Lost In Transition, How To Get From Hong Kong Airport To Shenzhen Safely, Quickly And Easily

Author xlxmarketing 18.3.2009. | 15:26

One of the worst parts of your average China sourcing trip is getting from A to B.

After 12 hours on a plane from Heathrow to Hong Kong, 24 hours from New York, or 11 hours from Paris you’re not going to be the most coherent person in the world.

Negotiating a mode of transport, commuting another one or two hours and getting through yet another border control point is probably the last thing you want to do.

But that’s exactly what you have to do if you need to get to Shenzhen, or any other point in the Mainland.

And even before you get to this point you need to figure out how to make the trip. Getting to Shenzhen is not the easiest thing to do from Hong Kong airport if you don’t know what to expect.

So how can you get from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen while retaining your sanity, strength and many of your precious travel funds?

There are three main ways of getting from the Hong Kong airport to inside the Shenzhen border, these are:

  • By ferry
  • By car
  • By train

Hong Kong Airport To Shenzhen By Train


The first is to take the Airport Express to Central, then catch the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and change to the KCR train to Luohu or Futian Ko An. This isn’t your best option if you’ve got lots of bags as you’ll need to drag your luggage around. The combined trip is likely to cost around 200RMB.

The train might also not be an option if you’ve got a late flight as the Hong Kong metro shuts down at around 11pm.


Hong Kong Airport/Hong Kong City To Shenzhen By Ferry


Another option is to catch a ferry directly from Hong Kong airport or Hong Kong city to Shekou, a seaport in Nanshan Shenzhen.

If you would like to catch the ferry from the airport you will need to arrange this in advance as they need to arrange getting your luggage off your flight and have other restrictions and rules on what luggage you can take onboard. If you do want to catch the ferry look for a sign directing you to a ferry counter before you reach the immigration desk. Check out the Hong Kong International Airport Site for the booking number for this service.

If you need to get to Guangzhou to go to the Canton fair you can do that too (nsitp.com/ferryschedule.php).

If you would like to spend some time in Hong Kong you can also catch the ferry from the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, a hop skip and a jump from the Metro… the ferry terminal to Shenzhen and other mainland ports is a little bit of a walk from all the other terminals.

  • Ferry Schedule (shekoulive.com/ferry.html)
  • A walkthrough of how to negotiate the Hong Kong International Airport ferry terminal (living-in-shenzhen-shekou.wikispaces.com/FlyIntoHongKong).
  • Turbojet (turbojetseaexpress.com.hk/eng/home/index.asp) a ferry service that will take you directly to the Shenzhen airport.
  • Xunlong ferry site (xunlongferry.com/e-pwzx.asp)


Hong Kong Airport/Hong Kong City To Shenzhen By Car


This is the best way to get into Shenzhen from Hong Kong airport in my experience. I normally use a company called Skylimo and they are located by the exit of the airport (here is a map of the airport [hongkongairport.com/eng/img/transport/map/map_parking_lrg.jpg]).

The first time you hear this, you may think you’re going to be driven to Shenzhen in a stretched out car, oh the luxury.

The service actually uses a 7 seated mini van but it is clean, safe, air conditioned and comfortable.
If your flight gets in at a reasonable hour you’ll probably find agents right outside the departure gate.

You start off by purchasing your limo ticket which costs around 160 RMB/HKD from the nice ladies at which ever stand leading to the exit point (all you have to do is tell them where you want to go) in Shenzhen. They will then hand you your ticket and slap a sticker on your shirt or jacket and direct you to where the limo is waiting.

If you are emailing them in advance make sure to tell them you are prepared to share the car with other people… otherwise you will be wearing the entire cost ($1000HKD-$2000HKD) yourself.

If it’s a little later you might need to actually go to the counter. If it is too late (after 12) you might even need to pool together with other passengers and take a taxi.

Make sure you don’t get stuck on a bus as the saving is negligible and forces you to walk through the Shenzhen border.

The journey from Hong Kong airport will take 45 minutes to an hour. The chartered cars will either go through the Huanggang border if you want to go to Shenzhen central or Shenzhen Bay boarder if you want to be near the airport and Bao An.

Some hotels offer a pick up service from the airport, but otherwise you can just take a taxi to your destination straight from the border. Just be sure to catch one of the official maroon colored taxis and ensure that they use their meter.

Queen’s spa and Pacific Spa saunas are 5 star spa centers with excellent services and good prices, they have free mini vans that will take you straight from the Louhu Border to the spas. There are also some hotels that provide this service.

  • Hong Kong International Airport Contact Numbers (hongkongairport.com/eng/transport/useful-numbers.html)
  • Luohu Hotels (sinohotel.com/english/hotels/luohu_district/index.html)
  • Shenzhen City Guide (szcityguide.com/enjoy/hotel/location.html)


Once you get to the mainland it is always wise to have business cards and addresses in Chinese to places you want or need to go and that way taxi drivers will be able to find their way to where you want to go.

Preparing for your sourcing trip doesn’t have to be hard. Just check out these great resources now and, if you need to get a visa, read Solving The China Miseries, What Visa Do You Need To Visit China on Business?.

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Author xlxmarketing 18.3.2009. | 15:26
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  1. Meta March 31, 14:29

    Hello, thanks for this page with lots of info! I sent an email yesterday to Skylimo company to inquire about the car option from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen. They informed me that instead of 160 HKD the costs are 2000 HKD! I replied and asked if that was a typo, and referred to your page, but they answered that 160 HKD is for Shuttle Bus Coach, and not for the car service. The car service is indeed 2000 HKD. Can you please explain? I am going to Hong Kong in may, and am determining what type of transport to use to travel to Shenzhen (my destination). Thanks in advance!
    The Netherlands

  2. santhira May 19, 17:14

    can any one tell yhis 60 years old man how to travel on a tight budget from the airport to Kow loon. thank you

  3. Gareth May 20, 12:44

    Hi Santhira,

    The cheapest and quickest way for you to get from the airport to Kowloon is to catch the airport express to Central. This will cost you around 140 HKD but it is still half the price of a taxi.

    Getting from Central to Kowloon just requires you to walk to the MTR station and then catch the MTR, that should cost between 8 and 12HKD

  4. Gary June 8, 12:10

    cheaper way to get to kowloon would be to take the S1 bus from HK International airport to the Tung Chung mtr/subway station/

    It’s a short 5 minute ride to get to tung chung, then take the mtr into kowloon. Rather then paying the extra costs for the airport express, you just sacrifice a bit of time. But the mtr is still quite quick.

  5. Yago April 19, 20:36

    Hi friends, I am going to use the shared skylimo from HKIA to Shenzhen city. My questions:
    1. Do we need to alight the limo at the HK immigration and China immigration?
    2. Would the driver use the same car to drive us to the destination where we want to stop in Shenzhen?
    Thank you.

  6. Alan Lee October 17, 01:39

    If I take the ferry from HK Airport to Shenzhen how will it take from the time you dock until one is out of immigration?

  7. Adrian October 18, 11:43

    Hard to say Alan as it depends on how many people. If it is busy I would say an hour, but if it’s quiet then you could be 10 minutes.

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