Shenzhen Shopping Guide - Find where and what to shop and buy

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When the Shenzhen experiment was first launched, developers and investors scrambled to establish an economy that could capitalize on the success of its neighbor, Hong Kong. Today it is one of the country's most popular shopping destinations, with an astonishing selection of goods.

These days Shenzhen has emerged with an even greater edge as an affordable alternative to Hong Kong. Shoppers from across the border flood the market on a regular basis, though many don't realize how much shopping infrastructure really exists beyond Luo Hu Commercial City, which practically straddles the border. A dedicated tour further in reveals a great deal more.

With so much to offer, it's practically impossible to single out a product that defines the region. Shoppers will find everything from the quintessential knock-offs to true name-brand designer fashions. In between, there are myriad electronics, medicinal herbs, fine jewelry (along with convincing fakes) and the regular tourist kitsch.

Luohu District/Luohu metro station/ Louhu Lo Wu

This complex's name means ‘Commercial City', and it's most popular with resident of Hong Kong looking for relative bargains. It is located on the Shenzhen-Hong Kong and boasts five stories of retailers. This is an especially popular stronghold of pirated DVDs and designer knock-offs, as enforcement is much tighter in Hong Kong.

Kexueguan metro station/1095 Shennan Road/ CITIC City Plaza

A collection of Japanese department stores and designer outlets, this upscale shopping mall also operates a food court. It's especially handy for shoppers who won't be in town long (i.e. business travelers) and prefer avoiding market stalls and touts in favor of fixed prices and high-quality merchandise.

Luohu District/Laoji metro station/Dongmen Pedestrian Street

The oldest of Shenzhen's shopping districts, Dongmen is a huge plaza that's strictly open to foot traffic. It features a mix of small private retailers and large department stores. Prices on shoes and clothing in Dongmen are much lower than in Louhu Commercial City, despite the fact that they sell exactly the same products.


Futian District/Fu Zhong Road 1/Shenzhen Book City

Billed as the world's biggest bookstore, it's worth visiting to gawk at its size if not to peruse the titles, which are mostly in Chinese. There is an adjoining English-language room that has a solid selection.

Luohu District/Jen Shi Road 1076/San Dao Plaza

This thriving center for Chinese teas and medicinal herbs spans four floors. Produce and herbs are sold on the lower two floors, with complimentary tea tasting upstairs. Vendors are laid-back when it comes to offering samples and there's little pressure to buy if you don't want to.

Shenzhen shopping tips

Shenzhen's biggest shopping draw is its proximity to Hong Kong. Prices are low by Hong Kong standards, but remain high relative to mainland China. Hard-line budget shoppers will have better luck further inland, while those who value convenience over savings will appreciate Shenzhen's seemingly limitless selection.