As one of the world’s major travel destinations, Macau is served by the Macau International Airport (MFM), ferries that link Macau, Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Shenzhen, and a border crossing checkpoint at the Zhuhai-Macau border. In Macau, there are numerous taxis and lots of inexpensive public bus routes (most routes cost about 50 cents USD more or less). There is also an amazing frequent and free hotel bus network that links the transportation points with the hotels. For transportation to resort and hotel sites and the Macau Ferry Terminal, the free hotel shuttle system is probably the best way to go.
Passenger also can take a jetfoil: a five-star Premier Jetfoil with exclusive and luxurious services of superb quality coming and going among Macau, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Internatinonal Airport, Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, Shenzhen Shekou Port and Guangzhou Nansha Port. The newest five-star Premier Jetfoil is equipped with the latest LED lighting system, top- quality Samsung onboard entertainment system, VIP Cabin which comes with a self-controlled air conditioning and lighting system and free WiFi service. Passengers of VIP Cabin can use the online meal reservation service, reserving on www.turbojetbooking.com 24 hours prior to sailing time for specified meal choice. Check out more information about jetfoil transport among Macau, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
The Macau International Airport (MFM) commenced operations in 1995. It has become a major low-cost airport for the region around Macau. Because of cheap flights on regional economy airlines, people are using the airport to travel to Hong Kong. The airport can handle 6 million passengers a year, and it is still utilized under-capacity. The airport is on an artificial island about three kilometers or two miles east of the Cotai Strip.
Macau's airlines are Air Macau and the budget carrier Viva Macau. Air Macau serves Osaka, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; and the major tourist cities in China of Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin, Nanning, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hangzhou, and Nanjing. So this airport is useful for traveling to destinations in China.
The airport has low landing fees, so this attracts economy airlines. The budget airline Thai Air Asia goes to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and other cities is Asia. Tiger and Jetstar serve Singapore. Cebu Pacific and Philippines Airlines serve Manila and Clark. Sometimes, people can get amazingly low-priced tickets to and from the Philippines.
Airport Buses: Bus AP1 goes from the airport to the north border crossing for Zhuhai in China. It stops at stops in Taipa on the island including the ferry terminal, and then it crosses over into the city on the peninsula along the way. There is a charge of 3 MOP per piece of luggage. Bus 21 goes to Coloane from the airport. A Macau Dollar is almost exactly worth a Hong Kong Dollar at present. Other airport buses are MT2, N2, and 26.
Airport Taxis: The total fare includes a MOP 5 airport surcharge, a MOP 2 charge for the bridge, and MOP 3 per bag. So the total fare to go to the city center on the peninsula is about 40 or 50 MOP, and the trip takes about 17 minutes.
The helicopter routes between Hong Kong and Macau are operated by Asia-Pacific Airliner and Ganglian Helicopter Co, Ltd.. A flight from Hong Kong to Macau takes about 16 minutes and lands on the parking apron of Passenger Transport Building of Macau.
There is no rail service in Macau Special Administrative Region. If you arrive at Guangzhou Railway Station, Shenzhen Railway Station, or Hang Kong Railway Station, the only way to Macau is either by road (coach) sea or air (helicopter).
Macau has an international airport, two helicopter ports and ferry ports. It is also linked by the ferry terminal in Taipa to Hong Kong International Airport's SkyPier ferry terminal. The main ferry port in Macau is called the Macau Ferry Terminal that is on Macau Peninsula where the main city is. There is no rail service to Macau at present, but one is scheduled to begin operation in 2011. Rail service between Zhuhai and Guangzhou is scheduled to begin in time for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. There is no train between Shenzhen and Zhuhai. There is a border-crossing point in Zhuhai. Most visitors will travel to Macau in three ways: by plane to Macau International Airport, by ferry from Hong Kong, Shenzhen or Zhuhai, or by crossing the border from Zhuhai.
There are buses between Zhuhai and Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen. You can take the bus from Guangzhou to the Gongbei Bus Station. The trip takes about 2 hours and costs about 70 or 80 RMB.
There are also buses from the Shenzhen Airport and the Shenzhen Long-distance Bus Station to the Gongbei Border Crossing. The trip takes about 3 hours.
