What should I do/know when I arrive at the airport?
The subway (line 11) will take you directly to city centre, takes 25 minutes and cost 7 RMB.
Don't get a cab if the driver appraoches you, most of the time it will be "fake" taxi, and you'll end up paying 2 or 3 times the normal price.
A taxi fare to the city centre should cost around RMB 100 and will take about 40 minutes. Uber does not operates in China.
What's different from other countries/cities?
Everything happen on mobile apps (wechat) in China. You'll pay (almost) everything with Wechat.
Get your cash and VPN sorted in advance until you can set up a local SIM and pay on mobile apps
Try to setup a bank account when you arrive to get a Union Pay Debit card and link it to your wechat account
Google Translate and a good VPN (Astrill or ExpressVPN) will be your best friends
I need a SIM card
Short term: Go to any China Unicom store with your passport. They have a SIM card for 30 days and 20GB 300 mins for 99RMB. This SIM card will expire after 30 days.
Long term: China Unicom / China Mobile have many offer package for new numbers. Unlimited 4G (within the city) for about 99RMB/month with a yearly contract
Tips: Check if your oversea carrier (eg: Google Fi) include data roaming. You'll be able to bypass the internet restriction without VPN
Where should I stay/live
Nanshan (Hi tech park)
I need a bank account / debit card
You will need an apartment lease, passport (including resident permit), work permit and a local cell phone number to receive all the 2FA security text messages. If you have a tourist visa some banks might accept you, but some restriction has been implemented on tourists visa. ICBC or China Merchant Bank are great bank choices.
Tips: You can withdraw in almost every countries with UnionPay debit cards with really low fees (0.5%). With a limit of 100,000rmb/year and 10,000rmb/day
How to go from A to B?
For iOS, Apple Maps works in China for all modes of transportation metro / bus in real time.
For Android, you'll have to download "amap" play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.autonavi.minimap . No english version but after few days of usage, you''ll get use to it.
Didi ( 滴滴出行 ) is the "Uber of China". Drivers could rarely call you (in chinese) to confirm your location.
Coffee shops / Coworking to work from
In Nanshan @ Hi-Tech Park:
The starbucks Reserve in HiTech Park has 2 nices big tables with power outlets. Go work there in the morning (afternoon is crowded)
There is a hidden Starbucks in Eslite Bookstore at the 4th floor. Great for work, with a nice outdoor
Kubrick on the 5th floor of @MixC Mall
Old Books Heaven
Lotta Coffee (only for takeaways, strongly recommend their 云石抹茶)
Unique things I can only do/buy here?
The Electronic market in Huaqiangbei
You can repair any kind of electronics (laptops, and phones) in Shenzhen for very cheap. Go on taobao.com type “Product name 维修” , ask the the shop, and go there.
The must try restaurants?
潮香四海 dianping.com/shop/98320322 (in both Nanshan and Futian)
陶陶居 (TaoTaoJu) in Hi-Tech Park dianping.com/shop/108332969 - Try that awesome crispy ice pork
Where can I go for a weekend gateaway?
Hong Kong is within 1 hour reach by bus
Zhuhai Imperial Hot Spring - "best" spa in China - book one month in advance
Dameisha (大梅沙) for beach / surfing weekend
What VPN to use in Shenzhen?
Recommend to use Astrill with Stealth Mode with any "stared" server
Shadowscks also works great (Don't use an amazon VPS)
Do not use Express or NordVPN. They don't work well
Who contributed ?
Ruolan @ Shenzhen
Did you find some outdated informations for Shenzhen? An other "FAQ" section is needed? Just add it in the crowdsourced Google Spreadsheet ❤️ docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Lut4zmeDw9z-ikRJPH1nrmXGqt6rYDWGraFYUGnPUk/edit#gid=871523438