Shenzhen Day - Day 7

by - 15:15

Tsuen Wan 荃灣

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Tsuen Wan is the terminal station for the Tsuen Wan line, and it also houses the depot for the Tsuen Wan line trains. The actual location of the depot is actually on the ground floor of the apartment buildings. As a classic example of a mixed-use development, MTR seeks to expand its revenue sources by building residential blocks above the depot as it actually owns the land where the depot sits on as well.
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S3V20 disembarking passengers during morning peak at a bus stop opposite Tsuen Wan MTR station. The Volvo Olympian 'hotdog' also wears a striking orange full body advertisement to promote a new youth magazine named 'Breakazine'.
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Out of a total of 47 MAN 24.310 double decks brought in my KMB, only 17 of them are bodied by Volgren of Australia. These buses are often found working on services in the Tsuen Wan area, such as 259E as pictured below in Tsuen Wan bus terminal.
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The main reason for a detour to Tsuen Wan is to fit in a ride on a MAN 24.310. Though common in Europe, MAN double deck citybuses are very rare in this part of the world. In order to guarentee ourselves a ride on one of these German buses, we decided to take KMB 60M to Tuen Mun as most of the fleet comprises of them.
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Upper deck of a MAN 24.310 with Berkhof bodywork. The most distinctive difference in the interior as compared to the other double decks in KMB's fleet is the position of the staircase in the middle of the bus.
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Lower deck interior. Instead of the traditional bench seating between the entrance and the exit, the unusual position of the staircase meant that it is feasible to install the usual forward and rearward facing seats.
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Service 60M uses a section of the Castle Peak Rd between Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun which runs parallel to the coast. This allows for a more direct route between the 2 towns instead of having to do a loop to the north if one were to use the MTR West Rail line. Castle Peak Rd also connects to the Ting Kau bridge towards Tsing Yi and the airport (via Tsing Ma bridge as seen behind Ting Kau bridge in the photo).
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AMN21, which is similar to the MAN 24.310 which we took, was spotted laying over at Tuen Mun Town Centre Terminal. The bus terminal is a covered terminal which seats underneath the Tuen Mun Town Centre.
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Tuen Mun 屯門 - Shenzhen Bay Port 深圳湾

Traditionally, most passengers who wish to travel from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in the past would have no choice but to use the grossly overcrowded Lowu checkpoint, or the rather inconvenient Huanggang checkpoint at Lok Ma Chau. Over the past few years, the Chinese government had also stepped up the development in the Futian distict in west Shenzhen as a long term solution to alleviate the congestion in central Shenzhen. Thus, 2 new checkpoints were opened in recent years to provide more options to those who wish to travel between the 2 cities. These are the Shenzhen Bay Port and Lok Ma Chau (Futian) Port. A number of bus services were also introduced to serve these 2 new checkpoints, and are readily identified by the B prefix.

The most convenient checkpoint from Tuen Mun is the Shenzhen Bay Port. Citybus service B3 and B3X links Tuen Mun to the new checkpoint and the boarding point is opposite Tuen Mun Town Centre terminal. It is also worthwhile to note that Tuen Mun Town Centre is actually 1 LRT stop further down from the Tuen Mun MTR station.
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Very weathered and frayed banners that once provided passengers with information about the different services available from the bus stop such as B3 and B3X.
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Although B3X starts from the bus stop and thus offers a greater chance of getting a choice seat, we decided to board B3 (which starts from Tuen Mun Ferry Pier) as it is an Enviro 500 instead of a normal Dennis Trident that was operating the next trip of B3X.
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Rural landscape on an overcast morning in the north western corner of New Territories. Yuen Tau Shan 圓頭山 is shrouded in fog in the background. Despite being one of the shorter hills in Hong Kong at 365m, it is still higher than Bt Timah Hill!
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8104 on service B3 at Shenzhen Bay Port. The actual checkpoint complex is located across Shenzhen Bay, thus buses servicing the route have to cross a bridge, which also serves to convert the left hand drive carriageway to right hand drive at the end of the bridge.
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Shenzhen Bay Port checkpoint & immigration complex. We spent nearly an hour queueing up and completing the immigration and health declaration forms.
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Window of The World 世界之窗

