Airport review: Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, China

Airport review: Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport China



THE FLIGHT


CZ3071 to Sydney economy class

THE ARRIVAL


Shenzhen's airport is set 32 kilometers north west of the city center and it's a breeze to access via the Metro train system which takes about 50 minutes to whisk passengers out to the terminal. There is also a shuttle bus network and taxis available but the affordability and the Metro make it my choice.

THE LOOK


In 2013 Shenzhen Bao'an was rebuilt when 3 small terminals were flattened and replaced by one large shiny facility. It's a thing of beauty too designed by Rome based architect Massimiliano Fuksas a 1.5 kilometer long building covered in a textured double layered skin whose honeycomb pattern bathes the terminal floor in dappled natural light. Large white tree shaped forms double as air conditioning vents the whole thing is a pleasure to behold.



CHECK-IN


The pleasure to look at isn't always a pleasure to spend time in and there is quite a bit of waiting to be done in the check in queue before I eventually make it over towards passport control.

SECURITY


There is more waiting here with a very possibly overly thorough security check before I'm eventually through to the airside of the terminal.

FOOD AND DRINK


There are a lot of high quality restaurants doing authentic Cantonese cuisine at Shenzhen Airport issue is they appear to be land side before you hit passport control and I have gone crossed into the airside section where options are far more limited. My flight is also delayed by 2 hours which adds to the pain. The only outlets open really this late at night are dessert bar and a coffee shops so I settle for a cold drink and some table space at one of the former.

RETAIL THERAPY


As you may expect there are plenty of shopping options available at Shenzhen running the full gamut from luggage to cosmetics jewelry to books electronics to alcohol. Most of the luxury international brands are here Bally ,Hugo,Versace, Boss plus a whole host of smaller shops evenly spread between landside and airside. Most of the outlets have closed long before my late night flight eventually departs.

PASSING TIME


There are 3 airport hotels to choose from in Shenzhen ranging from the fancy Hyatt Regency to the more budget conscious Vienna Hotel. The terminal has a pay per entry lounge for economy passengers with shower facilities, though nowhere to sleep. Within the airport there is also a leisure center a post office luggage storage for those who would like to head into town and free wi-fi.

ONE MORE THING


Shenzhen Airport is close enough to work as a legitimate entry port for those planning to visit Macau or Hong Kong. Ferries from Shenzhen to Hong Kong Airport take 45 minutes trains to central Hong Kong take about 2½ hours. The ferry from Shenzhen to Macau's Outer Harbour terminal takes an hour. All options are affordable.

THE VERDICT


Shenzhen Bao'an is a sparkling modern facility that is beautiful to look at if not always easy to negotiate. Queues are long here and if you are stuck airside late at night the options for food beverage and entertainment are limited. You can always appreciate the architectural wonder.

OUR RATING


3.5*

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