Best Ways to Cross the Border Between Hong Kong and the Mainland

At Luohu (the main border crossing between Hong Kong and mainland China) the masses are funneled through a three-story building. From the outside this building looks huge, but from the inside—especially when you're surrounded by a quarter of a million people waiting to be processed—the crossing is reminiscent of a scene from Soylent Green.

If you're going through Shenzhen on your way to Guangzhou, take the through train from Kowloon to Guangzhou. The immigration line at the Guangzhou East Station is a comparative piece of cake, even on the worst days. It's possible to buy tickets on the fly on this commuter train, but we advise booking online a day or two in advance.

If you're heading into Shenzhen, why not trade the mad crush of Luohu for an hour-long ferry ride followed by a quick trip through the much less popular border crossing at Shekou Harbor? Ferries are usually not more than half full.

Another way to get to Shenzhen is to take the East Rail Line to the Lok Ma Chau station, built by Hong Kong’s MTR to make crossing the border easier for travelers. The station is expansive and efficient, though here, too, it can be quite crowded.

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