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visa? and logistics from HK to Shenzhen A

visa? and logistics from HK to Shenzhen A

Feb 12th, 2007, 10:48 PM
  #1  
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visa? and logistics from HK to Shenzhen A

Is the cost of a visa cheaper thru HK then sending for one at home (90)? Also Can someone tell us how to get the ferry from the HK airport to Shenzhen and then to the airport and how long this should take...do we follow signs to the ferry and pay ? where do we change or get money? what does the border crossing entail? Thanks
hypatia is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 02:08 AM
  #2  
 
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The cost of the visa depends on your nationality, NOT where the place where you get the visa, so if you are a US citizen, it will be the same for you whether you apply for it and have it issued in the US or Hong Kong. It can be faster/easier to do it in Hong Kong if you are already going to be here. It sounds like you are going directly from the Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen, so you may not be spending any time in Hong Kong anyway, in which case getting a visa here may not really be that convenient.

For the ferry from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen Airport , I have not taken it myself, but know that this is possible, you go via something called the ďskypier. You have to take a bus for a short trip to the piers in Hong Kong. I believe you skip Hong Kong immigration and customs and just go through immigration/customs in the PRC. Take a look at http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/aguide/skypier.html and http://www.turbojetseaexpress.com.hk/e.You will see signs inside the airport before you get to Hong Kong Immigration for getting to the skypier access points. You should be able to pay for the ferry tickets by credit card, check the websites.

As you can pay for the ferry by credit card, you wonít have an immediate need for RMB, but it is always good to have a small amount of cash IMO when you first land anywhere. Personally, I would just get a small amount of RMB before you leave your home country and not bother wandering around Hong Kong airport or Shenzhen Airport, and then go to an ATM in whatever city you are going to from Shenzhen Airport. But, there are some ATM machines on the 6th floor departure area and in the main public arrivals hall, but I donít believe you will have access to either area on a transit to Shenzhen. There is a Travelex foreign exchange office on the 5th floor in the Pre-Immigration area just before Hong Kong Immigration and near Transfer Areas E1 and E2 if you look out for it. It is at the end of the long hallway leading to Immigration, right underneath the huge board showing baggage carousels, the hallway ends here, there is also a Starbucks. Look for a red and blue sign, they have a website at http://www.travelex.com/hk/default.asp.All arriving passengers who are coming into Hong Kong will wind up on the 5th floor, I just donít know if you will veer off at some earlier point to get to the ferry transfer desk. I have a feeling the ferry transfer desk is in Transfer Area E1 or E2 so you should be close to the Travelex office, but could easily be wrong. Otherwise, you could exchange some RMB before you leave the US or get it at an ATM at Shenzhen Airport.

Website for Hong Kong Airport is hongkongairport.com, they have info on the ferry and terminal maps which may help you locate where the skypier is.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 07:06 AM
  #3  
 
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Current single-entry visa fee for US citizen is US$50. If you can't go to one of the consulates, you need to use an agent that sends it in for you. But $90 total seems a little high. Check other authorized agents in your area (the Chinese Consulate website of your region should have list). I thought most only charge a fee of about $25-30, bringing the total to about $75-80, but I may be wrong.

Cicerone is correct that the fee will be identical or close to US$50, if you do it in Hong Kong. If you need it fast, you need to pay more. If you're not planning to spend time in HK, then it would not make sense to go the city, pay the extra fee for the expedited visa, etc. Do it here instead. Unless you're leaving very soon.

Cicerone has given you all the relevant websites for the transit from HKG to SZX. The ferries aren't very frequent, and there are also "direct" coaches. But the ferry will be much much easier.

At the Chinese border, you'll fill a health form, then you go into the immigration hall, fill up an entry form (I believe it's yellow for entry, blue for departure), and then go through the immigration. Nothing peculiar other than the health declaration form.

You don't really need RMB until you get to the Shenzhen airport, so you may wait until then to get money from an ATM. It's good to have some money with you beforehand, as Cicerone suggested, but it may cost you a lot to get some here in the US.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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you guys thank you!!!~~~ I am going to be in HK for 4 days and was going back to the airport to get the ferry to Shenzhen...I didnt think there was a better way.

