Crossing the World’s Longest Bridge

On our recent trip we traveled to Macau from Hong Kong after Chinese New Year. The two cities (Countries? SARs? It’s a bit confusing) are actually located relatively close to each other and there are a number of options when travelling from one to the other. Prior to 2018, travelling to Macau from Hong Kong meant taking a ferry or travelling by air. In 2018, the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau bridge opened and became the world’s longest sea crossing (not actually the longest bridge). If you are thinking of making the trip and are wondering how to take the bridge from Hong Kong to Macau, read on.

Option 1: by Car

If you are wanting to make this trip and have a car or are planning to rent one you can drive across. The bridge is 55 km and is actually a pretty quick trip. You will however have to go through customs on both sides of the bridge. This is unavoidable however if you wish to make the trip. Furthermore, there is a limit to private cars allowed to cross and cars need to be insured in all 3 cities. You might be able to drive but it is far from simple.

Option 2: Shuttle

On our trip we decided to take the shuttle across the bridge as it seemed simplest at the time. This option isn’t too difficult but was very time consuming (It took us approximately 6 hours to make it to our destination). In order to take the shuttle you will need to make your way to HZMB Hong Kong Port. You can get here by transit. To get to the port you can take the Tung Chung line to Tung Chung and catch a bus (for us it was the B5 which was located behind the station on Tat Tung Rd. but is expected to change).

Once at the HKMB Hong Kong Port the real fun begins. Enter the building and go through customs which is simple as can be and proceed to buy your ticket on the other side. We would recommend keeping enough money on your octopus card (65$ HKD per person). There is an option to go to a kiosk to purchase your ticket like we did but this meant waiting in line (and trust us, there is plenty of lines to wait in). Because we traveled 3 days after Chinese New Year, we are not sure if it is always so busy but our experience was insane. After buying tickets you will get in line to make your way to the buses and let me tell you these are not orderly British Queues, these “lines” were basically thousands of people pushing and slipping through cracks wherever they form to get to the front. We moved from line to line until we finally made it to our bus. At the front you will be directed to a coach or bus depending on what is available. The coaches are able to travel faster and are probably more comfortable but you get what you get and they all get you to the same place.

Finally when you arrive in Macau you will have to go through customs and immigration again (more lines). Finally once though customs you are in Macau where you can find a shuttle to a casino, a bus, or a taxi (even more lines!). The line for a taxi also took over an hour so if you are in a hurry, consider booking a ride on the other side, or better yet…

Option 3: Cross Border Coach

The final option for crossing the bridge is to take a cross border coach. This is probably the simplest option and will be much faster than the bus on a busy day. Tickets can be bought at ticket counters in Hong Kong ahead of time. These buses will be boarded in Hong Kong and will stop on both sides of the bridge for customs and immigration. You will need to take your baggage off the bus and through customs with you before boarding the bus again. Once in Macau, the coach will stop at a number of hotels so pick the one closest to your destination and make your way from there. I definitely would recommend this option as it will save you the line to buy tickets and to board a bus. It costs about 3 times as much but is probably worth the 100$ HKD to save 3+ hours especially if you are considering taking a taxi when you arrive in Macau.

It’s a fair bit of effort but once on the bridge you are rewarded with these views…

Ok, maybe it’s not worth it for everyone. Overall I recommend taking the bridge only if you are set on going across the world’s longest sea spanning bridge (as I was). The experience itself isn’t all that exciting beyond the significance of the bridge itself. There is not much to look at while crossing especially if it is smoggy. However this was a must do for me and I am glad we did it.

Let us know if you are planning to make the trip or if you already have, please share your experience!

-Ried

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