What are the first things that spring to mind when thinking about Shenzhen? Perhaps the words “financial and commercial metropolis”? Theme parks maybe? Or how about shopping? Shenzhen, a modern, sprawling city close to the border of Hong Kong, was one of the first cities to open its doors to the West after reforms. Closely influenced by the wealth and prosperity of Hong Kong, what Shenzhen lacks in cultural and scenic sights, it makes up for in shops. Like so many other fast developing cities around China, many of Shenzhen’s construction sites get devoured by large scale shopping centres and commercial projects. You may be hard pressed trying to find a souvenir of this city, but there’s certainly no scarcity in fashion, electrical appliances, jewelry and accessories.
In fact, Shenzhen has become a must-go shopping destination amongst bargain hunters from Hong Kong, with prices on the Shenzhen side of the border usually a fraction of those in Hong Kong. Below is a quick guide to some of the most popular department stores around the city.
Dongmen Pedestrian Street 东门步行街 “老街”
Dongmen Pedestrian Street is the most popular shopping destination in Shenzhen. The street is a concentrated magnet for commerce, with plenty of shops, restaurants and cinemas. Situated in the heart of Luohu District, Dongmen caters to every shopping need. From children’s’ clothes, adult fashion, fashion accessories, electronic goods and toys; you’ll find these and much more at Dongmen. The area is intersected by smaller streets and alleys, creating a labyrinth solely dedicated to selling all that the heart desires.
Shops on Dongmen Pedestrian Street are diverse, ranging from chain stores like Baleno and Giordano to hole-in-the walls selling anything from jewelry, handbags, DVDs to beauty therapies. Unless you go to one of the chain stores or department stores with clearly marked prices, bargaining will be required. Don’t be hesitant to ask for at least 50% off the quoted price. Some of the more popular shops among locals include Hongji Handicraft City on Lixin Road or the Sun Plaza Mall (see details below) which features a number of international brand stores at significantly reduced prices.
Though browsing the hundred plus shopping venues in this area can be a truly exhausting experience, the upside of choosing Dongmen is that there are also plenty of food and drink options available to recuperate after a strenuous day of shopping. However, if you prefer to have everything concentrated in one building then Luohu Commercial City (below) may be right for you.
Dongmen Pedestrian Street, a.k.a. "Lao Jie" 深圳市罗湖区东门步行街“老街”
Getting there: The nearest subway station is Laojie (老街), take exit A to reach Dongmen. Alternatively, bus no. N3, N6, N15, 59, 64, 103, 113 and 203 pass through the Dongmen shopping district.
Sun Plaza Mall 太阳广场View In Map
Address: 2001 Jiefang Lu, Dongmen, Shenzhen 深圳市东门解放路2001号
Tel: 0755 - 8239 3789
Luohu Commercial City 罗湖商业城
This shopping emporium is one of the first sites to greet you when passing across the border from Hong Kong into Shenzhen. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s sleek, blue glass exterior is reflective of its inside. In fact, its rather neutral, non-imposing building from the outside couldn’t be more contrasting from the hustle and bustle inside. Spread over five floors, Luohu is known for its vast stock of cheap, albeit often counterfeit goods. Knock-off copies of famous brands in electronics and fashion are rampant, as are pick pockets and con artists so be vigilant and always keep your belongings in sight.
Though Luohu Commercial City is generally a great and convenient place to pick up bargains, it can simultaneously be the site of great rip-offs, especially if you don’t exercise your bargaining skills to the maximum potential. Bargaining is a prerogative here. Aim to chop the price by at least one third of the original price, and in some instances even up to 70%. Besides fake Gucci bags and iPods, Luohu Commercial City also stocks traditional craftworks and non-brand goods. The entire fifth floor is taken up by tailors and clothing shops, forming an intertwining labyrinthine maze of seemingly never-ending booths. If you come here at the weekend, prepare to face a stampede of like-minded shoppers in search of a bargain.
Luohu Commercial City 罗湖商业城View In Map
Address: Luohu commercial City, Luohu District, Shenzhen 深圳市罗湖火车站东门罗湖商业城
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
Tel: 0755 - 8233 8178
Getting there: Take subway Line 1 to Luohu Station, exit A.
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