China 1st stop. Shenzhen

Landed HKIA early eve Thursday. Rather than railing directly to Xiamen, opted to decompress in Shenzhen for a couple of days. Super wise move, we are totally impressed and loving the town.

Ran a couple of errands the first morn (find a bank that accepts USA ATM card, SIM for our MIFI). With cash in hand and data on tap, we pretty much jumped into the first acceptable joint with Cantonese breakfast items.

Fresh steamed Cheong Fun (one egg, one beef), some decent Ha Gow, Greens and a couple of Soy Milks. Fueled and ready to play tourist!!

Food options in Shenzhen almost rivals Hong Kong, at what seems a better price point. Had fun checking out a well stocked supermarket.

Some fresh lily buds. I use the dried buds for my herb soups back home.

Some fresh Lotus Seeds. Very Intriguing!! Supposed to crack and eat like sunflower seeds.


Blew my mind at a local Food Street. We were like Asia Noobs again, which is a GREAT thing!

We bought some Ribs, Cold Noodles and some Chicken in an Omelette Wrap/Roll. Walked the five blocks back to our hotel and enjoyed our snack in air conditioned comfort with a couple COLD Beers. The ambient temps are in the mid-90’s with humidity in the hot shower range.

Wandered around our hotel after dark. Did not have to go far afield to find good eats. We would have gladly enjoyed at any of a hundred restaurants within a two block radius. We did force ourselves to explore and cast a wider net. About an hour later, we succumbed to a Chicken in Soup place.

It was a fancy joint, as evidenced by the shrink wrapped dining ware. No need to rinse one’s own bowls/plates/spoons in hot tea here! :slight_smile:

Chicken with Pork Stomach Soup. An Amuse of Pickled Kelp. Chilled String-bean app. Pork Kidney. Lotus Root. I wanted an usual vegetable and got one. Anyone know what that leafy green is?

Bo Jai Fan (clay pot rice) with Frog and a Lop Chong “supplement”.

We packed up four boxes of leftovers, hoping to help a hungry person in need. Alas, not a single person in need on the five block walk back to our hotel. We ain’t in San Francisco any more!?!!


keep em coming!

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Nothing beats HK cheong fun!! :grin::+1:

A friend’s mum in Penang loved these, which she’s peel and keep in small packets that she’d carry in her purse - taking them out and munching them when she felt like it. But lotus seeds are not always available in Penang, so I brought a whole bunch of these flower buds back for her when I saw them in IconSiam Bangkok earlier this year.


Very nice!!! I can see how they can get addictive. I’ve always boiled dried lotus buds in soup, first time directly popping them out of the pod.

Cheung Fun. Not much beats a simple steamed silky CF. Well, a good bowl of Jook perhaps.

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Love fresh lotus seeds!

I passed through Shenzen once. Crossed the border from HK to take a local bus to Huizhou. The bus conductor made a video clip of all the passengers on the bus just before we rolled out of the depot. First time we experienced that in China. I think in case of accidence they could identify us.

Pretty sure you are going to eat popiah in Xiamen. We were there for a few days. Going to Wuyashan, too? Then you need to confirm the price of everything before paying. Or the bill will be a big surprise.


Advice well noted.

Off to Xiamen tomorrow for better part of a week. Then Guangzhou. Hoi Ping, my ancestral village is relatively close to Guangzhou and will do best to arrange a short visit.

Booked a Hong Kong hotel for the final week. Hotel is on Salisbury Road, should be somewhat away from any potential protests. If all goes to hell, plan B is to divert to Macao. Betting that the ferry from Macao direct to HK International will be unaffected. We’ll see.

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Sorry there’s a typo, I meant Wuyashan. Good luck with HK these days. Plan B Macau sounds better.

Luoho Commercial Building is right over the border from Hong Kong. It is comprised of a bewildering maze of shops, restaurants and massage parlors. It’s massive, each of the six floors at least the size of of an American football field.

It’s been some 20 years since my last visit. Then, it was floor to rafters jam packed with purveyors of Polo Ralph Lauren, LV, Zippo, Burberry…all the aspirational luxury brands of the day. Today, no obvious counterfeit goods were on open display. But rest assured. They are discreetly available. Don’t ask me how I know. :wink:

We had a light lunch at the Arcadia Restaurant on the sixth floor. Steamed Whole Fish topped with Schezuan Peppercorn, mala city! Egg White Scallop Fried Rice. Hit the spot.



Couldn’t resist some Dan Tat from the department store next door. 4 tarts for 10 ¥ (usd$1.40). Not bad.


