The Traveler’s Guide To Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport

Cebu Pacific’s newest destination is a tech megacity.

Cebu Pacific launched flights to Shenzhen, its 27th international and fifth mainland China destination, on July 1, 2019. The route answers the increasing demand for leisure and business travel to the world’s most populous country.

Once a small fishing village in Guangdong province, Shenzhen is now better recognized as China’s first special economic zone—a title that denotes special economic policies, flexible governmental measures, and a freer market—with a population exceeding 12.5 million people. The modern metropolis is dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley,” thanks to an influx of startup tech companies and established players such as consumer electronics giant Huawei and internet gaming and technology company Tencent setting up bases here.

PHOTO by August_0802 /

The city also sees continued development in its rail and road links to other cities. For one, there’s the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB), inaugurated in late 2018. The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge spans 55km and provides access to three cities in the country’s Pearl River Delta.

Futuristic terminal

A bird’s-eye view of the 1.5km-long Terminal 3, which opened in 2013 and was designed by Studio Fuksas, reveals the silhouette of a manta ray. Walking within the three-storey, 500,000m2 structure, one can appreciate its edgy design and architecture, including the eye-catching honeycomb-style skylights and tree-branch-like air ventilators. Two more phases of construction are set to be completed in 2025 and 2035.

Skyscrapers and beyond

Besides the airport, Shenzhen has other notable structures, including the 115-storey Ping An Finance Centre—the world’s fourth-tallest building. Tech innovators and innovations aside, shopping destinations—electronics stores, bargain retail shops and more—abound and rival the selection available in regional business hub Hong Kong. And don’t miss the city’s quirky theme parks, like Window of the World, which is made up of replicas of over a hundred iconic international landmarks.


This article first appeared in the September 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Kate Alvarez

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