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Window of the World is a major theme park in Shenzhen where scale replicas of famous landmarks around the world are exhibited. This includes the quitessential Effiel Tower, Statue of Liberty and of course the Singapore Merlion. A large glass sculpture was erected recently at the entrance of the theme park as a symbol of a "window". Photo Credits to Desmond Tay
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A row of European houses near the entrance to the park. Due to both a lack of time and interest, we did not pay a visit into the park.
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In addition to being a meeting point of all the characteristic structures of the world, the bus stops outside the theme park is also a meeting point for a large number of bus services and serve as a 'transport hub'. A Shenzhen Metro station also serves the park. We decided to hop on a bus to our next destination at Zhuzilin 竹子林.
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Public Bus in Shenzhen

The public bus service in Shenzhen is currently undergoing a consolidation process in a bid to reduce the amount of confusion as a result of the large number of bus operators. The bus services will be generally divided into Branch 支线, Main-Line 干线 and Express 快线, with each service type sharing a common livery.

Futian Transport Hub at Zhuzilin.
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Branch 支线 B602 laying over outside Shenzhen Bay Port. Branch line buses have a strking orange livery and often uses midibuses, such as this brand new Shanghai Shen Long 上海申龙 bus.
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Main-Line 干线 buses have a pale blue-green livery, such as this Huanghai operated by Eastern Bus. The operator's name and logo are placed at the front of the bus, and is partially obscured by the manufacturer's badge as seen here. The full service number for this bus is actually 310环线315, and it also holds the record as the longest public bus service in Shenzhen with a trip taking nearly 4hrs to complete.
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Some of the Wuzhoulong in Shenzhen are actually hybrid vehicles which run on both diesel and electricity, such as BD8330 which was photographed at Zhuzilin working on service 223 to Nantou.
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The number of older Chinese citybuses which feature the distinctive boxy bodywork and wooden seats are dwindling quickly as they are being replaced by newer buses.
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A Yutong citybus operated by Western Bus still wears the company's own livery and had not been repainted into the common livery for main line buses.
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Express 快线 routes often uses coaches and are painted in a bright green livery, as demonstrated by this Zhongtong coach working on service 329 for Eastern Bus.
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H92 is a tourist service operated by Haibin Transport using full length Higer coaches, and plies between Futian Transport Hub and Jin Sha Wan beach 金沙湾海滩.
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Futian Transport Hub is also the terminating point for many inter and intra provincial coach services, such as this Volvo B10M coach fitted with a Chinese bodywork.
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Shenzhen Metro 深圳地鐵

The Shenzhen Metro was put into service in December 2004, and currently comprises of 2 lines. which mainly connects Luohu to the Futian district. Zhuzilin station lies on Line 1 (will be renamed as Luobao Line 罗宝线 in the future) which runs between Luohu and Shenzhen University. This line will also be extended to the Shenzhen Bao'an Airport to the west in the near future. The metro logo also bears a striking resemblance to Hong Kong's MTR station with only the addition of an extra vertical line.
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Shenzhen Metro is partially managed by the MTR (Shenzhen), thus many features of its parent company are present throughout the system. This includes calligraphy of the station names on the platform (similar to Island Line stations in Hong Kong).
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Failure to give way to alighting passengers before boarding is a universal problem at many metro systems in the world. Shenzhen Metro hopes to bring across courtesy messages by pasting comics on the station platform doors.
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Luohu 罗湖

Stately looking Luohu Checkpoint & Immigration Complex.
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Shenzhen Train station.
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Shenzhen Bus Terminal. The original bus terminal at the ground level had been demolished to make way for a new retail development which is integrated together with the metro system.
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We decided to have lunch at a MacDonald's located inside the railway station. The grilled pork burger was very well done and the patty is also generously sized. In addition, it was only RMB15 (~S$3.10) as it was a lunchtime special.
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Shatoujiao 沙头角

