Crossing border from Hong Kong to mainland China

To cross the border by land from Hong Kong to mainland China, take the Hong Kong metro to the northernmost station, Lo Wu, where you may cross the border into Shenzhen, China; basically you are crossing the border from China to China.

Chinese customs was a bit nervewracking, not so much because of anything procedural, and strangely some of the procedures were quite relaxed, but because you know you are entering into a place much different from anything you have known. I felt the same way entering Russia, with perhaps a bit more apprehension for China, because the Chinese, they're serious people; not that Russians aren't serious, but for the most part Russians ignore strangers, and in Russia I learned nearly any problem can be solved with a bribe commensurate with the problem.

You must have all of your baggaged X-rayed before entering China, unless apparently you don't want to have something X-rayed. I'm traveling with photographic film, and because film is sensitive to X-rays, I removed it from my bag and planned on asking permission for a hand inspection. But the customs officials appeared more interested in moving the herd along, so I just walked on past with the opaque, plastic bag in my hand, which frankly could've contained just about anything.

Twice more immediately afterward I faced more X-rays, once while entering the wrong train station in Shenzhen, and once while entering the correct train station in Shenzhen. Both times I just walked through the metal detector with the film bag in my hand. When I made an effort to show it to the guards, they ignored me. I passed through the second metal detector with a digital camera and watch in my pocket, which of course set off the machine. Nobody seemed to care and I kept walking. I had known they were in my pocket but had already gotten the impression that nobody seemed to care.


Looking back toward the Hong Kong/China (Shenzhen) border crossing, which was inside the red and orange building in the background.

My bag packed full on the Hong Kong metro en route to mainland China.