Shekou, a waterfront neighborhood on the southern tip of Shenzhen, faces Yuen Long in Hong Kong across Shenzhen Bay. The biggest attraction in this expat enclave on the mainland is a Western-style entertainment center known as Sea World with a 3-D cinema, hotel, nightclub, and several restaurants built up around a grounded Minghu ship.
Most visitors to the city arrive on a guided day trip from Hong Kong; it’s also the arrival point for day trips to Guangzhou. Many of these tours include a stop at the Shekou Exhibition Hall, home to some of the Qin Dynasty terra-cotta warriors and horses unearthed in Xian.
Things to Know Before You Go
Shekou is a good option for Hong Kong travelers looking to experience a taste of mainland China.
Don’t forget to carry your passport on any trips to Shekou.
You’ll need a visa for mainland China if you plan to visit Shekou from Hong Kong.
How to Get There
Most visitors arrive in Shekou via an hourlong ferry from Hong Kong. It’s located on the waterfront about 19 miles (30 kilometers) west of downtown Shenzhen.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Shekou is between October and December, when most days are sunny and cool.
The Snake Pit
On March 30, 1987, one of China’s first expat bars opened in Shenzhen. The establishment known as the Snake Pit began—when Shenzhen was little more than a fishing village—as a place for visiting oil workers from Texas, Scotland, and Scandinavia to go for a drink. Today, the area surrounding the Snake Pit is considered Shekou’s bar street.