Our next target in Shenzhen was to ride the King Long double deck which plies on tourist route 1. However, it does not call at the railway station, thus we had to take a train to transfer to the bus.
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Detailed information panels along the street as we emerge from the station exit.
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King Long XMQ6110GS1 operated by Peng Yun Bus. This model was identical to the one which I had taken in Xiamen a few months ago, with the exception that it is fully airconditioned.
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On many Shenzhen public buses, two-man operation is still practised. The conductor also helps to advise on the fare to be paid as most of the routes have stage fares, and prompt passengers to alight at their stop (which also helps to evade fare cheats!)
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Keeping up with the times. At a time when such blue billboards were used as a tool to instill patroitism in the past, this series of strategically placed billboards on an overhead bridge now reminds citizens of their civic responsibility to dispose of their trash in proper receptacles. Photo Credits to Desmond Tay
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Wu Tong Shan Tunnel as the bus heads east towards Yan Tian and Da Mei Sha.Photo Credits to Desmond Tay
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Sha Tou Jiao vehicular checkpoint. The bus in the photo operates a direct service between Shenzhen and Fanling in Hong Kong.
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Sculpture in Shatoujiao. We tried to join a tour to visit Zhong Ying Street in Shatoujiao where part of the street is in China and another part is in Hong Kong, but the tour is only open to locals for now.
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Bus Stop at San Jia Dian, where we took another bus back to Laojie to head back to Hong Kong.
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For the return to Hong Kong, we chose to use the other new checkpoint, which is the Futian Checkpoint. After clearing immigration on the Chinese side, one would have to cross the Shenzhen River using a double deck bridge to the Hong Kong side of the complex.

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As the complex was owned and developed by MTR, one is bombarded with signs to encourage one to take the MTR from the Lok Ma Chau station located next to the immigration complex. It was not exactly easy to locate the signs to the bus terminal located on the ground floor outside the complex. KMB Service B1 links Lok Ma Chau MTR Station to Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai.
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Yuen Long 元朗

The main branch of Hang Heung is located along the main road in Yuen Long. Hang Heung is famous for its Wife's Cake, which are made fresh daily by using their own winter melon paste. Although Hang Heung has outlets located in the city, I somehow find the quality and freshness to be lacking when bought from their branches.
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Dinner at Cafe de Coral at Yuen Long. I ordered the baked rice with pork cutlet set meal, which was so popular that it was quickly sold out when we had dinner at Tsuen Wan West a few nights ago. The serving was generous and the pork cutlet was not overly dry. The only thing which is lacking from the dish is a layer of melted cheese!
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Night Services at Mei Foo 美孚

Being our final night in Hong Kong, we headed out to Mei Foo terminal to photograph some of the night bus services. Unlike Singapore, the night buses in Hong Kong run daily.
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Many of the regular services run after midnight as well, thus we were able to get some photos of them as well. This Volvo B10TL is very similar to those operated by SBS Transit as it also has a Volgren bodywork. Most of the Volvo B10TL in Hong Kong are bodied with Alexander ALX500 bodywork instead.
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A Leyland Olympian 'hotdog' on service 38A at Mei Foo Terminal. The bulk of service 38A's fleet comprises of Duple Metsec bodied Dennis Dragon 'hotdog's, but the Duple Metsec bodywork are not as photogenic as the Walter Alexander 'R' type bodywork found on the Leyland Olympians!
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The night services have a N prefix, and operates full size double decks which include the relatively newer Wright bodied buses.
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A 'baby' Dennis Dragon waiting to operate N237. It has single deck destination signs in the destination sign holder at the front.
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Just as many cross harbour services are joint operation, the night cross harbour services are as well. N122 is operated by both KMB and New World First Bus between Mei Foo and Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island.
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Sastified with our haul of buses and freezing in the wintry 11 degrees Celsius weather, we hopped on the NWFB as photographed above back to our guesthouse along Nathan Rd.
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