Shenzen in 8 Hours

Shenzen, China.

If you asked me what was the unforgettable moment from our last trip to HK? Yep, the answer is that.

What’s interesting is me and mom were never been in there. I’ve no idea how to get there, taking care of visa and etc. All i know is i’m following the crowd and reading the sign. It was hillarious how our first step to Republic of China. It really not that much fancy compared to HK.

Starting with the aura. You would feel the hurry, anxiety, impatient and competitive once you’re there. I feel like in the middle of my family in Jakarta! Hahaha.. Loud voices, aggresive attitude and slicky. I bought something in 711 and got a change of ugly nearly ripped off paper money. I wanted a new or better one, they insist that it’s still valid. But i insist them back and only got not so much different paper money quality.

Another difference would be the living cost. The transportation is a lot cheaper compared to HK. The closest distance in HK would cost you around 4,5HKD which around IDR 8,000. While in China only 3RMB or around IDR6,000. And the food also cheaper, around 10RMB (IDR 20,000) for street food while in HK, well, i forgot. Haha..

Okay, enough with the comparing mentality. It all started with watching at Youtube about some girl who travels to Shenzen all by herself. And somehow it motivated me to do the same. I’ve read blogs after blogs night before to ensure we didn’t get lost. Not that difficult actually to explore Shenzen manually. All you need to do is read some post andleave the rest to the crowd. Just believe that you’re not alone, that everybody was doing the same like you. And it’s true! Along the way there, I found people who willingly to answer my questions and explain me the process.

One time i was filling some information for leaving the HK immigration then lady next to me was helping me without being asked. She seems know my issue and help me! Well, practically we are doing the same. And after that, let your gut leads you. In this case, everything you read and watch will help a lot once you saw what you’re been watching the whole time. It made you realize that you’re going to the right direction. Hey, yeah, i’ve seen this bridge, yeah, come on, keep going, we’re doing it right.”

And the rest is just the history. It clearly has made my day once i saw i had a new stamp of People’s Republic of China in my passport. Booyeah!

Oh, one more thing. Seeing the border crossing (using a bridge) somehow makes me imagine, how it feels to migrate from HK to China and vice versa. From what i’ve seen, it turns out more HK people “cruising around” to China than vice versa. At night, the line to China is closed while to HK still open because people are still going back to their home. Maybe because things are cheaper in China and HK people has more buying power than China. Again, this is my assumption based on 8 hours exploring time in Shenzen.

Well, let say Shenzen is the closest i’ve ever get to my root country, China.

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Daily Cost in Singapore – Bangkok – Hong Kong

Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok  and Hong Kong are the only countries i’ve visit so far. And by far, Hong Kong is the most expensive one.

Around 7-9 months i’ve been saving for that trip. I calculate the budget and got the numbers that i should save within 9 months period. And now i like 3-4 months to save for that upcoming trip. Imagine how tight my budget gonna be. Haha.. Anyway, i want to break down a bit how much exactly cost living in each country.

Singapore

Food:

  • Meal: 6$ (around IDR 60k) per meal, in the foodcourt or kopitiam. Sorry, i rarely go to restaurant in Singapore. Dare i say never? My budget just don’t like them.
  • Drink: 1,5$ (around IDR 15k) for mineral water. Tips: buy your water in convinience store, you can get the same price for 2 or even 3 bottle!)
  • Ice Kacang Durian: 4$.
  • Subway: 8$

Transport.

  • MRT: 2$ per trip for medium to long distance. Short distance could get as cheap as 90 cents.
  • Bus: 1,4$ for medium to long distance. Short distance could get as low as 90 cents.
  • Taxi: 15$ for 20km journey. If i’m not mistaken.

Stay.

  • Hotel: 120$/ double/ day for budget hotel.
  • Hostel: 30$/ bed/ day. I always use this option.

Overall, bring 50$ per day to spend your day from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh, compliment your day with some uncle ice cream. But no restaurant.

Bangkok

Food:

  • Meal: 70B (around IDR 28k) per meal, in the foodcourt. Strangely, i found the price for street food is pretty similar with the foodcourt. If so, better take the cleaner one, yes? Restaurant could cost you around 400B for two pax for middle range restaurant.
  • Drink: Similar price for juice or colored drink. Actually i kind of forgot mineral water price. Haha.. Been so long.
  • Mango sticky rice: 70B.
  • Seafood salad: 45B

Transport.

  • MRT: 45B per trip for medium to long distance. Short distance could get as cheap as 15B.
  • Bus: 10B. So, so, so cheap till i forget. I got to airport using regular bus for only 30B.
  • Taxi: 150B for short to medium range journey. Tips: Do not take taxi unless you know exactly the street and know which way to take as the driver often clueless. Ask for meter or if they refuse, bargain with them. But again, use taxi as your last resort.
  • Tuk-tuk: 30B for short to medium range. This is my second option after MRT. But to get the best price you have to bargain.

Stay.

  • Hotel: 2,000B/ double/ day for medium range hotel.
  • Hostel: should be cheaper. Never tried it too.

Overall, bring 2,000B per day to spend your day from breakfast, lunch, dinner, gifts, Chatuchak market, MRT’s, snacks, and cute stuffs you found in the mall. That budget should cover it all. Without shop, 1,000B should be fine.

Hong Kong

Food:

  • Meal: 70$ (around IDR 140k) per meal, in small dinner. Unlike Singapore who has sooo many foodcourt, HK fills the street with small dinner like noodle soup, chicken porridge, etc. Tips: since they don’t speak english, just show them picture of food you want to order. Sometimes they put pictures of the food in front of their stall. It’s easier that way.
  • Drink: 40$ for lemon tea. Strangely, even the weather is cold, HK people love to drink ice lemon tea drink right in the morning, alongside their hot macaroni soup.
  • Street snacks: 30$.
  • McD: 90$ per combo meal. Yeah, kind of forgot this one too.

Transport.

  • MRT: 70$ per trip for medium to long distance.
  • Bus: should be cheaper from MRT. I didn’t use any bus that time because i am snobb.
  • Taxi: i didn’t take taxi as well because i’m not there yet.

Stay.

  • Hotel: 800$/ double room/ day for medium range hotel. And around 30$/ double room/ day for low budget hotel. Pretty far, eh?
  • Hostel: could be lower. Never tried it.

Overall, bring 500$ per day to spend your day from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some snacks should cover from this.

Feel free to add in the comment if you want to share your experience too, and happy budgeting!

Transport from HK Airport

Are you planning to go to HK? If you do, you have couple options how to go from airport to city.

Bus. The bus is nice and comfort, i think. Full air-conditioned and clean, i think. Well, it’s just my assumption because during my visit i don’t get the chance to ride it. Haha.

+ Cheap around 35$.

+ City view. Choose this if you visit HK for the first time.

– Time consuming around 45-60 minutes ride.

– Stairs. This could be an issue if you’re travelling with an elder, like me.

Airport Express (AE). Yes, it’s definitely comfort and clean as well. Basically, AE and MRT are similar, the difference is AE stops only at certain stations and faster. Pricier too.

+ Fast

– No view.

– Expensive around 80-100$/ one way.

Notice that i don’t talk about how to reach them? Yep, it’s because both bus and airport express is easy to get. You can see the sign clearly in the airport. Also, distance is not on the comparing list because in HK, rule no. 1: you always walk.

Conclusion: if you have lots of free time and not in a hurry, just take the bus. But if you’re hungry and want to get into your hotel ASAP, just get in the AE.

Happy travelling!