My 5: Huaqiangbei Electronics District – Shenzhen, China.

Huaqiangbei Electronics District Shenzhen China

1. February 2018. Wonderboy and I were pretty excited about seeing China’s Silicon Valley, a sprawling three kilometer district packed with electronic malls, stores and service centers. The largest of its kind in Asia, this is one of the busiest shopping areas in the country. Except that is, when you rock up during Chinese New Year bank holiday days to find everything shut. Doh!

2. February 2018. We were both on a mission that day. Wonderboy had his heart set on a drone, while I was in desperate need of a new battery for my Mac. With absolutely nothing going on in the district’s main street, we reluctantly decamped to a nearby Starbucks to ponder our next move over some sympathetic lattes.

3. February 2018. “It’s still early,” an Australian expat told us. “Hang for a bit, a few stores should start opening soon”. And right enough, when we returned an hour or so later, it was to a pleasing soundtrack of opening shutters and crappy dance music. Slowly but surely Huangqiaobei was beginning to wake up.

4. February 2018. Our initial disappointment soon gave way to intense gratefulness as we realized we’d be getting the great electronics experience without the crowds. Ok, only a third or so of the stores were actually open, but we’d still be able to get what we came for. In fact, it didn’t take Wonderboy long to come away with a foldable HD camera drone for 580RMB (£66/€75/$93).

5. February 2018. Getting my hands on a new Mac battery proved trickier. Méiyǒu!” (none!) came the reply, again and again again. At one place, in a cruel display of false hope setting, the man nodded enthusiastically before telling me to come back in ten days to pick it up. I’d almost given up by the time we nipped into this place. Amusingly, they advertised themselves as an Apple Genius Har, which obviously didn’t fill me with much confidence. But then the grisly dude there confidently produced a brand new plastic wrapped battery from a drawer behind the counter and had it installed in a matter of minutes. Result!

For more on my adventures in the city, check out more of My 5s on Shenzhen.

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my zillion articles from all around China.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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