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12 hours in Shenzhen

As Carson pointed out, Hong Kong is starting to feel like home. We just got back from a 12 hour trip to Shenzhen, the closest city of mainland China to Hong Kong.

Our day started very early in the morning. After picking up Candance from Kowloon Tong and exploiting the MTR fee bug at Sheung Shui, the seven of us reached Lok Ma Chau/Futian Port at 12. While getting through Customs, Vinny observed that the barbed fences along the Hong Kong strait on the HK side is aimed outwards to keep people out, while the fences on the China side is facing inwards to keep people in. Hmm…

Shenzhen’s MTR system rivals HK’s (probably because they are both operated by the same company). We had no problem getting to Children’s Palace, where the legendary Shenzhen Book City is located. Calling the venue a city understates its size. It covers several acres of land and dedicates itself in selling books. Despite the wide selection, I couldn’t find my textbooks, so I bought a Chinese reprint of “Ruby Best Practices” for less than 25% the cost. As we shopped for more books, Nima, probably the only white guy in a five mile radius, claimed to be getting so much pointing and staring. Then, something magically awful happened. A group of giggling 13-year-old girls appeared out of nowhere, hiding around the corner stealing looks of Nima. They followed us out of the mall, all the way to the MTR station. When we were purchasing tickets, the girls tried to get Carson’s non-existent QQ number (AIM equivalent) to further stalk Nima, but Carson rejected them. Party-pooper.

Creepy Chinese Tween

Creepy Chinese Tween

What’s up with Chinese tweens these days? Raging hormones?

After a short stop at the large electronics mall at Shenzhen, we went to the famous Shangri-la Hotel at Luo Hu district.

Shenzhen Shangri-la Hotel Lobby

Shenzhen Shangri-la Hotel Lobby

The receptionist showed extreme interest in our group, maybe because Nima looked like he was the prince of Iran, and ordered us a van to ferry us over to Queen Spa & Dining. I’ve never felt so well-pampered, ever. The attendants greeted us in like we each had a few gold bars in our pockets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures while inside for obvious reasons, so just take my works for how grand it was. Multiple heated and unheated pools filled the main parts of the first floor, accompanied by several sauna rooms, shower rooms, and water massage rooms along the edges. The third floor served free coffee, fruits, and ice-cream. We sat around the couches until Stephan, Chanrith, and Nima purchased full-body massages. The nice thing about it all was that it only cost $16 USD, which covered overnight stay; so if we wanted to, we could have stayed till 7pm the next day!

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