Inspired by @klyeoh Macao post about HK style cha chann tengs, walked out this morning looking to find some. Lo and behold, found one literally around the corner from our hotel.

True to style, utensils rinsed in hot water. Hot coffee/tea mix for me, iced coffee/milk for she.

Had to order the Fried Egg and Ham Sandwich. Delicious!

Nothing says breakfast like a piping hot bowl of congee.

Cha Siu Bow. Ha Gow. Siu Mai. Braised Tripe. The usual suspects.

Gotta have the veggies.

This should tide us over until we hit Xiamen this afternoon.


@Google_Gourmet, I have a question- Its said that with many large cities in China where there is significant population influx from other parts of the country, that the local dialect is significantly diluted. I was told that Shanghai is like this now, that the local dialect is not spoken much. Same for Shenzhen, where I was told that Mandarin is more widely spoken than Cantonese. Do you find the same with food? Is the local cuisine being slowly displaced?

Good queries. I was somewhat surprised by the dominance of Mandarin spoken here. To the point that my ears perk when I hear any Cantonese spoken. Have not heard a single person speaking Toishan Wa.

This is my first time back to Shenzhen in 20 years and the sea change is incredible. Shenzhen was Hong Kong’s uncouth little brother. No more. This once upon a time backwater is blossoming with lots of runway ahead.

Only barely scratched the surface of the food scene. Still leaning mostly Cantonese. Didn’t see much other foreign stuff (Japanese, Korean, Europe, etc), not hardly any other China provincial cuisines. American fast food has some presence of course, but not near as much as even Hong Kong next door.

I had expected food prices to be much higher than my last visit, but not the case. I must say, food (restaurant and supermarket) is cheap. Quality is quite good, on par with HK. Again, I will have to return soon for more research.

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On the bullet train en route to Xiamen.

The 1st cabin attendant just came by with a catering cart offering duck necks/feet/gizzards to gnaw on as a snack. A 2nd passed by offering self heating Hot Pot meals, on a moving train going triple digit km per hour???

Gotta love China!! :slight_smile:


I am huddled over my bowl of instant seafood ramen with added tofu cubes in Ucluelet, British Columbia as I read your breakfast post. There is something about traveling that makes me crave cheap Asian breakfasts (although who am I kidding, I do at home in Boston, too).

I am hungry all over again after reading your post. Thanks a lot! :grinning:

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Awesome pics. That mall looks like some kind of video game maze. Crazy!

Those bullet trains are a marvel. I couldn’t believe how smooth they are. You look outside and things are flying by so fast you can barely make out what they are. Meanwhile a full drink next to you rests calmly without spilling a drop. We need some of those in the US.

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Oh yeah!! So true.

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Were you headed towards Foshan? I recall I think @sck mentioning about House 102. Seems super interesting:


Foshan not in our original plans, but we may need to alter our itinerary if the trouble in HK persists.

We’re in Xiamen now, and love it! I’ll start a separate thread on Xiamen. This town may not be to everyone’s taste, but perfect for us.

Staying at the very edge of a huge walking district with street food galore, a giant wet market. We’re like kids in a candy store. So many eating options. Fresh/live seafood, veggies, fruits, poultry, etc

I think we may just be easy. Loved Shenzhen and now Xiamen. Good start for this trip.

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Oh yes, please! I’d never been to Xiamen, but the city holds quite a bit of fascination for me as the majority of Penang’s populace (where I am right now) speaks a unique Zhangzhou (漳州; Hokkien: Tsiang-tsiu ) dialect which most closely resembles that spoken in the district of Haicang (海滄) in Longhai (龍海; Hokkien: Liông-hái ) county and in the districts of Jiaomei (角美) and Xinglin (杏林) in neighbouring Xiamen prefecture. Majority of the Chinese diaspora in South-east Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia) are Hokkiens from that part of Southern China. Food-wise, each country’s Chinese populace have naturalised their cooking techniques and ingredients in their host countries, oftentimes incorporating those of the indigenous populations, plus those of other main Chinese dialect groups that also migrated to South-east Asia: the Cantonese, Hakka, Chiuchow/Chaozhou, and Hainanese being the chief ones.

Back in Singapore, we speak another variant of the Hokkien dialect, closer to Quanzhou.


Peter, you are quite the linguistic historian!

Makes me wish I’d studied Chinese rather my two years of Latin. In my school days, no one dreamed that Mandarin would emerge as a lingua franca for the world’s elite.

China is moving so fast. I’ve been coming regularly for a couple of decades, yet am absolutely blown away by the rate of growth and change. So much to see and learn.

Xiamen thread:

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Same here! I actually studied German as my second language in university.