HK-Shenzhen Transport

Train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (part three)

Hong Kong train operator MTR has updated its customer website so that users can not only search the route, time and fare of Hong Kong train service, but also the underground system of Shenzhen. You will find this very useful if you are planning to travel to Shenzhen from Hong Kong for a visit.

Check out this link. It allows you to shift between the two train systems and gives you some visual concept about the train connection between the two cities.

Train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (part one)

Train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (part two)

HK-Shenzhen Transport

Train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (part two)

I have blogged about the train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. I guess there is still strong interest in more information. So I am writing again on this topic.

MTR East Rail line is the line going to Lo Wu / Lok Ma Chau, from where you can cross border to Shenzhen and be connected by Shenzhen’s underground.

The East Rail line train service is very frequent, just like all other MTR lines. In the peak hours of weekdays, say 8-9am or 6-7pm, the train can be every minute. But do avoid peak hours – too crowded. Other times, it is about every 2-3 minutes. So checking the train timetable is a bit pointless. Just go and take the train on the day of your travel.

East Rail line’s starting point is Hung Hom. From Hung Hom to Lo Wu, train time is 45 minutes, and the ticket fare is HK$34. The first train starts at 0530, and the last train at 2307.

Kowloon Tong station platform for the East Rail line

If you are not starting from Hung Hom, it is likely that you use Kowloon Tong station, a major transfer station, which is two stops from Hung Hom. From Kowloon Tong to Lo Wu, it is 37 minutes and the ticket fare is HK$34. The first train starts at 0536, and the last train at 2313.

If you want to use the less popular station Lok Ma Chau for crossing border to Shenzhen, the train line is still East Rail and the starting station is all the same – Hung Hom. The journey time from Hung Hom to Lok Ma Chau is 48 minutes, and the ticket fare is the same as that to Lo Wu, i.e. HK$34. The first train starts at 0535, and the last train at 2135.

The timetable of the last train is tied up with the border closing time. Lo Wu border closes at midnight, and Lo Ma Chau / Fu Tian port border closes at 10:30pm.

Train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen (part one)

HK-Shenzhen Transport

Shenzhen Metro reaches airport

You now have a new way to reach Shenzhen Airport from Hong Kong, or vice versa. This time, all the way by train.

Shenzhen Metro (the city’s subway system) ’s Luobao (罗宝) Line (line 1, the green line) has come into full operation since mid-June, linking Shenzhen Airport to Luohu (the line’s first and last stations). That means, you can now take the Shenzhen Metro all the way form Airport East station to Luohu (罗湖)  station, where you cross over to Hong Kong side’s Lo Wu and take Hong Kong’s train system (called MTR) which brings you to the city.

Or vice versa. Take the train to Lo Wu, cross border, and hop on the Shenzhen Metro, take Line 1, and you will come to Shenzhen Airport.

The journey time for Luobao Line is 68 minutes. The map here will give you a clear idea of the train lines.

Taking direct bus is currently a popular way of reaching Shenzhen Airport from Hong Kong. See this post. Now that Shenzhen’s underground system has reached Shenzhen airport, this may change.

HK-Shenzhen Transport Transport

Which border crossing to choose

There are four land border crossings between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Which one to choose? Let me lay out the disadvantages and advantages below:

Lo Wu
This is probably the busiest and most popular border crossing among the four. It has East Rail Line train connection at the Hong Kong side, and underground train connection and a busy shopping area at the Shenshen side. Many Hong Kong people tend to use this border because of its convenience for shopping. The disadvantage is, it is not a 24-hour crossing. The border closes at midnight – the last train destined for Lowu border departs from Hong Hum, Kowloon at about 11pm. This crossing during the public holidays can be very crowded.

Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian
This border crossing is a diversion from  the Lo Wu one. It is also connected at two sides, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, by railway. The difference is, the Shenzhen side of this crossing, i.e. Futian, is relatively desolate, with little business activity. It is a springboard for you to go to other parts of Shenzhen via the underground train, itself unlikely a destination. Its advantage is, it is not as crowded as the Lo Wu crossing. To attract more people to use this crossing, ticket discounts for the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line – the railway line at the Hong Kong side connected to the border – are often offered.

Huanggang/Lok Ma Chau
The biggest advantage no doubt is its 24-hour operation. You can find buses and taxies going to/from the border 24 hours. And the biggest disadvantage lies in its traffic and immigration clearance arrangement. You have to get off the bus to clear the customs and immigration of Hong Kong, and then onto the bus to go to the Shenzhen check point, and off again- if you go in the direction of Shenzhen, and vice versa. What is more, at the side of Shenzhen, the transport hub (for taking buses and taxies) is a footbridge away, not readily accessible and hardly convenient, especially for those carrying heavy luggage.

This crossing is very congested during the public holidays, especially the mainland public holidays (such as Golden Week in the first week of October) when tours from the mainland flock to Hong Kong using this crossing.

Shenzhen Bay
This border crossing is used by vehicles only, as it has no rail connection at both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen side. This is its limitation. But since it is closer to the Shenzhen Airport, the bus to/from Shenzhen Airport usually uses this crossing. This crossing, the newest among the four land crossings,  boasts one thing –  the immigration and customs clearance for both Hong Kong and Shenzhen lies under one roof, a stark contrast to the Huanggang/Lok Ma Chau border. And the highway has made the journey to/from the border a fast one.

If you take a taxi from Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon of Hong Kong, for instance, it takes only about half an hour to reach the Shenzhen Bay border, and costs about HK$220. It probably takes you 10-15 minutes to clear all the customs and immigration. Right after leaving the customs and immigration hall, there is a taxi stand – you can take the taxi to anywhere in Shenzhen.

More to read: Hong Kong-Shenzhen Transport

HK-Shenzhen Transport Hong Kong

Ticketing update: “HK-Shenzhen Airport” direct bus

Further to my entry about the direct bus service between Hong Kong’s Elements (Kowloon Station) and Shenzhen Airport, here’s the latest news:

You can now buy the direct bus tickets online using Visa credit card – but the interface is in Chinese only, or through the 7-Eleven convenience stores at the MTR stations (for the list of 7-Elevent stores, see here – in Chinese only ). In other words, if you can find a 7-Eleven store in any of the major MTR stations, you can buy the ticket there.