Live in Shenzhen,Living in Shenzhen
Why Shenzhen is not a safe city
There is always concern that Shenzhen, the first city to implement China’s open door policy, is not a safe city – crimes are rampant, including those against Hong Kong people and foreigners. The following facts explain why.
Only two million of the city’s population of 14 million have permanent resident permits, and Shenzhen is home to 7% of the nation’s migrant workers. In this highly mobile city, nearly 80% of the crimes are committed by migrants.
Recently the city mayor Xu Zongheng also attributed the security problem to busy cross-border traffic between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Crimes are committed through exploiting the loopholes, he said.
No matter the reason(s), the fact remains that Shenzhen is not a safe city. So when you travel to there, watch out for your belongings and personal safety, particularly in busy areas such as train/bus stations.
Is it true shenzhen has high crime for a Chinese city
Because I read that people in Hong Kong complain it has high crime which I read on wikipedia. I find this hard to imagine cause when I was in NanJing I concluded there was no crime.
Hi there, yes, you are right. Shenzhen has a relatively high crime rate.
There were news in Hong Kong on how some tourists were kidnapped and missing for days and later were found dead in the garbage can with their organs missing.
Female tourists were also kidnapped and forced to work at the entertainment industry.
There are many pickpockets which target tourists. My friend’s mother left her cell phone for 1 minute in the hospital and it was gone.
Going to Shenzhen is fine, just try to blend in and go with your friends if you don’t look like local.
Crime levels in Shenzhen are significantly higher than in neighbouring Hong Kong. That being said, it is still no reason to panic as the crime levels are still comparable with any of the great Western cities like Sydney, London or New York. Use your usual common sense and avoid going to deserted places alone at night, and you will probably be fine.
Shenzhen has lots of pickpockets, especially in areas around bus and train stations. Also watch out for groups of children, who will tackle and hold you around your legs until you give them money to go away.
Leave your passports in your hotel’s safe deposit. Divide your cash by stuffing some in your pants pocket too.
Be careful to exchange money only with recognized places or people as they may give you fake currency. To be safe, only do your currency exchange at the Bank of China.
Be sure to keep an eye on the bigger notes (¥100 especially) given during payment to the salespeople, they may exchange it under the table while you are not looking and claim that you have given them a fake note. It is recommended to always keep loose change (smaller denominations) while taking a taxi or shopping at the market.
Lo Wu District and particularly the old part (for a city which started in 1979) is more localized. You will not find many Westerners there but like anywhere else on earth if you are friendly and patient, people will be the same in return. Almost no one will speak any English in this district but don’t let that put you off. There are great bargains to be had in the electronics district. They have a wide selection at great prices. You can catch a 97 bus from in front of the Golden Business Centre (Bentley) for 2 yuan but in the old village the bus stops are not marked. You will know when you are close because the streets will be packed with people, bicycles, taxis, buses and cars going both directions with limited concern for road rules.
Despite it’s sensationalized reputation from Hong Kong residents as being crime-ridden, Shenzhen is relatively safe by Western standards. It is no more dangerous than a major American city and violent crime remains rare. Nevertheless, as always, a little commonsense goes a long way.
The main problem is petty crime such as pickpocketing. Be careful in crowded shopping centres, subway trains, buses, stations and around the theme parks – keep your wallet in your front pocket.
Being scammed is not so common as in Beijing or Shanghai but be alert for people touting for business (massage, watches, shoes etc) around the Luohu area as they sell below-standard fakes at inflated prices. The ‘touts’ in Luohu bus station are not necessarily touts – there is no ticket office so they are simply there to direct you to your bus and don’t require any payment – you should buy your ticket on the bus.
You will encounter beggars but they are confined to a few places. Notable amongst these places are border crossings, Shekou amd Christian churches. Ordinary Chinese rarely give beggars money so they concentrate in places where the punters are either ignorant or have just heard a sermon. They are not aggressive and are mostly harmless. Give money at your own risk – beggars are controlled by criminal gangs and your donation will be funding organized crime – giving food or a cigarette is more beneficial to them. Particularly avoid giving money to child beggars. There have been several high profile court cases in recent years against gangs who buy children from impoverished peasant families, mutilate them, and use them in the begging racket.
The standard of driving in Shenzhen is appalling. Care should still be taken when crossing the street – fortunately most major roads are crossed by over- or underpasses.
Prostitution is common – particularly around Luohu and Shekou – keep your wits about you and be wary of that scantily-clad, available-looking woman giving you the eye from across the bar…
Where to live in Shenzhen?
I am preparing to move from Beijing to Shenzhen and would like to ask you, if you had to do it again tomorrow, where would you rent an appartment?
Thanks for your help!
It depends on the kind of person you are. Here’s a link on Shenzhenparty from people recommending places in Futian. I also recommend Futian. If you can find a place near Lian Hua Park, you might like it. Near a big book store and a park also, it is close to the subway. Me, I would want to be somewhere in the middle of the subway line like Hui Zhan Zhong Xin:) Only one stop from that park I just mentioned and HZZX is in the Cental Walk mall which has a Carrefourre supermarket with foreign foods and a small foreign foods market as well called Charlie’s USA, also a subway sandwiches restaurant. Plus you are close to the Coco Park mall which has a small bar street and other foreign eateries.
Ke Xue Guan is also a good subway stop to be around with its little bar area at the Citic Plaza mall.
A quieter area is near Che Gong Miao and Xiang Mi Hu. Dong Hai Hua Yuan is a good apartment complex with lots of foreigners. Lots of French live there. Some of the apartments, maybe all, you can find have a real oven:) I envy them.
Lots also like Portofino out by Hua Qiao Cheng. Beautiful but I’ve heard a bit pricey(they also sometimes have ovens:) It has a more European look to it and it is right next to some water. probably a man made lake. It really looks nice. It’s also not too far from a nice park with basketball courts and a track and field maybe for soccer.
If you want to be around lots of expats and a few good foreign food supermarkets, Shekou might be for you, but there is no metro, so unless you have a car, a taxi or bus will be your means of travel(or maybe a very long bike ride:p)
Some like Luohu. I don’t:) Bit dirty, lots of thieves, but people like it for the shopping, and clubs to party in on the nights and weekends.
I’ve kind of jumped around and left stuff out, if you want more info on an area I’ve mentioned, let me know and I’ll try to help.
Hello there, we live in OCT…across the road from Portofino in an apartment complex called Swan Castle. It’s really beautiful, lots of trees and parks. You can actually take nice long walks through parkland. Huge swimming pool. Across the road at Portofino, there are bars and restaurants by the lake. ParknShop in the complex and metro & Ikea 10 minutes away.
Shekou is the place for ex pats – apartments are about 5,000 to 10,000 and yes a car is really necessary unless you work around here. Entertainment and bars are great here, and more like a small town and not a large chinese city if u know what i mean. If you want more details let me know. So really depends where you work and what transport and how much money u want to spend.
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