I can't get the visa myself downtown???

how long will all this take?I wanted to take a 10:30 flight but I think that's nearly impossible. The next flight leaves in the evening..My passport needed a renewal so I dont even have it back yet so I cant send it right now

when you get off the ferry is there a shuttle to the Shenzhen airport??

I heard that the ATM process we usually do is not the deal in China...that one needs to go to the bank instead...So you are saying get money from an exchange place in the airport???? I am new to this
hypatia is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Okay. Let's start all over.

First, you don't take the ferry from the Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen Airport. It makes no sense logistically, and I don't think it's even possible unless you're connecting from a flight.

If you want to take a ferry to Shenzhen Airport, fine. They depart from either the ferry terminal in west Tsimshatsui on Canton Road, or the Macau Ferry terminal in Sheung Wan on HK Island (one sailing each day only).

The schedule is here:

http://www.turbojet.com.hk/turbojet_sailing_rev.htm

This is run by the same company, but a separate service from the Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen Airport "Turbojet Seaexpress" service.

First sailing from Kowloon is 7:30am. It takes 55 minutes, then you go through Chinese immigration and take shuttle bus to airport. I think it's cutting it pretty close.

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Alternatively, you can take a "direct" bus from Hong Kong. Earliest is 6:40am from Prince Edward MTR in Kowloon. That should get you to SZX with time to spare.

www.trans-island.com.hk

They depart from 364D Portland St near Prince Edward MTR.

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Or you can take one of the many 24-hour coaches from various locations in Hong Kong to the Huanggang Border. After you go through to the other side, there are other buses or taxis to SZX, though I don't have the detail.

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Or you can take the KCR train to Lo Wu. Cross the border, and then take the K568 Airport bus (40 minutes) to SZX. First bus is 6:40am.

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So, you have lots of choices. And again, you don't take the ferry from HKG. You can't.

As for the visa, it depends on what 4 days you have in Hong Kong. Weekday or weekend? You should get your visa at the Chinese Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong, at 7th Floor, Lower Block, China Resources Building, No.26, Harbor Road, Wanchai.

Faster you need it, more expensive it is. Standard one is HK$390 (basically US$50).

www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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About money, you can get RMB in Hong Kong virtually anywhere (all banks and exchange places) at a decent rate, even if it's converted from USD to HKD to RMB. You should definitely have some with you before entering China.

Then in China, use your ATM. The problem in general, is exchanging your RMB back to USD. Don't take too much from an ATM at a time, and use them all before departing China. Keep all your ATM receipts if you HAVE to exchange the RMB back to USD when you depart, and make sure you do it in China. Not after you come home.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Thanks so much....Ok so I would have to get to the star ferry from 4 seasons (by taxi) and go over to Kowloon and then get to other ferry pier for Shenzhen (I can't see that pier marked on the map. Is it ocean terminal??)and then get the shuttle to the airport...

I like that idea however it all depends on if I can get thru customs,find my airline,check in and get to gate in less than two hours...how big is the place?


is the direct bus to the airport???with stops i assume for customs and the town?
hypatia is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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It's a one-minute drive from the 4 Seasons to the Star Ferry. You can also just walk through the ifc mall and get there. But on the Kowloon side, the pier is at the "China Hong Kong City" - which I believe is the right English name. It's up Canton Road from the Star Ferry. Past the whole Harbour City shopping complex. Probably need a taxi if you have lots of luggage.

I really don't know exactly how long it takes to get off the ferry in Shenzhen, go through Chinese immigration, and then take the shuttle bus to the SZX terminal. I just feel it's a little tight. In theory, you need to be checked-in for Chinese flights 30 minutes (45 with luggage) before your flight. But many flights depart from bus gate and they may close the flight and send the buses out 20 minutes early.

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If you take the "direct" bus, this is what you need to do. You get to the Hong Kong border. Get off, take all your stuff, and go through HK immigration. Board bus again for a 3 minute drive to the Chinese border. Get off take all your stuff, and go through Chinese immigration. Then board bus again to the airport. That Trans-Island service should use the same bus for the whole trip. It may have an extra stop in Hong Kong before the border, but no stop once you get through the Chinese border.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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On google Earth it looks like it says China City Ferry..there are 4 piers and it's the last one...yes, looks like a cab for us....if we chance it..the whole bus thing sounds good except for the crossing and taking all the luggage on and off..Plus still have to do the ferry and then cab out the Prince Edward station.How long does this whole bus ride take anyway???.Thank you so much...
hypatia is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Yes, that's the pier. You can see the highspeed catamarans coming in and out there.

