Last weekend I visited Shenzhen to attend the Makerfaire. I used a low-cost airlines called Vanilla Air (20,000 yen for a return flight from Narita airport) to get to Hong Kong airport. From there I took a shared limousine car to my hotel (220 Hong Kong dollars). There are cheaper ways to go. However, this was the best choice as I would later realize that it would have been a nightmare to find my hotel otherwise.
This were the views from my hotel room (Shenzhen She & He Apartment Shenlan). The hotel was actually an apartment in a tall building. Despite its low price, the apartment was rather clean and it had a fridge and a kitchen. It's location was perfect for going to the Makerfaire on foot.
Makerfaire's location was awesomely situated among several modern buildings, and was decorated with numerous posters and maker-related objects. However, it was mostly open air so I was wondering what would happen if it started to rain. Fortunately, Shenzhen is a very sunny city and apart from a light rain on the last day we had mostly good weather.
As usual, all booths were filled with creativity and new ideas. There were booths showing hobby projects as in many other Makerfaires I've attended. Surprisingly though, there were many more booths showing already finished products. I think that that was the main difference with other Makerfaires I've been too. As a manufacturing hub, I guess that living in Shenzhen makes it easier to develop your ideas all the way to the final product. There were also big commercial booths from companies such as Seeed studio (who announced Genuino in partnership with Arduino) and Mediatek.
Once I had seen all of the booths several times, I decided to go downtown and checkout Shenzhen's electronics town. I took the subway (Shekou line) and stopped at Huaqiang North (华强北) station. Then I tried to find buildings with the name SEG or 华强电子世界 (Huaqiang electronics world) on them. There were several ones actually. Typically, the first floor is dedicated to small booths selling electronic parts, and booths on higher floors sell consumer electronics and the like.
My impressions of Shenzhen as a city were very good. It was a clean and safe city with modern buildings and department stores. There were lots of new buildings in construction so I expect Shenzhen to become one of the biggest cities on Earth in a near future. I'm sure I will be back here.