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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shenzhen Hua Qiang Bei Lu 华强北

 After sitting on the train for more than 40mins, I and my friend finally alighted  from the KCR train to cross the border of Hong Kong into Shenzhen's Luo Hu Commercial Complex (LHCC). This checkpoint serving Hong Kong and Shenzhen is so full of commuters that you can see loads and loads of human traffice every 3-5mins.We thought of waiting for the crowd to thin away but it just didn't work out, so we chose to go in with the crowd instead.

packed KCR train to Luo Hu

KCR train commuters waiting on the opposite side 

never ending crowd coming down from the train

The usual long queue at the ladies before going into Shenzhen

filling up your wallet before going in, ATM charges will cost
SGD$5/ transaction for POSB/DBS bank.

You can save time and money by cycling in Shen Zhen,
this cyclist told me he spent about HKD$5,000 for this foldable bike

faster clearance at the gates of Shenzhen's checkpoint 

filling up of the arrival card on before going into Shenzhen

Immediately reaching LHCC, a stanger man targeted and followed me from behind. He tapped my shoulder lightly and ask if i needed any "bao bao" (branded bags and wallets). I quickly told him nope and we were looking for latest model of HuaWei handphone U8800. 

I was "caught" by this middle-aged man  and brought me to 1st mobile-phone shop. 
  This stanger man immediately said he has the source and quickly signalled us & 'pulled' us to a mobile phone shop that is about 50metres away. When we reached the 1st shop, we found out they do not offer such phone models my Singaporean friend wanted me to buy for him. 

China made Hua Wei latest model U8800 released in Jul 2010

Undettered, he then brought us to 2nd mobile phone shop that is on the opposite side that is on the 1st floor of LHCC, this time round we walked another 50 metres (that makes 100metres). This 2nd shop as expected also do not carry HuaWei U8800. So I asked about iPhone4. The salesman quoted me about RMB$4500 for a genuine iPhone (16Gb) while an imitation is around RMB$800.

I thoguht that was a good price but we intend to try looking at Hua Qiang Bei 华强北 where there are tons of mobile phones booths to offer us "good deal"(according to the guidebook of which i borrowed from the library in Singapore). It turned out that it was really the case. See below story in red.

Hua Qiang Bei Lu 华强北 is located 5 stations away from Shenzhen's LHCC  (1st station). Journey took us a couple of mins (around 10 mins). We paid RMB$3 each for the journey.

See map below:

For more details on the Metro system in Shenzhen, see HERE

Hungry stomachs groaning signal us to go for our late lunch its already 230pm and we weren't aware of our hunger. Now i know why some ladies can be so slim...

We pass by a Japanese restraunt on the 2nd floor of a building, there's a optical shop and Macdonalds below. The meal is very cheap and big enough to last you the half a day easily. Herbal double boiled soup plus a bowl of noodle cost us only around RMB$30 /set!

after lunch, we  decided to follow the guide book and look for the more reputable mobile phone shops at Gomez/Suning.  After looking around for more than 10mins, we end up in a shop with lots of handphone booths (air con) at this building below. Here you can find lots of mobile phones booths, we almost thought that we were at wrong place in a casino. Its diagonally opposite where we had our lunch.

One of the counters told us to buy imitation iPhone4 which they quoted me RMB$600 /set. The imitation set look almost like the real thing except the lcd screen is a bit shorter and contains only 4Gb instead of the original 16Gb /32Gb.

The sales man told me you can buy cheaper here and sell it off at RMB1,200-2,000 but I told him its not easy to sell them off in a "fine country" like ours (Singapore) tiny and lawful island -little red dot on the map. :D 
We were also told that there's no HuaWei phones sold in Hua Qiang Bei bcos' its an export set and so we left the place. Anyway got his namecard, may contact him in the future if there is a need to bring in iPhones.

Running short of time, we left the building, and quickly cross over the road to quite an old run-down buidling Wan Shang Dian Qi Cheng offering many second-hand mobile phones, batteries and repair centers.

Very soon, we realised one young chap was following us frombehind and asked if we want smuggled sets of iPhone?  He looked around suspicously and whispered to us tat he had only 2 sets left! I kept telling him i wanted something that's had warranty but he kept pestering for a few minutes. his offer is RMB 1800 where the shops are selling the real thing for RMB5500.  After entering the Wan Shang Dian Qi Cheng building, this young chap was never seen, probably looking for his "next prey".  :D

This Wan Shang Dian Qi Cheng looks more like a sweat shop to me. Its the place where you can repair your spoilt phones, trade in your old mobile and buy batteries. It seems to me that the batteries are also imitation... there are also OEM made batteries called "scud missile" 飞毛腿 which cost me RMB70/pc.  The OEM battery charger cost me RMB$20 after bargaining with the glib-tongue salesgirl at the previous building.

Total I brought down the price to RMB$160 (2 scuds + a charger) before coming to this place where you can also get a wide choice of "original batteries". I kind of got a bit confused with the terms used at this centre, can't really tell which is the original stuff unless you are the experts. There are 3 comoon terms used here: Original Goods (real stuff), Water Goods (aka 货 or smuggle sets), Imitation Goods (copy sets)

After getting our stuffs and enquiring for Hua Wei mobile phones for which we conclude these are not popular here and are only export sets, we decided to head back towards LHCC (Luo Hu Commercial Centre).

Its around 540pm and getting very dark at such an early hours. The crowd can be seen hanging around and occasionally cyclists are seen ringing their bells to get your attention to make way for them. Everywhere is filled with humans!!!

There are some shops at LHCC that we bargain for. the salesgirls claimed that today is Saturday and there are not many customers so we are quoting you a very low price just for you.
RMB70 -> RMB35 = half price?

Anyway just record on the ShenzhenHao book to remeber where to go back the next time.


To be continued ...


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