Thursday, September 15, 2016


Tall buildings and plenty of construction line the way from the airport into town.

As much as I'd love to get out and shoot, I made the heartbreaking decision to leave the Leica(s) at home. There's too much to tog around already and I'll be kept rather busy. I'd have to make do with the iPhone. I don't feel secure enough to bring even the Q along (much less the M9) but I feel insecure without my trusty companions. LOL.

First stop, Shenzhen. SilkAir was a pain at check-in. A completely different experience from barely a week ago when we checked-in with Singapore Airlines for Brisbane. The entire bottleneck began with a staff who wasn't well trained, and didn't use her brains at 4.30am in the morning and dared to throw bureaucratic rules at us. We threw them right back because she interpreted the rules wrongly. Anyway, we got what we wanted. Thank goodness. 5am is too early to be in the middle of a heated argument.

The accommodation was erm an eye-opener. No infestation of rats, no roaches or lizards spotted, but the building was swarming with mozzies. It's got a nice enough open-air cafe at the lobby where we could sit and rest. I haven't stayed in something like this for decades. It's practically a dorm. Bunk beds, communal showers. 😑 No lifts. We had asked for single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, so that helped. Some semblance of privacy. The walls were so thin! At least electricity flow wasn't interrupted; there was stable wifi, air-conditioning and hot water. I don't think they clean the air-conditioners or pipes or whatever that regularly. The air quality was pretty bad, the bathrooms and floors covered with a thin film of slime. Unsurprisingly, our Singaporean respiratory allergies flared.

And because the hostel is nicely located northeast of Shenzhen in the OCT-LOFT creative and cultural area (深圳华侨城创意园), the prices of rooms with attached bathrooms aren't cheap and are comparable to prices quoted at three-star hotels 20 minutes away in town. Cabs aren't difficult to get around here, and there're plenty of Uber cars plying the road. This is why sometimes we should do our own homework on accommodation. We could still work within the budget, and get something better value-for-money.

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