SZX – Shenzhen – China
First a word of warning. If you assume that shenzhen metro stop “Airport East” will lead you to the Bao’an airport, you are mistaken. The Bao’an Airport does not have a metro stop yet, so use other transportation methods to get there. Air-conditioned busses (no.330) are a good option to reach the airport. However take the risks of traffic jams in to consideration when heading to the airport in Shenzhen. Eventually metro line 11 will provide great improvement to the transportation to and from Bao’an airport.
I bet you will be impressed when you arrive at Bao’an airport. Bao’an is big and modern with a lot of light and pieces of art scattered around the airport. There are almost 200 check-in desks and over 60 boarding gates at Bao’an. Even thought there are always a lot of people at Bao’an, 40 security checks only for the domestic terminal make progress through the airport quite smooth. The selection of domestic flights is impressive. If you are in Hong Kong and planning to travel somewhere in mainland China, better check the options from Bao’an. Most likely you will find more options and better prices for mainland China domestic flights from Shenzhen than from Hong Kong.
The announcements to flights are also in English, which is good for those travellers who do not speak Chinese. Yet don’t expect that you will get service in English everywhere at the airport. The Wi-fi connection at the airport is decent and there is good news for those travellers who are suffering from coffee cravings. There are international coffees shops like Starbucks and Costa Coffee available. As this kind of coffee places in China are totally over-priced, consider adapting to the local style and bring your own bottle with tea leaves. The airport (like many other places in China) provides many places to fill your bottle with hot water for free. Always carry a bottle with you in China and you can avoid buying water bottles. Less bottles means less waste which make travelling nice also in the future. Vagabondly highly recommends!
Even though Bao’an airport is very modern and new, there are few missing things international traveler will notice. It’s impossible to find anything to read in English (at least from the domestic terminal), even though there are shops like Relay and Citic Book available. Also, most of the toilets are squatting toilets. Anyway, if you are in China, better just get to use to those.
TOP 3 of SZX
- Real flowers and plants as well as art all around the airport
- Fruit shops to buy healthy snacks for your trip (obviously with the airport prices).
- Electric car ride to your gate with 10 RMB (Yes, Bao’an is big!)
WORST 3 of SZX
- Lack of metro connection to the airport
- Limited locations to charge your you electronic devices (Better buy your own powerbank like everyone else seems to do).
- Toilets (only if you are not used to squatting toilets)
Food tip. If you have missed the Hong Kong dessert chain Honeymoon Dessert, don’t board your flight before trying it at the domestic terminal: http://honeymoon-dessert.com/en/
If you are hungry, consider eating before the security check at the second floor of the departure terminal. Or wait to see what kind of specialties the airlines provide on board.