We arrived in Shenzhen taking the train from Hong Hum in Hong Kong. Transfer time to the border is about 45 minutes and getting a 5 day entry visa takes another 45 mins approx. The price of this visa varies by country but is no more than $50 USD. US Citizens were required to get a traditional Chinese Visa before arriving as they cannot get the 5 day visa at the border. We had some Irish, Canadian and Polish on our delegation who were all able to get the 5 day visa without bother.
Shenzhen is truly a spectacle on arrival. For a small fishing port that had 300,000 people 15 years ago, it’s incredible to see how far they have come in terms of infrastructure to support an estimated population of 15 million and growing at 1 million people a year. In 2016, the city completed 11 sky scrapers. That’s more than all of the US & Australia alone!
Shenzhen alone produces a staggering 90% of all electronics sold in the world including many apple devices via the Foxconn Factory that employs around 300,000 people alone.
The electronics market is a fascinating place to visit. It supplies makers with everything they could ever need to build their new product; components, circuit boards, you name it, they have it. The upper floors for the electronics market building hosts a number of accelerators and maker spaces. One we visited was Higgs Hub where we met some fascinating product designers who showed us how they operated leveraging the market downstairs.
Despite the rapid growth of the city, the urban planners have still retained some of the natural beauties that make Shenzhen a very liveable city such as the shorefront below. The new skyscrapers arriving on every corner it seems all appear to be competing for architecture awards as each one is more stunning than the next.
It certainly feels more like an adventure visiting Shenzhen compared to Hong Kong and Taiwan. English is less widely spoken but many of the markets and central districts are used to foreign visitors. For sourcing components and learning about the latest tech, Shenzhen is the place to visit.