Tag shopping


I just returned from another visit to Shenzhen. This time it was all business as I needed a lot of networking stuff in preparation for my home automation project on the new townhouse.

What better place to get everything at great prices, but from the largest electronics market in the world? In the heart of the city sits a 1 km2 area that is all wholesale electronics. Thousands of businesses crammed into high rise buildings selling everything from soup to nuts. It is a daunting environment and not for the fainthearted. Noisy, busy, and confusing comes to mind here. Once you get used to it, the things here are amazing.

This is the world center of manufacturing, assemble, wholesale and export of electronics. Of course we all know Apple products are built here. I decided to get right down to business and hire an assistant to help me through all this. His name is Tide. He is the man to use if you need help there. Go to www.electronicsshenzhen.com.

Time now to explain what happened……

First, I needed some pcb connector plugs. Two to be exact. They are 12 pin J connectors. We quickly found the booth that sells them. Well, they won’t sell me 2 or 4 or 10. Minimum quantity….1000! My God, I only want 2. So, ok, then how much to buy 1000? Look at my receipt…50 RMB, which is $7.90. In the US, I pay $9.50 for 2!

Let’s move on. I needed 32 plastic spacers so I can mount a pcb to a board. These are 1/2” plastic tubes with a hole down the middle for a screw. This time I had to buy 5000! I talked them into splitting a bag and selling me 2500. I paid 60 RMB or $9.52. They run about $1.00 each in the US.

Relays. I needed 4 DTSP 12 VDC relays. Cost about $6 ea in the US. The relay sockets are another $4 in the US. Here I paid $1.80 for a relay and a socket!

This is an AMP crimper tool. Funny, AMP is made in the USA. It costs $80.00. Not this one! This copy costs me 80 RMB, which is $12.69. Everything, including the packaging, is 100% identical.

The list goes on and on. But for some fun stuff, I did buy some gadgets as well.

Beautiful leather iPhone case shown here. I got this pic from a website, but this is the exact case I bought. This site sells them for $44.29. I paid 45 RMB which is $7.14. How fun is that?

Then I got a battery power pack. This one looks like the iPhone and is a 5000ma charger thet can charge two devices at the same time. Weighs about 3 oz. I paid 100 RMB ($15.90). You can get on the net for $27.24.

I just bought the iPad 3 back in the US. They make a new cover for it that will turn on the iPad when you flip it open. Apple wanted $49 for it in the US. I found the same cover in Shenzhen, which also included a full plastic cover for the back of the iPad, which apple didn’t have. I paid $9.54 in Shenzhen for both pieces!

Finally I got this USB digital microscope for my PC. This thing goes from 20x to 200x magnification. I just found it at Amazon. You can get it for $65. Not me….. I got it for $39.76.

So there you go…..Happy shopping!


1 hour flight out of Shenzhen brings you to Wuyishan City, Fujian Province. Famous for its natural conservation of a large number of ancient plant species, wild animals and reptiles, many of which are peculiar to China.The Bohea and the Oolong teas are grown in this region as well. Unforunatly for us southern China has been hit by continuous heavy rain so that some attractions and scenic areas are not available to tour or access.

Wuyishan Scenic Area, once trapped thousands of tourists, is now closed temporarily. So we head off about 1 hours drive to the village of He Ping. He Ping itself is one of the oldest communities in northern Fujian. While other towns its age or older have been partially restored, this town has remained basically untouched. The town dates from the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907) when it was a simple rice farming town. The name Heping is made up of two Chinese characters which mean ‘Rice Plain’. The village itself dates well beyond that. One of Chinas oldest Classical Learning Academy’s was first opened in Heping in AD926 during the Tang Dynasty by government official named Huang Qiao. Walking around here is like a trip back in time.Because of the weather, it was empty except for a few villagers. I enjoyed being the sole visiter here in this quiet village. You can almost imagine living in another time.

After a few days we returned to Shenzhen for a look see. We booked into the Shangri-La Hotel. Truly a world class operation. One of the pics show a TV shot. In the room I saw my old friend General Li on the national TV channel. How cool!
The weather being so wet, our time was spent doing a little shopping. And what is Shenzhen famous for? Clothes and electronics. In fact it is the largest electronics shopping center in Asia. Hong Kong gets all it’s products from here! This is home to the Apple iPhone. In fact, most everything is made here. There is a street downtown lined with mega malls that are nothing but computer, phones, and anything electronic. I bought a few things that you can preview in the pictures and also on my gadgets page. Prices for clothes and electronics are extremely low. I was in heaven.

Shenzhen is a new modern city 30 minutes from Hong Kong. What was a tiny fishing village on the border of Hong Kong in 1970 is now a buzzing metropolis of over eight million people! Already containing 20 buildings at over 200 meters tall, including the Shun Hing Square (the 8th tallest building in the world). A 2010 study conducted by Forbes magazine ranks Shenzhen’s population density as the 5th highest in the world. In 2006, the Dapeng Peninsula, the location of Shenzhen’s best beaches, was nominated by the China National Geographic Magazine as one of the most beautiful coastlines in China. We plan to return in the near future for a closer look at this city and make a jump into Maccau as well.

Finally we spent a few nights in Guanzhou. I didn’t care for this city. It is huge, noisy, and dirty. Besides great food and the tallest TV tower in the world, I can’t say much about this place. I reconize it does hold an historical value, but frankly I didn’t see much reason to spend any time here. Still, the Chinchilla for sale there was cute…..

Hong Kong


We are just returning from a week in Hong Kong. this city is such a contrast to cities in mainland China. Even Shanghai & Beijing are not on thesame level as HK Getting around HK is fast and easy. You get an Octopus smart card for $150(HK) and it can be used for buses, trains, shopping, restaurants, sightseeing, just about everything.

Hong Kong is a very clean city but very crowded and noisy. The air quality is not good, but we had clear days in the mid 70’s all week. The food is amazing, anything you want can be found here. Be aware this is an expensive place to live. Similar to NY price wise. I checked average prices for a condo on HK Island. It runs $30,000 a square foot!

Shopping is about the biggest activity. Mega shopping centers are all over the place, and in between you will find great little specialty shops. I don’t think there is much in the way of bargains, just variety. Electronics are priced like anywhere else, but HK gets the latest gadgets first.

Christmas time here really feels like Christmas, unusual for much of Asia. Lights and decorations all over the city. Leaving the Star Ferry dock, there were Christmas carolers on the open top double decker buses singing as they drove through HK. It’s a big holiday here.

Factoids: More oranges are consumed in HK than any city in the world. 1% of all Rolls Royce’s in the entire world can be found here, mixed in with all the other exotic cars. Benz are a dime a dozen.