nearing completion. The entire West Kowloon area will soon be transformed. It's getting a little tiring to have this entire part of Kowloon virtually shot off due to ongoing constructions






Hong Kong street scenes




The famous Chungking Mansions. This place was the shooting stage of Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express


 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hong Kong

Canton Road


So much Hong Kong for now. View from the ferry terminal. West Kowloon Terminus seen from the ferry terminal


TurboJet Ferry to Macau. Takes about 1 hour to get to the place
 

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planquadrat
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10,368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Macau

Macau. While being one of the world's most prosperous locations where money is my no means an issue, building facades aren't always so pretty. Probably because Macau simply doesn't have anything to prove to anyone. They just don't give a f*ck. Which is yet another reason to love it


Pedestrian accessibility in Macau isn't among the greatest either. Does anyone care though? Probably not


Narrow alleys and old buildings




Some impressive old European architecture
[url=https://flic.kr/p/L5nK69]


Street names and many other names are written in Portuguese. Although nobody actually speaks or understands Portuguese there


Flashy and glitzy hotel/casino buildings. Macau is not for those on the budget and certainly not a cheap place. Which is yet another reason to enjoy it perhaps
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planquadrat
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10,368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Arriving to Shenzhen

I will certainly post more. Only thing is that it's a little time consuming so I'll have to keep looking for gaps in my schedule :)

A 2 minute video from the TurboJet ferry between Hong Kong and Macau. The bridge seen in the video is the new bridge between Hong Kong and Macau/Zhuhai

Ferry from Macau to Shenzhen. Takes about the same amount of time as Hong Kong-Macau, between 60 and 70 minutes



Residential highrises in Shenzhen seen from the ferry ship approaching Shekou Port


Shenzhen greets me with a brand new Shekou Ferry terminal which looks modern and spacious and indeed very much like an airport




Interior of the new terminal
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Arriving to Shenzhen

Plaza at the main entrance area of the terminal. The surrounding territory is still a huge construction site so there isn't much to do there. I can only imagine what this place is going to look like in a few years time. Google Maps satellite image gives a good idea what's happening there right now: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@22.4731708,113.9088888,956m/data=!3m1!1e3


View from the ferry terminal. Construction sites nearby and highrises in a distance. At the moment the area is inaccessible for pedestrians and is basically a huge construction site. Only that there are far far larger construction sites in this city which is why this one isn't that much significant and I hadn't even heard about it before landing there


You might spot the 392m tall China Resources Headquarters tower in a distance about 6km away
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shekou, Shenzhen

Continued from Shenzhen.

A quick walk in the area where I was staying in Shekou. Not far from the ferry terminal and Sea World. In fact it was the first time I was staying in this part of Shenzhen. Shekou has been historically popular with foreigners living in Shenzhen and has its own character. Not sure if this is a better place to live than some other locations but it does have advantage of being near the ferry terminal and now the newly rising business areas of Houhai and upcoming Qianhai which will inevitably drag the center of gravity to this part of Shenzhen

Share bicycles are all over the place, pretty much literally
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Taizi Road, my local street during the stay
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Quiet backstreet of Taizi Road
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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Shekou, Shenzhen

A small housing/hotel compound located away from the main streets where I happened to stay. It feels almost weird to have such village-like environment in a busy megacity. You can actually see a fragment of the China Merchants Tower at the top right of the photo


Traffic during the evening rush hour




 

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planquadrat
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10,368 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Shekou, Shenzhen

More evening traffic. Shenzhen has state of the art street infrastructure and transport in general. However despite good street markings and signage the drivers somehow manage to create a complete chaos in almost any situation. It's really hard for me to understand why drivers in China drive the way they do. Could it be that the driving tests are too lax? Or road rules are not enforced properly by the police? Shenzhen is the most advanced and modern city in China but driving culture is anything but :nuts:

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Some unusual and fancy looking cars
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A couple of videos


And the interesting bit. Shenzhen is the first big city in the world to go fully electric with its buses. All 17 thousand of them (for comparison London has a total of around 8 thousand buses). It's surely not least because of government subsidies and political push but the reality is that streets are now much quieter and air is cleaner. And it's not just buses, around half of all taxis are electric too and the number of EVs on the street seems to be higher than anywhere else I've seen. All in all Shenzhen is a good place to see what the EV future looks like. It's years, if not decades, ahead of the rest of us (perhaps with an exception of Norway?) and now sets an example for the rest of China how to go green and clean in the shortest possible amount of time

Next: my trip to Futian CBD to try the best burger in Shenzhen.
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Shenzhen Metro Line 2

A couple of photos and a video of Shenzhen Metro Line 2 which goes from Shekou to Futian and Luohu. It takes quite a while to get from Shekou Port to Futian (around 40 minutes) which was my destination that day

It's unusual to see near empty metro cars in a first tier city


Graphic displays showing route and station information


Futian Station. It's impossible to show this in photos but it's a huge underground complex which includes a high-speed railway station. One of the world's largest underground railway stations in fact. Trains to Hong Kong will go from there once West Kowloon station opens in HK some time later this or next year


One of the exists of Futian Station


Doors opening and ride inside the train
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Futian CBD

After resurfacing from the metro to the street level I went to look for a place called Coco Park shopping center. It was a few minutes walk from the station. I observed some of the more interesting views along the way

Shenzhen Stock Exchange tower


The hanging part. A truly interesting and eye-cathing building


Looks a little scary from some angles. A tower of hell perhaps?
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Futian

Reason for me going to this shopping center was not to shop but to have a burger. There's a restaurant called Baia Burger Concept and apparently they do the best burgers in town as per various travel guides and restaurant review websites. And I have to admit the burger was really really good (regular cheeseburger with Wagyu beef). Definitely a match to the best burgers I've tried elsewhere


Some unfamiliar but very nice IPA beer from New Zealand to wash down the burger


Restaurant interior is mimicking interiors of similar places in Europe and USA


Ping An Tower is right nearby so I could enjoy the beautiful view while also enjoying the burger


Night is when Shenzhen starts to really show its colors


Something new is getting built nearby


And for a bonus a video of traffic in Futian including electric buses and some mad junction traffic in the second half
 
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