From Prince Edward to the HK border is about 45 minutes in the morning. From the border to airport is about 30 minutes. The time spent at the border depends, and these "direct" buses will have to wait for everybody. It takes zero time to go through the HK border control, but the Chinese side depends.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Does this bus go thru Lo Wu( or is that only for trains) as Id just as soon skip that crossing...
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Feb 13th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Is the pier I'm seeing out from the airport the ferry stop?? Is it that close ? the shekou one is farther away (10-15 min)
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Feb 13th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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The port for SZX is called Shenzhen Fuyong. It's adjacent to the airport. It is not Shekou.

The 568K bus (I think is a mini-bus) goes directly from Shenzhen train station to SZX. The only reasonable way to connect to it is by the KCR train to LoWu, cross the border and then walk straight to the train station.

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Having said all that, I don't know about your budget or whatever. If you have lots of luggage, and is staying at the Four Seasons, etc... I think you should really consider getting a door-to-door car service.

Companies like Trans-Island have that service, and there are other private individuals doing that. According to my uncle last fall, current price is likely less than HK$1,000. Your hotel concierge may know how to book one. Cicerone may know as well.

That's the most civilized and comfortable way to get to SZX, as I believe you don't have to get out of your car at all. That's how most business people go through the border, and so do the wealthy and elderlies that can afford it.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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No, wealth is relative..but that's not worth a grand to me and if I was I would be asking the concierge to handle that or go on a Tauck tour..I have other priorities.not elderly.....I think it's worth a little extra for convinence. I like the ferry idea if you think it's easy once you get to the airport....45 miinutes to spare i would need..
hypatia is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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HK$1,000 is only about US$130. 1/3 the cost of a room at the Four Seasons, and only about 4 times the cost of the ferry plus taxi. It's not extravagant for 2 people, and is a bargain for 4.

It's something really worth considering.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 10:20 PM
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Oh, HK dollars.....yes it would be worth it as the ferry(2) alone would be over $50 US...yes thank you! I will ask the concierge...and the best of all it saves time!!
hypatia is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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hypatia - Here's the log of my travel from Kowloon to SZX on the morning of 11/1/06. Our flight from SZX departs at 8:50, which is too early for ferries or even the "direct" bus, so we used a different method. Not too relevant to your travel, but just some idea about timings.

- Arrived Prince Edward 5:50a to buy bus ticket. [This is a different bus service, which runs 24-hr to the border, not SZX.]

- Bus departed 6:00a

- Bus arrived Hong Kong side of border 6:30a

- Everybody passed through HK immigration and reboarded bus 6:40a

- Bus arrived Chinese border 6:43a

- I got through to immigration 6:50a, despite having to fill forms, as I used a US passport. The other people with the "Home Return Permit" got through even sooner.

- We found our pre-arranged minivan on the other side of the highway, over a footbridge (cheaper than then ones with the permit that can pick up at immigration exit). Travel time from Huanggang border to SZX: 25 minutes.

Anyways, we flew China Southern. The flight was scheduled to depart 8:50a, and check-in must be finished by 8:20a. But we had a bus gate, and the bus departed at 8:35a for the plane. So, one would be extremely rushed if checked in at 8:20a, and still had to go through security.

So, that's the story for us. But if you take the ferry, it'd be different.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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rkkwan:

How did you "pre-arrange" the manivan at the Chinese border?
Johnmango is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Johnmango - No, I wasn't the person who arranged the car/van service. But many people who go up to China often, or who has second residence in China, usually know several numbers to dial for such services.

Ask around.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Thanks rkkwan.

Just want to confirm the timing in your blog: you boarded the bus at the Prince Edward Station at 6 a.m, and you arrived at the border (Hong Kong side) at 6:30 a.m. So it takes only 1/2 hour by bus to go through the New Territories???

I vaguely remember that it took some hours to drive from Kowloon to Fanling. Is there now some new highway that's been built to make the trip much faster?
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