Having an address in the heart of Pearl River Delta has its advantages. Not far away by high-speed ferry are the likes of Hong Kong and the shopping mecca of Shenzhen. Even closer are the bargain shops of Zhuhai and the giant theme park of China’s Hengqin Island.
If you are looking for a few extra items on your shopping adventure, you only have to step across the Chinese border to the neighbouring city of Zhuhai. The bargains are literally at your feet the moment your cross through the border gates. Zhuhai has grown as a major contemporary centre in Guangdong province, its appeal more far reaching than that as a bargain hunter’s delight. There are restaurants to explore along with a number of seaside parks of what is commonly known as China’s Riviera. Word of warning: you will need to organise a Chinese visa.
2. Hengqin Island
If ever an island has undergone such a rapid transformation it is neighbouring Hengqin. Once merely as address for a scattering of fishing villages, the island now boasts much family appeal through the Chimelong International Ocean Kingdom Resort which features one of the world’s largest aquariums. The award-winning park is home to the rare whale sharks, beluga whales and polar bears, along with an array of other exotic animals, “China’s answer to the USA’s Orlando” The island is connected to Macau by a bridge and a tunnel, Australian passport holders will require a China visa.
3. Hong Kong Island
It only takes a little more than 60 minutes by TurboJet high-speed ferry to have you on nearby Hong Kong Island for the day. Much larger in area and population than Macau, Hong Kong has much to offer sightseers, shoppers and lovers of fine food. Whether you ride the Peak Tram, hike across the Dragon’s Back or take the bus to Stanley for its markets, a day can fly past quickly. By night, there are the restaurants and bars to explore in Wan Chai. Remember, you will need your passport for the journey. Ferry services are frequent throughout the day and night.
For those who prefer to stay on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, TurboJet has ferry services that will soon have you exploring the shops and restaurants of Kowloon. Apart from the electronic and jewellery stores, this corner of Hong Kong has a famous flower market among its markets of stalls. For dining, a walk along Ashley Road is almost global with its multicultural choice of restaurants. After dark, there’s the Lan Kwai Fong district that will have you partying into the wee hours. Again, you only need your passport for the trip to Kowloon.
More famous than Zhuhai for its bargain shopping is Shenzhen, once a quiet fishing village today a magnet for shoppers from Hong Kong as well as Macau. The city can be reached swiftly on the TurboJet ferry service. The city doesn’t have too many historical attractions but what it lacks it makes up with theme parks. Worth visiting is the Window on the World which will take guests to almost every corner of the world - in one day. Happy Valley is the largest of the theme parks. Once again, remember you will need a China visa for this day trip.