Here are a few things you may find helpful the first time you fly into the Hong Kong airport. NOTE: The new airport is on an island close to Hong Kong.

1. On the plane they will hand out a "Arrival Card - Departure Card" to fill out. You'll need it at the airport checkpoint. So, first, have a pen!! From your passports, you'll need the passport number, and also the place and date it was issued. You'll also need your Chinese VISA number. "Visiting Family or Visiting the School" is a good response if needed. If you have a permanent VISA, check the "Returning Home" box. You will get back the second part of the card as your temporary documentation.

Next, there is a "Health Card" you must fill out.

NOTE!! If you are taking the ferry direct to Shekou, you will NOT actually enter Hong Kong. DO NOT go thru Hong Kong Immigration! Follow the signs (LIKE THE ONE BELOW) to the "FERRY TRANSFER DESK".

DO NOT pick up your checked baggage. You will give your baggage receipts to the Ferry Ticket Desk and they will get your bags and bring them all the way to Shekou for you.
(Jump ahead to the "Ferry To Shekou/Shenzhen section):


2. When you get off the plane, you'll take a long walk down a hallway, and down some stairs into the immigration check point. First you'll pass the Health Checkpoint, and hand in your Health Card. An infrared system will check the temperature of you face as you walk by!

At the Immigration Checkpoint there is a line of high desks, and you wait and then go up to the clerk and hand them your passport AND the "Arrival Card" . Usually there's no hassle. "Visiting Family or Visiting the School" is a good response if needed. If you have a permanent VISA, check the "Returning Home" box.

3. After the immigration checkpoint there's a typical security checkpoint with x-ray for your carry-on and all that stuff, and a metal detector for you. Take your time and don't leave stuff behind. Don't ask me why I know this.

4. After the security checkpoint, you walk into a typical baggage carousel area. Check to make sure you know which carousel is for your flight; There are free carts; grab a couple and get your bags. Hopefully. If anyone tries to grab your bags and help, tell them No, firmly!

5. Next, there are aisles going thru Customs. There is a wide "Nothing to declare: Green Line" section. Just roll confidently thru there. Usually.

6. Finally you will come out into the Arrival Area. And There you Are!! We're waving...

NOTE: There are TWO Arrival Areas, A and B, next to each other. Make sure your friends are waiting at the right one.

IF you're on your own: Here's where to find a few things: ## TO DO##


Direct Ferry to Shekou: Shekou is now linked to the Hong Kong Airport by direct ferry service. This is the best way to transit to Shekou. The ferry takes half an hour, and your luggage is collected for you in Hong Kong and put onto the ferry. You don’t need to handle your luggage until you go through customs in Shekou. NOTE: The last Ferry is about 9:20 PM so you need to arrive at the ferry ticket desk at least an hour before that to use this route!

Right now (January 2009) the ferry departures to Shekou are: 9:00 10:15 11:00 12:30 13:30 14:30 15:30 16:30 17:30 18:30 19:30 20:30 21:20

Updated Ferry Schedules should be here:

If you are taking the direct ferry, look for signs to the "FERRY TRANSFER DESK" (See Photo above) (Also known as "Sky Pier" at transfer area E1.) There are overhead signs to follow to the "FERRY TRANSFER DESK". Ferry tickets are about $230 HK dollars ($29.45 USD) . You can pay with HK dollars or with a credit card. The ticket counter for this is located in the transit area just before the immigration booths. YOU WILL NOT NEED TO GO THROUGH HONG KONG IMMIGRATION IF YOU TAKE THIS FERRY. Purchase your ticket. Give your baggage claim tickets to the ticket agent who will exchange them for a substitute ticket. (One bag is handled free, with a small charge for additional bags.) Your luggage will be collected by the ferry agents from the baggage carousel and will be available to you after passing through immigration in Shekou. You will be given directions to the proper gate.

You will be directed to an entry area for the ferry gate, with the usual series of ropes and stands. You will present your ferry ticket and passport, and have your hand luggage x-rayed, so the usual, no liquids etc. applies here. You will be going downstairs to a departure gate for a bus which will take you to the ferry. When you find the right gate, approach the desk and tell them where you are going. (More than one destination bus leaves from this gate, so make sure you get the one for Shekou). After the bus ride (note the ocean and sea traffic on your left) you arrive at the ferry terminal, and walk thru a long hallway into the waiting area. They are not very organized, and more than one ferry leaves from this terminal, so you may approach the gate and tell them where you are going. They SHOULD put up a SHEKOU sign when the Shekou ferry is boarding.

NOTE: If you can avoid overnighting in Hong Kong, do so. Traveling by the Sky Pier ferry to Shekou is quick and convenient, not to mention less expensive, compared with transportation costs to the city and hotel rates.

Make sure you complete a Chinese (PRC) arrival form. The form is available on the ferry. Since the advent of SARS, each individual is also required to complete a health declaration. [NOTE: Apparently Discontinued in March 2009 ?? ]Temperatures are sometimes taken with scanners at the health checkpoint. Children too small to register on the scanner might have their temperature taken with a hand-held thermometer which reads body temperature from the forehead or ear. If you feel unwell or might have any of the symptoms, do not indicate this on the form!

Arriving in Shekou: You will exit the ferry onto a large pier. If you have checked baggage, identify it in the area right after the ferry ramp. They will bring your larger checked luggage past the immigration desks, to the scanner area, but you can bring a roll-along yourself. Walk thru the pier, another hallway to your right, and the immigration desks are to your left. Present your passport and arrival card. Immediately after immigration there is a scanner on your right and any large baggage the ferry personnel have brought down for you should have shown up there by now (possibly give the baggage handler $5 HongKong or 5 RMB, not more.. ). Put your baggage thru the scanner. Just take your baggage straight ahead. POSSIBLY the customs people to you left (who you have ignored) may ask to see your luggage. A total lack of Chinese at this point is an advantage. Usually no problems. Continue straight ahead, take the right at the end, and we're there waving at you!

If you're alone: (There are ATM's to your left before you leave the building.) Breeze right thru the gaggle of wannabe taxi drivers at the exit, bear to your left towards the sidewalk signs, and along the sidewalk to the real taxis which are maroon in color. Make sure the taxi driver starts the meter right after leaving. It should start at 12.50 . You should have a destination card to give the driver, or vocalize the two we know: The "Coastal Rose" townhouses are " Nan Hai May Guay" . The Peninsula Town Houses are "Bon Dow Chung Bong".

Welcome to China!