Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Shenzhen theme park that's worth exploring: Window of the World


[Trip from April 2010]

We were strictly told that if we didn’t make it by 9 AM in the HKG-SZX border, our tour will leave us. And us three being the real deal early birds, we got there with an hour to spare. But much to our expectations, the tour guide was there but a few of the people who booked the same tour, were super duper late! And we thought they were going to leave those who weren’t there on time. So much for that.

Apart from our not-so-good experience at PEYA Travel Agency (they were all Filipino’s and yet they were not as hospitable to us, knowing that we were all of the same nationality), the local Chinese tour guide that they assigned to us was not much of a guide.

Anyway, so we left the border at around 10:30. We were also warned that since we were all sharing one group visa, it should be our responsibility to secure our passports, as it will be our pass back to HKG. Should someone misplace there’s or should it be stolen in SZX, all of us in the tour will be forced to stay in SZX. That was the scary part of sharing the visa with 10 or so other people.

Besides that, that morning became a real bummer for us three. Since the guide could only talk to us across the immigration cubicle (it was somewhat a border), we were left to man the whole thing inside HKG. We had no choice but to lead the group, wait for the 4 late people, do the final head count, and check names on the tour list. We paid for the tour yet we had to work that morning just so we can get things going. So much for that! And PEYA had no representative so we were left to do the work. 

Apart from that, the morning trip was also disappointing, as the guide didn’t follow any schedules. She only brought us to a few small, boring factories that sold us their products, non-stop! There weren’t even any history-sharing on those stop-over’s.  And if you show no interest with their products, they would start talking in their language, and make little annoying facial expressions when you start to walk away from them. So much for that. It was a bit sad on our part since we had to encounter that from them. Now if it weren’t for the WINDOW OF THE WORLD tour, our stay in SZX would’ve been a waste of our hard-earned money.

Anyway, here’s a sample of our itinerary that day..

DAY 4 (in SHENZHEN)
6 AM -              Breakfast at Hotel
                          *Breakfast and Budget @ MCDO breakfast Promo  HK$15
6:30-8AM         Board the MTR to LO WU (HK)/Luohu (Shenzhen border)
                          *MTR from Yau Ma Tei to Kowloon Tong interchange, then straight to Lo Wu MTR HK$ 38.50 + 35 -> 2nd class (two-way already)
8:30 AM -         SHENZHEN ARRIVAL
9-10 AM -         VISA/IMMIGRATION/CUSTOMS Processing c/o Travel Agency
                         *If we didn’t book a group tour, we would need to pay the Shenzhen Visa Fee (1-2 days
                         processing) of HK$ 100
10:30-1 PM -    CITY TOUR
                          *Jade and Pearl Market Tour + Chinese delicacies shop + Lousy lunch (there weren’t  even free drinks – we even had to pay $20 HKD for a can of Pepsi!)
1:30-3:30         WOW Tour
4-6 PM -           Lo Wu Shopping Center
6:30-7 PM -      Back to HK immigration
7-8 PM -           Lo Wu to TST MTR station
8:30 PM -          Victoria Harbour – Symphony of Lights show
9:30–11 PM -    Arglye Shopping/Bonjour
                          *MTR from TST to Mongkok -  HK$ 5.50
                          *Dinner at Arglye Center -  HK$ 35 (baked porkchops + coke)
1 AM -              HOTEL ARRIVAL




  

  











           













Window of the World was phenomenal. We could only hope that we spent more time there, rather than waste it with rude people. So when the tour ended, and when we finally crossed the border, we all felt a big sigh of relief. After that, we vowed never to come back there again. If it weren’t for W.O.W., it would’ve been an epic fail!

At some specialty shop in Shenzhen


A buffet lunch that was not even a buffet!


Window of the World Tour!


Back in Hong Kong, in time for the symphony of lights!


Being in SZX was so-so.. but we were still grateful that we still got to experience the place.. and have come back to HKG in one piece! But I think the very highlight of that day would be to see the Symphony of Lights at the Victoria Harbour. It was truly spectacular, and it made up for SZX!

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

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