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Jan Finster

Where should I stay in Shenzhen for a week?

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Jan Finster

Prior to going to Taiwan to study Mandarin independently in December, I will be in Shenzhen for a week. I wonder where to stay? I would like to stay in a nice area with plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and parks. Ideally a place where I can easily meet new Chinese people and meet up with my Chinese teachers in coffee shops or the like. (Does not have to be party mile or ex pat mile). 

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889

Nanshan is nice: a leafy and spacious Chinese suburban vibe. Some big malls and a WalMart. Too spread out for much walking, but great if you can get Mobike working, since good bike paths connect everywhere.

 

Not in central Shenzhen, but connected by Metro.

 

I don't know about meeting people, though, but I sense Nanshan's fairly attractive to foreigners.

 

 

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Jan Finster
27 minutes ago, 889 said:

Too spread out for much walking, but great if you can get Mobike working, since good bike paths connect everywhere.

 

Thanks!

Can I get a Mobike without WeChatPay/Alipay and with a "normal" international driving licence?

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889

No license required: it's a bicycle/pushbike.

 

You may be able to use Mobike with a credit card, I don't know. Easy if you do have Wechat linked to a Chinese bank account, since you don't have to pay a security deposit then.

 

Set this up beforehand since it can take a few days.

 

https://www.travelchinacheaper.com/china-bike-share-travelers-guide

 

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mungouk

I set up the Mobike APP, downloaded from the UK Apple store, using my Singapore phone number from the day I first arrived in Beijing in May this year, before having any Chinese bank accounts.

 

You can connect it to foreign cards like Visa (or at least I could), and I've been using it like that ever since.  I didn't have to pay any deposit, maybe that's an older thing.

 

Presumably Shenzhen also has a travelcard of some kind that you can use on the subway and the buses, as with other large cities... this is very convenient and cheaper than buying individual tickets when you travel. You will have to pay a deposit for the physical card but you can get it back when you leave if you want.  I tend to keep them as souvenirs and/or just in case I return.  You can buy and top up these cards using cash, so there's no need for WeChat, Alipay etc.  

 

Some cities also accept Applepay (allegedly) at the ticket gate but I find that scanning your phone screen is slower than swiping a physical card.

 

Have fun!

 

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suMMit

shenzhen subway you can download a wechat extension app and scan qr each time you take the sbwy 很方便。 I like Bionic Beer when im in sz. Its got a good vibe in a very 热闹  local type neighborhood, BAISHIZHOU

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889

Payment through that Wechat mini-app will work only if she's got a Mainland bank account linked. Not worth it for a week.

 

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ouyangjun

Hilton Shekou Nanhai

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abcdefg

What will you be doing in Shenzhen during that week? Do you already have things planned or arranged? That will impact your choice of where to stay. Shenzhen is pretty spread out. 

 

On 9/1/2019 at 9:17 PM, Jan Finster said:

I would like to stay in a nice area with plenty of coffee shops, restaurants and parks. Ideally a place where I can easily meet new Chinese people and meet up with my Chinese teachers in coffee shops or the like.

 

Nanshan 南山 is where I've usually stayed. It fits the criteria you laid out here. But if you have already arranged Chinese teachers and they live in a different part of town, it might not be convenient. 

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Jan Finster
4 hours ago, abcdefg said:

What will you be doing in Shenzhen during that week?

I really mostly would like to focus on studying Chinese. I could imagine meeting my teachers in coffee shops or the like and studying there in between lessons.

 

4 hours ago, abcdefg said:

But if you have already arranged Chinese teachers and they live in a different part of town, it might not be convenient. 

 

I understand. Do you have any tips on how to find good independent teachers (=no school) in Shenzhen? 

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889

To be fair, how much are you going to accomplish in a week with a teacher? Then add in the hassle and expense.

 

For just a week, I think simply heading around to markets and small shops and engaging people is more practical, assuming you already have some basic Chinese. Keep getting lost and asking directions. Plenty of opportunities for that in Shenzhen.

 

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abcdefg

 

1 hour ago, Jan Finster said:

Do you have any tips on how to find good independent teachers (=no school) in Shenzhen? 

