Signs, signs: HK-China border crossing

I was organising my stuff at home over the holidays and was surprised to find a lot of photos that have accumulated in my collection. Yes, they did bring back a lot of memories of my travels (mostly work-related) when I was still single. I decided to post them one by one. Having said that, this is my first entry for the weekly Signs, signs meme.

HK-China border sign

Taken in November, 2004 on my first trip to China via Hongkong for an international conference on environment in Shenzhen. At that time, applying for a Chinese visa was not as difficult as it is (for Filipinos) today. Armed with an invitation letter from the Chinese NGO and other required documents, I received my visa at the Chinese Embassy here in Phnom Penh in just three days. No hassle.

My airfare and accommodation were sponsored by my host, the Chinese NGO, and I could’ve chosen a better travel route. However, being the adventurous me, I chose one that was not usually taken by most foreign travellers – a land trip to China. From Phnom Penh, I flew to Hongkong and rode a bus that took me to the border. Arriving late at night and fearing the border closing at midnight, I was surprised to see that there was a sea of people and  (public and private) vehicles there, coming in and out of the border. It was chaotic and noisy, always moving and in a feverish hurry, something I didn’t expect considering it was already close to midnight. I found out that the border crossing, located between Lok Ma Chau in Hongkong and Shenzhen, Guangdong, operates on a 24-hour basis daily.

Going through the Hongkong and then the Chinese border controls was a breeze although I have to admit I was nervous as the border officials, especially on the Chinese side, didn’t smile and were looking rather stern. Some English are spoken there and there are signages in English but on the HK side. I wonder, after nearly a decade after, what changes have occurred there?

 

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4 thoughts on “Signs, signs: HK-China border crossing

  1. when i traveled to China about 5 years ago to observe at the Canton fair, it was also a breeze. my former employer is based in HK and they took care of my visa on my first day in HK, and i got my visa 2 or 3 days later, in time for my trip to Canton. i was even surprised when i crossed the border to China, i traveled by train, it wasn’t the China i imagined.:p

    1. Luna, I took the train back to HK! My Shenzhen-HK trip was one of the best trips I had 🙂 Unfortunately, getting a Chinese visa is more “challenging” now than before. Filipinos overseas need to go back to the Philippines to apply for visa at the Chinese Embassy there.

  2. I would also have taken the road less travelled by tourists! I haven’t travelled overseas much, but I think it is, in general, not as easy as it was even a decade a go.

    1. Lesley, I just love to go away from the usual touristy stuff and go local. To me, that’s the best way to immerse into the culture and meet the people. It does pose a lot of challenges but worth all the trouble.

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