Dongguan to Hong Kong: Walking over the border

One of my favorite things about Southern China is how easy it is to travel to surrounding cities like Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. Getting to Hong Kong is pretty easy – an 80 minute bus ride to Shenzhen, followed by a short walk across the border and you’ve entered a completely new city! Here are some simple instructions and tips to help you get there.


  1. Catch a bus from any bus station in Dongguan, heading to the Shenzhen Luohou Bus Station. Tickets cost approximately CNY 48. There are buses heading out to Shenzhen from all major bus stations.


  1. Travelling in Southern China is quite difficult because hardly anyone speaks or reads English. Have the names of both the Dongguan and Shenzhen bus stations written down clearly in Chinese. You can ask a friend or the reception desk of your hotel to help with this.


  1. Once you have arrived at the Shenzhen Luhou Bus Station, follow the English street signs directing you to Hong Kong.


  1. These street signs will lead you directly to the border control office where you will officially be leaving mainland China.


  1. Before arriving at the first counter, fill out a yellow departure card. Hand this, together with your passport to the border control officials. They will stamp your passport with an official exit stamp.


  1. Once you’ve completed this stage, you will be guided by both, signs and some of the friendliest English speaking security guards to a second border control counter for entry into Hong Kong.


  1. Have your passport ready along with a completed white arrival form which you can pick up from any of the surrounding desks. Have your accommodation details nearby too, as you will need to fill this into the arrival form.


  1. Since there are tons of people entering Hong Kong on a daily basis, they most likely won’t stamp your passport with an official entry stamp if you are staying here for a short time. You will be given a piece of paper stating the date of entry followed by how long you are eligible to stay here for. Keep this piece of paper safely. You will need this when exiting Hong Kong.


  1. Hong Kong no longer forms part of mainland China, so while some nationalities are able to enter Hong Kong without a visa, others cannot. Check beforehand if you need a visa. South Africa citizens are able to stay in Hong Kong for 30 days without a visa. If you plan to re-enter mainland China after your trip to Hong Kong, make sure you have a multiple entry visa or a residence permit before leaving mainland China. If not, you won’t be allowed back across the border.


  1. Once you pass the second border control counter, you are officially in Hong Kong! The subway station is up the stairs and it’s pretty easy to travel to anywhere in the city from here.

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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

One thought on “Dongguan to Hong Kong: Walking over the border

  1. Posts like this are so specific but so useful. I have one posted about using the new cross-border bridge for Americans to fly out of the Tijuana airport. It can be intimidating but having a guide makes things smoother 🙂

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