Whether by jet foil, fast boats or ferries, Hong Kongers flock to Macao by sea over the weekend to gamble or as a getaway for a slower pace.
An alternate way besides helicopter ride, you can take the bus from Hong Kong to Macao through Shenzen, Humen Bridge and Zhuhai but this require China visa.
While both Hong Kong and Macao are SAR, Special Adminstrative Region, there is separate immigration for all 3 - China, Hong Kong and Macao. Fortunately, Macao is visa free for most countries.
So remember to book in advance your boat ticket back from Macao to Hong Kong especially on weekends.
By Air : Very few international airlines can fly direct into Macau. The most common point of entry is from Hong Kong. There are also helicopter services which operate from Hong Kong and Macau airports which take 20 minutes.
By Sea : Hover ferries take about an hour from Hong Kong.
Taxi : There are loads of licensed taxis painted black with a cream roof which all have metres. There are also radio-called taxis in yellow colour. Just a few taxi drivers can speak English, so it is advisable to have a bilingual map with you.
Pedicab : is a slower but more romantic form of transport. Pedicabs are available at the Ferry terminal.
Public buses : and minibuses run from early in the morning. There are buses which provide fairly regular service between the city and the piers for incoming or out going ferry passengers.
Tiger Airways, a budget airline started flying to Macau International Airport from end Mar 2005. Tickets should cost around S$40 one way at the lowest tier. Now a cheaper way to go see Macau from Singapore!
The fastest way to reach Guangzhou from Macau: take a bus or taxi to the border and clear immigration and customs on foot. The border opens at 9 AM, and you want to get there as early as possible to avoid a long wait in the queue. After you cross into the border city of ZhuHai, there will be many large tourist buses and minibuses that leave every few minutes waiting across the street from the immigration hall.
To Macau from Guangzhou: minibuses go from the Garden Hotel (Huayuan Jiudian; 367 Huanshi Donglu) to ZhuHai every 25 minutes, and drop you off across the street from the border, where you can clear immigration and customs into Macau.
The bus ride between Guangzhou and ZhuHai should take no more than three hours and cost around RMB 75.
::: Price list :::
- 2.5 MOP If you take the bus in the area of Macau, with the final stop withing the area of Macau
- 2.2 MOP If you take the bus in Taipa, with the final stop withing the area of Taipa
- 2.2 MOP If you take the bus in Coloane, with the final stop withing the area of Coloane
- 3.3 MOP If you take the bus from Macau area to Taipa or Taipa to Macau
- 4.0 MOP If you take the bus from Macau area to Coloane or Coloane to Macau
- 6.00 MOP...AP1 buses leaving from the airport
Jetfoils/ferries from Hong Kong take about 50 minutes ride to Macau and cost around US$30 for a round trip.
Departure at the Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong, at Shun Tak Centre, near Sheung Wan MTR station.
Many people from Hong Kong take the 1-hour hydrofoil ride via Turbojet or the 70-min catamaran ride via New World Ferries across the Pearl River Delta and alight here.
You can purchase cheaper ticket prices for your return back to Hong Kong if you enquire the small travel agents located on the ground floor of the terminal. The prices are around MOP10-16 cheaper depending on the time of your departure.
This is one of two vehicle crossings from Macau into mainland China (the other being Barrier Gate). It is located on reclaimed land named Cotai. Due to its remoteness, not many people cross at this border crossing and opt instead cross at Barrier Gate.
One of two bus companies that cater the entire Macau SAR. Routes within the Macau peninsula costs MOP2.5. Routes that go to Taipa costs MOP3.3 and Coloane MOP4.0 (MOP5.0 to Hac Sa Beach). Exact change is required.
Two bus companies ply the routes around Macau: Transmac and TCM. Routes within the Macau peninsula costs MOP2.5. Routes to Taipa costs MOP3.3. All routes from Macau peninsula to Coloane costs MOP4.0 unless the route goes to Hac Sa Beach MOP5.0.
A Macau pass, similar to Hong Kong's Octopus card can be used on all Transmac routes. The minimum amount paid is MOP80 where MOP30 is the deposit. The card can be topped up at minimum value of MOP50. It can be purchased at the bus terminal (before 7:00pm) at the Macau Ferry Terminal or within China Plaza (Avenida de Praia Grande). There are other locations which are printed on their webpage.
Most people come to Macao from a Hong Kong ferry. It takes about one and a half hours to cross, more in bad weather. The boats are comfortable, but a tad expensive.
There is only one Macao terminal to Hong Kong, but in Hong Kong there are at least two. One in Kowloon, one on Hong Kong island. I found the Kowloon ferry more useful. The Hong Kong ferry ran more often, but dropped you off near nothing on the island and you have to walk.
The buses are easy to use. Map are available in English. Buses signs are in Cantonese and Portugese, so the Portugese is easy enough to read.
The buses came regulary and were comfortable. I got as far as Taipa on the buses with no problem.
We were able to do a daytrip to Macau from Hong Kong by taking a high-speed ferry. Ferries depart from either the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal, Sheung Wan, on Hong Kong island or from China Ferry Terminal, Tsimshatsui, in Kowloon. Ferries are run by either TurboJET or First Ferry, the trip takes about 45 minutes each way, and they run very frequently almost 24 hours a day (although late at night the ferries back to Hong Kong only stop at Hong Kong island and not Kowloon). The one-way economy class ticket prices are HK$141 on weekday daytime, HK$153 on weekend daytime, and HK$175 for night service.
You will need to go through immigration in both Kong Kong and Macau, but the process is fairly quick.
If you are planning on spending a day or two in Macau it's a good idea to book your accomodation at the Shun Tak Centre in Hong Kong. That's in the same building as the Macau Ferry Terminal
I got a great price for the Hotel Lisboa. You can book your ferry ticket at the same time.
Nearest MTR station is Sheung Wan.
It's also possible to take a ferry to Macau from Kowloon at the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, although I believe ferries are less frequent from here.
Taxis in Macau are plentiful and relatively cheap. The initial fare in city taxis is only 10 Macau Pataca or about US$1.25 (compared to 16 in Hong Kong, US$2.00). This initial fare is enough to get you between close points such as the ferry terminal and Guia Fort.
In my opinion, you can't beat the taxis in Macau because they are low-priced and because the major sites are just a little too far apart to walk between them comfortably.
Rua do Visconde Paco de Arcos, Macau, Macau Region, China
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