All you need to know about the Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge crossing
Much has been written about the Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge since it opened last September. The mega structure is very popular with tourists and more than 100,000 people, the first weekend, and almost 77,000 people last weekend, mostly mainlanders, used the bridge. This has led to many logistical and infrastructure issues such as long queues at tourist attractions and disorder in areas where life used to be tranquil .
We were very eager to try so the Hong Kong a la carte team decided to give it a go yesterday (note that we chickened out trying over the weekend…). Here are our findings:
The start of the bridge is unfortunately not centrally located but near Hong Kong International airport, you can travel there by taxi or by bus. Various bus routes are available. Once at the departure hall, you first need to go through immigration. If you have not purchased your tickets online or through a travel agent, you can buy them with an octopus card, cash or credit cards (no Amex) after immigration. Price for an adult is HK$ 65/way (HK$ 70/way at night). Warning: the bridge is opened from 8am to 10pm only.
2 routes are offered to you: Macau or Zuhai, don’t miss 😉
Boarding the “gold” buses (nicknamed this way as they are painted gold) is smooth and easy. A bus leaves every 5 minutes and the journey to Macau takes approximately 45 minutes. The structure consists of a bridge and a 6,225m long tunnel (total structure length: 55km). Nothing much happens during the bus ride, water, water, water everywhere (except in the tunnel thankfully!).
The arrival in Macau is as smooth as the departure in Hong Kong. Immigration is fast, no queues when we went. The terminal is huge though and it takes for ever to find the exit.
Going to Macau is easy, you can take buses, free hotel shuttles or taxis. Our way back was easy as well. It takes about 1 hour by taxi from Cotai to the start of the bridge near Macau ferry Terminal. Warning: avoid leaving between 4:30 and 7pm as trafic is horrendous.
Few changes on this site: ticket can be purchased (cash or credit cards – no Amex) before or after passing through immigration and security is present with bag controls. The journey back to Hong Kong was very smooth. Here are our pros and cons:
- Pros: taking the bridge is cheaper and faster than taking the ferry. The waiting time is manageable if you travel on weekdays and no need to prebook and anticipate your return time (weekends and bank holidays are very busy). The departure and arrival halls are big, new and cleaner than the ferry ones.
- Cons: The bridge is not centrally located which adds on the travel journey time, there are no souvenir shops at both terminals (this is totally bizarre considering the love for shopping in Asia…)