Shenzhen Trip

One of the many benefits of being in Hong Kong is the amount of side trips you can take to nearby places, and the locations can vary a great deal in their culture, style, and climate. This week, Alan and I had the delightful pleasure of experiencing Shenzhen with our good friends Maria, Horace, Vivian, and Shenzhen locals Yeuk and Sarah.

Shenzhen is literally a hop, skip and a train ride away from Hong Kong. 40 minutes on the train and a 5 minute walk across the building that bridges Hong Kong to Shenzhen and you have arrived!

Us girls arrived earlier than the boys, because we had some rather important business to conduct. Very important. We needed to get our eyelashes extended. After obtaining a trustworthy referral from my friend’s good friend, we cabbed our way towards the more ghetto area of town and eventually found the tiny little beauty shop (one amongst dozens of others!). Oh, we did make a pitstop for some street food, despite the warnings of its unsanitized practices.

It took only 30 minutes for the eyebrow waxing and eyelash extensions. The final product was acceptable to us, and looked natural enough. Here’s a photo, but the lashes didn’t show up that well here…

For RMB 180, let’s just say that we were pretty satisfied! 🙂

After our entertaining beauty session, we embarked on another adventure–navigating our way through town to get to the dinner restaurant by subway.

In lieu of tickets, these "chips" are used for the subways in Shenzhen

My friends Maria and Vivian, one of which resides in Hong Kong and the other in Beijing, led most of the way. I was merely the observer, the follower, intrigued by the strange etiquette (or lack of) surrounding me. I learned a lot on this trip!

We met up with Alan at the restaurant, along with our friends Eric and his lovely wife Sarah, for a delicious Shanghainese dinner. Everything was super oily and fattening, but tasty and flavorful, so we left feeling full and content.

Ahhh…..then came the real reason why we were in Shenzhen. As a small tribe, we arrived at the popular Water Cube, a 2 year old spa and massage center. I think “entertainment center” is probably more appropriate though, after I got the full tour of the facility. From massages to sauna to ping pong to karaoke, one can literally stay there for days and not run out of things to do. The best part? It’s dirt cheap when you compare to the prices in the States. There is an entrance fee of about RMB 90, which can be waived if you book massage services.

They first separated the girls from the boys so that we could shower, get dressed into the robes provided, brush our teeth, wash our faces, and basically prepare for a night of pure relaxation. Did I mention that this was an overnight spa? They have massage rooms with beds that are more spacious and comfortable than your normal massage bed, and you sleep there after your last massage. Yes, that means after a 2 hour massage (or 3, or 4 if you prefer) you don’t have to get up and go anywhere. Heavenly, right?

Ready for girls' sauna time
Left: Going through the images of all the masseuses available | Right: All you can eat fruit, compliments of the spa

We started off with feet massages, in plushy reclining chairs with wifi, fruit plate, tea, and individual tv screens.

Then, we decided to have a little late night snack before our next round of massages…

There are about a zillion different types of massage styles that you can choose–thai, hong kong, lymphatic, lavender oil, and the list goes on….. it took some time for us to figure out what we wanted, so by the time we were in our massage/overnight rooms, it was nearly 2am already!

Left: My silly roommate loving her stylish attire | Right: Our massage/overnight room

I chose a 90 minute lymphatic massage and fell asleep after the first 30 minutes. I wish my masseuse had just left me to sleep through the night, but alas, she woke me up at the end of the treatment to sign off on the paperwork. Next time, I’ll definitely know to ask to sign off before the massage begins, so that I can sleep right through it!

We woke up around 10am the next morning and dragged our feet a bit before preparing to leave. We didn’t get to try any of their entertainment facilities but thoroughly enjoyed all the massages and will definitely be back for more in the near future! Oh, and in case you’re curious, the final bill came out to be approximately USD $100 for each of us, which included all the massage treatments, accommodations, and usage of their facilities. What a deal!

One final meal before we left Shenzhen…

What a wonderful 24 hours! Thanks Meme and Vivi for organizing this trip! Looking forward to the next one…

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