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Difference between Guangzhou and Shenzhen?

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Teacher Teacher

I know both are polluted and all the yack yack.

I just want to know why most people prefer

Shenzhen over Guangzhou?

I am a foreigner and both look the same

to me, from the outside. I find the rents more affordable in Guangzhou

but what would I be giving up in Shenzhen?

Any help is appreciated.

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I can't really talk with much experience - only observations, since I visited Shenzhen last year for a month and took a day trip to Guangzhou to visit Zhongshan University. I was just visiting my girlfriend in Shenzhen though, so not working or studying there.

As I said, I don't know much about Guangzhou, and can just offer you my observations from my one day's visit. From the reading I did before visiting, many (both Chinese and foreigners) consider Guangzhou to be a city characterised from the outside by it's massive sprawl of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. It's a large, busy city and with a population of over 10 million, is now China's third most populated. Some find this and the urban aspect rather suffocating. Guangzhou is supposedly made for good business opportunities and shopping, but from what I hear isn't often high on the list for general tourism. One of China's most prestigious universities - Zhongshan/Sun-Yat Sen University - is also in Guangzhou, and there's a fair bit of history to be found there. I'm not sure about the city's overall climate, but be aware that summers are absolutely scorching. The time I visited - smack in the middle of August - was certainly no exception. I felt like fainting trying to walk around the university campus. I don't know enough to comment on the cleanliness of the city.

One month wasn't quite enough to know everything about Shenzhen, but I think I got a flavour of the city. Shenzhen, as you surely already know, has a short history of hugely fast development and still has the feel of an up-and-coming city. It's one of China's special economic zones, one of China's richest cities and alike Guangzhou, is popular for businesses and for individuals with shopping. It's another massive city with plenty of skyscrapers and high-rise development, but it felt a bit less crowded than my first impression of Guangzhou. The city planning - to me, anyway - feels more organised than Guangzhou and easier to get used to. Purely from an environmental aspect, I felt I had more 'breathing room' between buldings, districts and within the CBD, compared to Guangzhou where it felt the buildings were more like walls. The city's summer also felt a little cooler than Guangzhou, but that's just the impression from one day. I felt greatly intimidated arriving in somewhere as big as Shenzhen at first, but I felt I could get used to it quite quickly.

One obvious aspect that would make Shenzhen more popular is it's proximity to Hong Kong. Guangzhou isn't exactly that far away, but Shenzhen and Guangzhou basically neighbour each other - you can take the Shenzhen Metro to the Luohu border station, walk into Hong Kong (through border immigration first), and transfer right onto the Hong Kong metro. If you've got the money, a multi-entry visa or a residence permit, then you can visit HK as often as you please (or your visa allows). HK is also one of the most popular places for visa runs.

I couldn't say an awful lot else about the Shenzhen except that it still has the feel of a happenin' place, and there's a lot going on business-wise. And despite the development and resulting pollution, Shenzhen still has a decent coastline and several picturesque parks to visit. Education-wise, however, Shenzhen isn't overly special with a relatively new university and I don't think it's overly popular if you're purely a student in China. I would also add that Shenzhen is one of China's most expensive city in terms of living costs and public transport - with the exception of the Metro system, of which some parts are still under construction but service is very good.

Hopefully someone more informed can fill in what I've missed.

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There will be a lot less Cantonese spoken in Shenzhen, so if you are learning Mandarin that might be an advantage.

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hi to all, I wonder is the costs in Shenzhen higher than Guangzhou!? like rent :help

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