China – First Impressions, Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China, April 2019: Am I the only Foreigner in town? feels that way as I emerge from the depths of China immigration, Shenzhen. ‘All eyes are on me,’ out of curiosity probably, but in a sense I feel like i’m in some-kind of a thriller movie. A very heavy police presence isn’t making matters any better either – perhaps due to the proximity of  the border just a few meters away. At this point in time I dare not attempt to take any photo’s! First impression then – loads of police, plenty of curious locals watching me suspiciously, its all quite surreal putting me on edge somewhat.

Moving along, carefully following the mobile maps – quite an easy city to navigate actually with roads taking on a familiar grid pattern on the way to Ganxia. Maybe I can borrow one of these yellow bikes that are piled up – everywhere! oh, wait a second, they’re all in a state of disrepair and judging by the rust, have been in-situ there for some considerable time, how strange! looking more closely, these are the Yellow OFO bikes that hit the streets of England and ended up in canals, rivers and in pieces on council estates. At least here, they are still intact.


Ride a bike, go green they said!


As much respect as the English!


What a mangled mess.

The Spacecraft Capsule Hotel isn’t easy to find, even with a map! That’s because the place is located in an old abandoned shopping mall – I’d say, probably from the first generation of developments and I guess that’s why its the cheapest place I could find for my stay in Shenzhen at £15 per night. Thankfully the girl on reception speaks just enough English to figure out I’m here for 3 nights and has absolutely no difficulty in telling me how much I have to pay. As the name suggests, I’m staying in a Space-age Capsule – a self-contained box with sliding doors for privacy. Controlled lighting and airflow are pretty nice additions although the TV is clearly just for those who understand Chinese. The reception has hot water, I have tea bags, just need to find some milk and I’m all set.


Space-age Capsule. (Google Map)

Next time, exploring Ganxia.

2 thoughts on “China – First Impressions, Shenzhen

  1. Nice to hold onto those first impressions… After a while it all becomes normal – I lived in China for about 18 months. And yes, those bikes… Most ended up in bicycle graveyards. What seemed such a sensible initiative at first turned into a disaster. Too many small companies jumped on the band wagon and there were just too many of them… Lots of companies went bust, hence the bikes were not maintained and were abandoned..



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