 

Agree with @889 that it probably does not make sense for such a short time, but you might keep this website/forum in mind:  

http://www.shenzhenparty.com/ 

 

One thing I always used to do when looking for short conversations in a new city was to go get a foot massage 足疗/泡脚/按脚。An inexpensive hour of conversation is usually available like that. Most of the foot massage techs 技师 are bored and eager to talk about this and that while they work. You can also prepare ahead of time with some specific "foot massage" vocab. (Let me know if you need help with that.)

 

If you don't know where to find a foot massage joint 足疗店 -- just ask a taxi driver. 

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Jan Finster
1 hour ago, 889 said:

To be fair, how much are you going to accomplish in a week with a teacher? Then add in the hassle and expense.

Thank you for your considerations. I will be in China for business anyway after that, so this time, it is really not a hassle or cost issue.

Also, this will be the first week. Thereafter I will be self-studying in Taiwan for 3-4 weeks. So, I look at it more as 4-5 weeks of studying with 25% of it in mainland China. 

So, I guess I would like to start somewhere and would love to have a teacher for at least 1-2 hours a day.

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mungouk
On 9/1/2019 at 11:11 PM, mungouk said:

I set up the Mobike APP, downloaded from the UK Apple store, using my Singapore phone number

 

Looks like I spoke too soon... my account has now been disabled without warning.

 

IMG_D232F6448931-1.thumb.jpeg.9b7515bb9ee142906e345c72141d8f86.jpeg

 

 

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abcdefg
20 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

So, I guess I would like to start somewhere and would love to have a teacher for at least 1-2 hours a day.

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with this in theory, but the logistics of it will be difficult to impossible unless you contract for services in advance through an established school. I have used several methods during the early years of my study to find private teachers but they all require some time, rely on luck and chance, and are not time efficient. For example:

 

1. Go around to expat cafes in the area where you will be living and look at bulletin boards. Scan them for ads posted by people willing to teach English to foreigners. Phone some or all of those people and set up interviews. Find one with whom you "click" and set up time and place for classes. Discuss and agree on content and style of the teaching. (You need to be very clear about what it is you want to learn.) Come to an agreement on cost.

 

2. Visit several English schools run and staffed by native Chinese. These are usually aimed at kids. The teachers often are willing to accept private students who want to learn Chinese on the side. Follow the rest of the procedures as outlined above in number 1. 

 

3. Ask bilingual tour guides if they would be willing to help you learn Chinese. Or if they know someone who would do that. They are not professional teachers, but still can be useful. Some can be contacted ahead of time.

 

Either of the first two methods can easily take a week to actually get rolling; to actually sit down with a teacher and begin to study. Then most of the first lesson is usually a waste in terms of language study, because it is devoted to getting to know each other and such. By the time you actually begin, it will be almost  time to move on.

 

You might, however, get extremely lucky, and find someone early in your Shenzhen stay. But I think it would be best not to count on that. 

 

-------------------------------- 

 

I think it might be helpful to back up a minute and consider the widely-offered advice that the first couple months of Chinese study are critical in helping you establish a good understanding of the tones and how to use Pinyin. If your study during this period of time is sloppy or misguided, it can adversely affect your learning program for several years. Errors will become ingrained habits and it will require lots of time and effort to undo them and correct them later down the road. 

 

So you may be approaching this whole business backwards. If you are a beginner, first get a top-notch, well-trained and experienced professional teacher for the early days, then fill in later with hit-or-miss casual volunteers and less qualified off-the-street recruits. 

 

(I realize we are getting off topic. The issue of finding a tutor is a big one and deserves it's own thread.) 

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889

Don't know what experience you have with tutors, but finding a tutor that works for you is time-consuming. Someone else's "wonderful tutor" may not be so wonderful for you. Awfully rare for the first tutor, or two, you try to be the one.

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Jan Finster
5 hours ago, abcdefg said:

I think it might be helpful to back up a minute and consider the widely-offered advice that the first couple months of Chinese study are critical in helping you establish a good understanding of the tones and how to use Pinyin. If your study during this period of time is sloppy or misguided, it can adversely affect your learning program for several years. Errors will become ingrained habits and it will require lots of time and effort to undo them and correct them later down the road. 

 

This is all good advice. 

I have been studying with a professional teacher via Skype since May. So, I am not planning to start from scratch with anyone, who speaks Mandarin and is up for it. That would be quite adventurous 😉

 

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