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kiwijac Jul 19th, 2014 10:24 PM

anyone been to minsk aircraft carrier, Shenzhen while staying in Kowloon
Many questions here and not sure whether to post in China or HongKong forums. Has anyone been to this aircraft carrier? It's turning out to be quite difficult to get to so I'd loke to know if it's worth it. I know it'll be old and rusty but we'd love the chance to walk around on one. As New Zealand citizens we get a 72hour visa-free visit to HongKong but how to we go about getting a visa to go into China to see the aircraft carrier. We'd like to go by bus as you see more than by train, has anyone done so> Thanks

LancasterLad Jul 19th, 2014 11:28 PM

There might be something in this link that'll help...

Nice video too...

rkkwan Jul 20th, 2014 03:00 AM

Eternal East have coach service from various boarding points in Kowloon and New Territories to Sha Tou Kok across the border. The Minsk is berthed very close to the HK border. Easiest is from Kowloon Tong MTR station. 6:55a to 8:30p, approximately every 30 minutes.

BTW, New Zealanders can visit HK for 90 days visa-free.

kiwijac Jul 20th, 2014 03:35 PM

Thanks for the links, LancasterLad, it confirms our desire to see the ship, and thank our lucky stars we weren't sailors on her. The planes will be an extra thrill asour home town, has a "Warbirds over Wanaka " show every second year and has including some of these planes.

rkkwan, you say NZers can visit HK 90 days visa free, (we're transiting so get 72 hours free) but is Shenzhen considered part of HK-I think not.

Kathie Jul 20th, 2014 04:06 PM

No, you will need a visa for China. I don't know how much it is for NZers, but for US citizens it is US$140.

rkkwan Jul 20th, 2014 04:13 PM

You get 90 days as a New Zealander in HK. Whether you are transitting or not. That's my point. And of course I know you need a Chinese visa for Shenzhen.

kiwijac Jul 21st, 2014 04:46 PM

Thanks for your advice. I think we've got it sussed now and will apply for the Chinese visa. Cheers

LancasterLad Jul 21st, 2014 11:48 PM

@kiwijac<<<Thanks for the links, LancasterLad, it confirms our desire to see the ship, and thank our lucky stars we weren't sailors on her.>>>

You're welcome, it's nice to be appreciated now and again.

I served in a couple of the Royal Navy's 'flat-tops', HMS BULWARK. We called her 'The Rusty B', and rusty she was!

...and HMS HERMES. I was in HERMES during Operation Corporate in the South Atlantic in 1982. You might enjoy this video of HERMES coming into Portsmouth on her return from 'down south'...

temppeternh Jul 22nd, 2014 08:42 AM

Don't expect much in the way of safety standards--there are sharp edges, rusty surfaces, dangling cables, and so on, and a disco just before you exit, unless it's been cleaned up since I was there. But this just all means wear sensible shoes with good grip. Minsk World already went bankrupt once in 2006.

I haven't recently looked at the fees for but for many years Kiwis have paid a lot less than most other nationalities for China visas.

For many years citizens of most developed nations have been able to buy a 72-hour visa good for the Shenzhen area only at the HK-Shenzhen border (rules, prices, availability has frequently chenged). The price of this has sometimes been fair, and sometimes little different from the full visa price, depending on nationality. There are also varying reports on the length of time it takes to obtain at the border, but you might perhaps look into whether this is cheaper for Kiwis than the full-scale tourist visa. Perhaps it is this you were thinking of when mentioning 72 hours for Hong Kong?

But you're also likely to find it easier and quicker to pick up a standard tourist visa for China in Hong Kong, where multiple agencies provide a next-day service and with much less paperwork required.

Reaching the Minsk is easy enough once you're in Shenzhen. Just a matter of hopping on a local bus, e.g. the aircon 387, to your right after passing through the border at Lo Wu (Luo Hu), stop 京湖酒店. This takes about 1.5 hours to the stop 沙头角邮局, leaving you a ten-minute walk away. But there several others. Simply enter these characters into Google Maps to get some idea. Your destination is 明思克航母世界.

kiwijac Jul 22nd, 2014 06:49 PM

Thanks once again for your replies. I wonder how anyone managed to travel in pre-forum days! It makes the world seem small when we share information like this, careingly small (if there's such a word).

temppeternh Jul 24th, 2014 08:53 AM

No mystery. We bought guide books, and at any point on a trip chatted to people who had just come from where were we going to find out the latest information.

On-line user-contributed forums generally contain a great deal of utter nonsense, ignorance, prejudice, and closet advertising peppered with occasional bits of usefulness, and (as guide books once did) tend to lead to lemming-like behaviour in which everyone rushes off in the same direction, and to group assertions that the false is true. You're generally better off to go direct to sources rather than comments, and to look more widely. Guide books are still helpful. Fodor's has this:

But no practical transport info, apparently. Frommer's has this:

with apparently a better public transport suggestion than mine. But as I said, there are lots of choices, and Google maps will show you the other routes mentioned.

rkkwan Jul 24th, 2014 06:59 PM

Unless the OP decides he/she's going to get visa at border or want to see Lowu/Luohu, there's no reason not to take direct coach from Kowloon Tong to Sha Tou Kok. The time saved is significant.

kiwijac Jul 25th, 2014 12:20 AM

Thanks yet again, temppeternh. You speak a lot of sense. And rkkwan, we will have to get a visa at the border, here's hoping the queues aren't too long. I really appreciate all the help I'm being given. I think we've got it sussed now. Will report back in Nov to say how it went.

temppeternh Jul 29th, 2014 10:57 AM

> we will have to get a visa at the border,

Again, make sure you check that this service is still working, and the cost. Also, I'm not sure you picked up on the next-day service provided by most visa agents in Hong Kong (do NOT go straight to the Wanchai representative office). Hand over your passport in the morning and pick up a tourist visa the next day. Unless there's a huge price difference, probably a better use of time and more reliable than obtaining a limited visa at the border. Look up Japan Travel Agency, and Grand Profit. But there are others in the same vicinity around Science Museum Road. Avoid those targeting backpackers around Nathan Rd. Prices (for everything) are much higher.

kiwijac Jul 31st, 2014 02:22 AM

This is all sounding very complicated. For the limited time we are in HongKong, 72 hours, I'm beginning to get the feeling our time could be better spent say, walking the Dragon's Back trail rather than trailing up to and across the border. Sure, exploring a real aircraft carrier appeals greatly to both of us but then we also believe that if something falls into the hard basket, then maybe it isn't meant to be. I feel guilty thinking this because you have been so kind giving me information , but then again, surely someone else is reading this and will make use of the helpful advice. However, I'll keep the options open and discuss with our 'Air BnB' host upon arrival. Many many thanks.

temppeternh Jul 31st, 2014 05:10 PM

Expecting any Airbnb host to know the latest intricacies of border visas for Kiwis may be expecting rather a lot, don't you think? The visa situation for Hong Kong residents is entirely different, and there are many who have never been to Shenzhen, let alone to the Minsk.

The trip will take up the best part of a day altogether, although with an early start it could be half a day depending on border line-ups in each direction. It's certainly not how most people would recommend spending one of only three days in Hong Kong, as there's plenty there to fill those three days, and Shenzhen is utterly charmless. But then most visitors are not that interested in decommissioned aircraft carriers.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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