Ok, I know, I have written about travel to Shenzhen before, but I just had a great experience so I thought I would take 5 minutes to share with you why I choose Shenzhen airport when possible. Hong Kong is a tremendous airport with so many routes that it is fairly easy to find a decent flight into it. But, if you are coming to China to visit Shenzhen, as popular and as good as Hong Kong airport is, if you can find a route into Shenzhen airport, then choose Shenzhen airport. Here is my experience today.
- We arrive on-time, early actually, the flights in are almost always early. In part I believe because this is not as busy an airport, I have never had to circle on a flight waiting for ground traffic to clear.
- Immigration, never busy. Walk from gate to immigration is about 10 minutes. If you quick step it a little bit, then you beat the line at immigration, which is generally only your flight anyway. Time through immigration, about 1 to 5 minutes.
- Baggage claim is right there, generally, you have to wait about 5-10 minutes until bags start coming because the rest of the process is so fast.
- Customs, a breeze, they just x-ray everyone’s bags. I have never been stopped. About a 30 second process.
- Now, here is where it really beats Hong Kong. Travel time to Shenzhen, zero minutes and zero seconds, you are already there.
- When you come through customs there is a McDonalds on your right. I only point this out in case you are having Wifi issues. It is a nice option to quickly stop and get caught up before you continue, if needed.
- Right there, by the McDonald’s are elevators that will take you up 1 level to Taxis and down 1 level to the Metro. You can also walk up a ramp to the taxis.
- The Metro at the Airport is called Line 11 (purple line). It is fast, it is new, it is modern. Line 11 will get you from the airport to the heart of Shenzhen in 30 minutes, and it is cheap. It is so cheap (compared to the West), that even the business class (train style seating) is cheap enough to use regularly, which is very nice after a flight. I never take a long taxi journey anymore, I just take the metro to get me close to my destination, then hail a Taxi or walk.
- My journey time on the metro, 13 minutes.
- My journey time from the metro to my final destination, a 5-minute walk.
I have never had a poor experience flying into or out of Shenzhen airport. Routes are starting to open up for Shenzhen, I just saw a new route from Seattle into Shenzhen. So, if flying into Shenzhen is an option for you, then I highly recommend it.
Caveat – Check Visa requirements before booking flight. There is talk about Visa on Arrival at Shenzhen airport, but I have no verifiable information on that. I recommend getting a China Visa in your home country before you fly.