Day trips to China from Hong Kong

Old Apr 5th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Day trips to China from Hong Kong

We are going to Hong Kong for about 15 days. We plan to go to Macau at least once and we are interested in going to mainland China as well. Does anyone have suggestions for a good day trip- we really like museums and culture- good food and a little shopping- not so much the touristy stuff. Also I am trying to figure out how to get an entry visa- I seem to be going around in circles- Can anyone recommend someone? Thanks so much for your help as always any advice is appreciated!
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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depending on whre you are going you can get an entry visa at the border, at least for some near-by places...

honestly i found it all quite depressing once over the border...

in 15 days there is almost enough to do in HK itself with all the islands and also a couple of days in macau...
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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If you're planning to enter China with a US passport, you can't get a visa at the border. Must have it beforehand.

You can get it in Hong Kong, or get it wherever you live. Assuming you live in the US, you (or someone) can bring your passport to one of the Chinese embassy or consulates - Washington, NY, Chicago, LA, San Francicso, and Houston - or use a visa service. You cannot send it in directly by mail.

Single entry for US citizen is US$50 (or very similar in HKD) if you do it yourself - whether in Hong Kong or the US. $75 for dual entry. More if you want it fast.

Anyways, my opinion about true daytrip from Hong Kong to China is that it's not worth the visa fee. Go longer or don't go, unless you just want to "collect" a couple of Chinese stamps on your passport.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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rkkwan is absolutely correct about visas. If you hold a US passport, you cannot get a visa at the border. For Macau, however, you do not need a visa.

The only practical place in mainland China that you can visit is Shenzhen, although I suppose you could also get to Guangzhou (Canton). I'd mostly agree with rkkwan that you can't get even a slight feel for China by spending a day in Shenzhen (esp near the border). Still, Shenzhen is not all that much like Hong Kong, and I did find it kinda fun to visit there for a few hours.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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Since you have so much time, I would really encourage you to fly to someplace like Beijing or Xian or even Shanghai for 2-3 days, which all have very good museums and lots to see and do. There really is nothing of very much cultural interest nearby to Hong Kong (although Hong Kong itself has several good museums for art, science and culture). Shenzhen was nothing but farmers fields until about 15 years ago, and has nothing of cultural interest. It has quite bad cheap tailoring and lots of knock-off goods. I would not waste your time there.

Canton (i.e. Guangzhou) does have a few bits of remaining history, but IMO to spend a day or so there (and it’s a longish trip) is really not worth it when you could go to Beijing or Xian which are both just chock-a-block with historical sights; but read up on all of them and see what would interest you. You could of course spend a week in Beijing, but 2-3 days is good if that is all you can spare. Xian you could get away with 2 days if you wanted, same with Shanghai. I love Hong Kong, but you don’t necessarily need to spend 15 days here, and to come all this way and just spend 15 days in Hong Kong is kind of a waste of expensive airfare and the long plane ride, IMO.

Please do not waste your time on anything like the “cultural village’ over the PRC border near Shenzhen, or the “Land Between Tour” which is a bus trip in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Both are very touristy from what I have heard. You can do your own New Territories trip by going to any of the Walled Village museums (take a look at http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng...ch_sel_stu.htm), or taking a trip out to Fanling and doing the Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail (take a look at http://www.hktrampers.com/FactFile/L...uHeritageTrail).

Please search this board for my very long list of reccos called “Cicerone’s Reccos for What the Locals Do for Fun in Hong Kong (Hint: We DON’T Go to those Awful Night Markets....)” this should give you some ideas for what to do in Hong Kong, including a list of walks and some sources for more walks. For another of my favourite very easy walks on Hong Kong Island, see my posting called “Cicerone’s Favourite Hong Kong Walks II: Paradise Found! From Happy Valley to Stanley in High Heels! (Almost) The Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path”. Also check the Hong Kong Tourism Board website at discoverhongkong.com for other ideas.
For Macau, please spend as much time as you can in the historic core, and get down to the little villages on Coloane. (The Luxe guide to Macau is particularly good as a walking guide, IMO, go to http://www.luxecityguides.com). The Cotai strip of casinos which are under construction just makes me weep; the place will simply not be the same in about 2-3 years when these are open and operating, so see it now while at least a smidgeon of old Macau still exists. Close your eyes as the ferry approaches the pier in order to miss the awful Disneyesque replica of the Potala Palace (which is a casino) at the pier.....
For the PRC visa, you can either get one in before you leave, or get one here in Hong Kong. Assuming you are US citizens, you can find downloadable forms on the the Chinese Embassy website at www.china-embassy.org. On the main page, click on "Visa and Passport" and read and follow the various instructions. I assume you want a tourist visa, which is an L visa. To get one here in Hong Kong, you apply at the Office of the Commissioner of PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong.
Office of the Commissioner of PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong
7/F Lower Block, China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-3413-2300 (24 hour, automatic answering service)
852-3413-2424 (9:00-12:00 am; 2:00-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)

Many people who do this use a travel agent in Hong Kong, your hotel may also be able to assist.
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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Don't forget to go to LoWu commercial shopping area in Shenzhen, great shopping & remember to bargain!
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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has something changed about the border towns....we twice got a visa at the border???
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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China has not allowed visa at the border to Shenzhen or Zhuhai for US citizens for at least 5-6 years, if not more.
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