Commuter stories of Shenzhen workers

Because of the high housing costs in Shenzhen, many people have chosen to live in a cheaper places such as 城中村 (village in the city), and often their living places is quite far away from their work place. By doing this, it can save them a good amount of money. Some people may have chosen to work in Shenzhen and purchase apartments in Dongguan (东莞) and Huizhou (惠州) to live, because of the relatively cheaper housing prices in those two places.

People in this story live very far away from their workplace, and they have to get up very early in the morning to prepare to work and returning home very late at night. Every working day is a long journey commute to work and back home. Here are a few people sharing their commuter stories.

Cassy, a sales person


I am from Wuhan, hubei province. I have been in Shenzhen for two years. I live in Wutong Shan (梧桐山) and work in Henggang (横岗). I need to catch different buses to work and back home and it usually takes me about two hours and a half every day. The reason why I have chosen to live in Wutong Shan is that the rent here is quite cheap, I pay about 900RMB for one bedroom apartment each month. I have been living in Wutong Shan with my boyfriend for a while, even though the distance to work and back home is very far away. I don’t really want to move somewhere else,  I consider Wutong Shan is a paradise and has got very beautiful scenery, and I am able to make many good friends living here.

Xiaobo, a photographer

Xiao Bo

I was born and raised up in Huizhou. I have been working in Shenzhen for three years. After I have graduated from university, I came to Shenzhen to look for employment. I am now a photographer. Each day, I need to commute long hours to work and back home. You may be surprised that my major is not photography but Information Systems. You know photography and Information Systems are two very different things. During my university years, I have developed photography as my hobbies, and I loved it ever since and I have decided to become a photographer as my career. I just love what I am doing.

Goumian, a Commercial Director


I live in Yantian (盐田) district and work in Nanshan (南山) district, and it takes me about 3 hours commute to work and back home. Yantian doesn’t have metrosystem like the other districts have in Shenzhen. Too often I encountered traffic trams commute to driving to work and I found it very very annoying about it. Sometimes it may quicker to get to work on taking the bus than driving, however if you take the bus to work and when you encounter traffic jams along the way, I will be late for work, so I found it very frustrated about it.

Mr. Kin, an Architecture Designer

Mr. Kin

I am 35 years old from Hunan province. I have been working in Shenzhen for ten years. I live in Pinshan (坪山) and work in Futian (福田), it normally takes me about two hours and a half to travel to work and back home. I get up at about 6 o’clock every morning to drive to work and get back home quite late. It can be a very tiring journey, however when I come home see my baby smiling, all is worth it.

Korver Liang, a photographer

Korver Liang

I am a 27 year-old photographer, and I live in Guangming District and work in Nanshan district. Because of the traffic inconvenience between those two areas, it takes me about four hours travel to work and back home every day. I get up at about 6:30 in the morning and I need to take 2 buses to get to work, if I miss the buses, then I have to take the metro, and the cost of fare would be double. I normally get home at around 10 o’clock in the evening. My family wants me to get a job near where I live, so do I.  However, there is really no suitable job near my home. I have to accept the reality of the need to travel long distances to work and back home. And this is life, isn’t it.

AK Yip, a Foreign trade clerk

AK Yip

I am a nativer of Zhaoqin, Guangdong Province. I have been working in Shenzhen for 8 years. I live in Guanlan (观澜) and work in Futian (福田). It takes me about three hour and a half to commute to work and back home everyday. Even though I have spent many hours on the road. I don’t really want to work in Shenzhen guanwai, there are many factories out there and in my opinion you can hardly learn new things there. If I am five years younger, I would have chosen to come to even bigger cities to work and see the outside world.

Edited and translated by Philip Caruso


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