The Flight - From Shenzhen or Hong Kong?

Find Your Perfect Escape../Sitemap/Find_Your_Perfect_Escape_-_Search.html
Guide to Treatments../Guide_To_Treatments/Guide_To_Treatments.html
Latest Escapes../Latest_Escapes/Latest_news/Latest_news.html
Zumba(R) Fitness../Zumba/What_Is_A_Zumba_Fitness_Class.html

Flying into Hong Kong is wonderfully simple, for more details of the long haul flights see my China Spa Princess review.

However, if you want to experience travel anxiety that will undo all of the good work of the masseur at the Mandarin Spa, and leave you stressed for days, do as we did and follow the advice of the Lonely Planet when you fly into mainland China - and get an ever so slightly cheaper flight, not from the word class Hong Kong airport, but from Shenzhen airport.

We actually left our hotel earlier than planned, but got confused as to whether we should take the train from Hong Kong station (which is also Central MTR and the Airport Express Hong Kong Station, but with different bits), get on the metro from there or try to get on the airport bus which also goes from here.  We were a bit worried about getting stuck in traffic, so opted for the tube.  The problem was, that although we left in good time, a couple of toilet stops with all our baggage and we were running quite tight.  Then came immigration... we found our forms, stood in line, (through the futuristic body temperature scanners) and got out of Hong Kong.  But... then you have to get in to China.  The queue was long and slow.  If you’ve travelled into the States in the last few years, you’ll have an idea of what this is like.  We were now so tight on time that I actually pushed in... by which I mean me and Mandy took different queues and then when mine was about to go I asked the guy behind if she could join me.  He said no.  Then I begged.  He said yes.  Then the lady said we needed another form.  Then we filled them in, then we stood there for ages, trying not to look agitated.  Then she finally let us through.

We were now late.  We raced to a tourist information place and asked where we got the bus to the airport.  (Wishing we had got on the airport bus in Hong Kong now, as apparently they take you through customs!)  We ran around - found the bus, and realised that we weren’t going to make it.  Ran to the taxi rank... where the queue was so long there was no way we were going to make it.

...and then we were approached by a dodgy mini cab.  We tried to look disinterested, we haggled, we got a rubbish price, we accepted.  At which point I said (and I am not proud of this) “If we miss the plane I will kill you.”

So, my first conversation with a Chinese national and I threatened him... nice.

Then he grabbed our bags and ran... as did we... up through the main road - no pavement, round a corner, up a road, getting scared now, and into a dodgy car park, where we jumped in a reasonable car (thank goodness.)  He didn’t speak much English but what he did know was the phrase “Formula 1”.  Yes, he drove like a bat out of hell and I was very glad that he did.  Dodging in and out of buses, rush hour traffic, flying through the toll booths, until finally we saw the sign for the airport - hoorah!

Not quite over though, as he started asking us for cash.  Mandy was a bit worried but I got his gist - he was an unofficial cabbie and was therefore pretending not to be - no cash at the airport.  We forked it over and held our breath.   And he dropped us off in plenty of time!

We still had to check in, get through security (which took forever because everyone was chatting) and just had time to be the last passengers on the plane before the door closed.  The airport itself was fine, but the journey was hideous.  Fly from Hong Kong please, unless you fancy visiting Shenzhen, because you may well end up spending whatever money you save on a “Formula 1” cab ride!


The metro from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, China

Information as at September 2010

£568.72 each for the flight from London to Hong Kong, and return from Beijing to London:
September 2010

Return flights to Hong Kong for March 2011 are now available for £477 from Jet Airways (1 stop over) and from Cathay Pacific direct - no stopovers, for £516

My Eco Policy../Basics/My_Eco_Policy.html
China Spa Princess../China_Spa_Princess/China_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Yangshuo Spa Princess../Yangshuo_Spa_Princess/Yangshuo_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Huangshan Spa Princess../Huangshan_Spa_Princess/Huangshan_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Shanghai Spa Princess../Shanghai_Spa_Princess/Shanghai_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Beijing Spa Princess../Beijing_Spa_Princess/Beijing_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Buy The Book../Basics/Books_And_DVDs.html