Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Border and Metros in Hong Kong and Shenzhen

Here was my view as I sat today in one of Hong Kong's many metro trains:

inside of subway car in Hong Kong
Near the beginning of the East Rail Line in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's East Rail Line is somewhat special since its split northern end has terminal stations at border crossings with Shenzhen. As I have mentioned before, Hong Kong's border with Shenzhen raises some interesting issues regarding the restrictions mainland Chinese can face when traveling within their own country.

Fortunately, I did not need to spend much time dealing with the immigration formalities. Also positive, I was surprised by the friendliness of the immigration officer on the mainland China side of the border. He seemed amused by my first name. I have no idea why, but I am happy to have brought him a little joy.

After crossing the border, I hopped right back onto the metro--but this time the Shenzhen metro:

inside of subway car in Shenzhen
Near the end of the Luobao Line in Shenzhen

I can report that Shenzhen still has the X-ray scanners sidelined. Maybe they feel they are not needed. Maybe the machines have not yet had their radiation safety certified. Whatever the reason, based on what  I saw today the security in Shenzhen's metro does not seem like the security in Shanghai's metro but is instead more similar to the security in Guangzhou's metro. And in case you are wondering, today no balloons or comment cards were involved in my metro experience (see the previous two links for context to that remark).

After the extensive metro trips I am now in a hotel across from Shenzhen's main airport. Tomorrow I will be elsewhere. Once I am there, as I work through other posts I will share some photos to see if anyone can figure out the location. One clue for now: I am reasonably sure I will not be taking any metro rides.

[notes: The East Rail Line is part of Hong Kong's MTR (Mass Transit Railway) and is mostly above ground. The Luobao Line is part of the Shenzhen Metro and is mostly underground. That one of the lines is almost entirely above ground led me to use the word "metro" instead of "subway" in this post to avoid potential confusion. However, based on their typical usage (at least in some places) I think either word would be OK.]

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