China, by mistake

This morning I thought I would go up to Lo Wu, which is the last stop on the Hong Kong metro, and right on the Chinese border. I thought it would be like the ‘border gate’ to the north of Macau, but when I exited the station I realised I was right in the controlled area, and couldn’t simply turn around and go back to Hong Kong on the train, nor get outside to take a look around. I had a bit of a job explaining that I’d made a mistake – I thought this was better than saying I was a political geographer who wanted to take some photos of the border – and they wanted me to enter China, which I thought I couldn’t do. Eventually I found a guard who said it would be a shame to have come this way and not get to see China, so he showed me where I could buy a visa. I’m not sure how normal this is – I was under the impression you had to apply in your own country. So I was able to cross over on a ‘Special Economic Zone’ tourist visa. It would only allow me to travel in the Shenzhen SEZ for five days.

Well I didn’t even have five hours, but had an interesting walk around Shenzhen by the station, a bit of the CBD, which has some very tall buildings, and I did get some shots of the border.

[note: if you can’t see the slideshow in your reader, go to the site itself]

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