To enter Macau from the Gongbei Bus station, cross the street to the border crossing building and walk into Macau. You’ll need to present your passport with a valid Chinese visa.
Crossing the Border at Gongbei
The Gongbei Border Crossing Station is at the northern border of the Macau peninsula. Thousands of Chinese and Macau residents use this way of entry every day. Unlike at other border crossing points between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, at this station, the foreigners and Chinese line up together to present their identification. Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, there may be long lines, so getting in may take a while.
Border urban bus station: The Portas do Cerco bus station is a big underground bus station under the border checkpoint plaza next to the building. There are buses to most parts of Macau including the main island with Taipa, Coloane and Cotai Strip areas. The station has washrooms.
Taxis are available too. A taxi ride to downtown
Macau takes about ten minutes. The fare is about 30 MOP. You can
exchange your money at the money changers stands.
Macau Travel Tips:
- Most visitors to Macau don’t need a Macau visa. You can probably freely cross from China, and will be issued a temporary stay visa. But if you cross the border into Chinese Mainland from Macau or Hong Kong, you need a Chinese visa.
- US nationals are allocated a thirty day visa for free stay in Macau upon arrival. Most European nationals and Japanese are allocated three month visas for free stay.
- You can go by bus from Shenzhen to Zhuhai quite easily.
Taxis: Taxi fare is MOP 13 for the first 1,500 meters. Then there is a charge of MOP 1 for each additional 180 meters. There is a 3 MOP bag per piece of luggage. If the taxi waits with the meter running, the charge is about 1 MOP per minute. You can call for taxis, and there is no extra charge. Taxis generally accept Hong Kong dollars on a 1:1 basis for Macau money. It is a good idea to have your destination written in Chinese as most taxi drivers speak little English or other languages.
To go to the airport, there is an additional charge of 5 MOP for the airport surcharge, and 2 MOP for the bridge. There is a charge of 3 MOP for piece of luggage. Fares to the city center on the peninsula costs about 40 or 50 MOP, and travel time is about 15 or 20 minutes.
Taxi Service Numbers (to call for a taxi): (853) 519519 or (853) 967115.
The way most travelers travel between Macau and Hong Kong is by ferry. There is a ferry terminal called the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui about one kilometer north of the Star Ferry Terminal. There is another ferry terminal called the Shun Tak Centre that is located in Central on Hong Kong Island near the Star Ferry Terminal. Tourists can find quite a number of jetfoils, big catamaran ships and ferries that are run by three companies: TurboJET, the Cotai Strip CotaiJet?, and First Ferry. These ferries require between about an hour and 75 minutes to make the journey. There are also ferries to the city of Shenzhen that is across the border from Hong Kong. The Macau Ferry Terminal is the main ferry port in Macau, and it is at the Outer Harbor. It handles traffic between Macau and Hong Kong, the Shekou Ferry Terminal, and the Shenzhen International Airport Terminal. Public buses and frequent and free hotel buses go to the Macau Ferry Terminal. Along with the main Macau Ferry Terminal, there is a ferry terminal at Cotai that connects with Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island, and another small one at Pier 11.
For budget-conscious travelers, the best way to go by ferry is probably by taking First Ferry from the China Ferry Terminal. There is a concessionary fare for those leaving Hong Kong of only 128 HKD (about 16 USD) between 1 PM and 3 PM. The ordinary fare is about 170 HKD. The last ferry back from Macau leaves at 10:30 PM. The China Ferry Terminal is actually difficult to find because it isn't well marked.
At the Macau Ferry Terminal, the several ferry services each have their own ticket windows on the second floor. There are small fast food places on the second floor as well. People traveling between Hong Kong and Macau must present their passports at the gates to receive a stamp. The Macau Ferry Terminal is served by public buses that go to the border, around the main city on the peninsula, and to the island resort area to the south. But the best way to travel to the various destinations is by the hotel bus service. When you exit the terminal out of the main exit, you can see the hotel buses parked about a hundred meters to the left. They are free and run frequently, and travelers can use them even if they are not planning to go to the hotels. These hotel buses stop at various places along the way.
The Shekou Ferry Terminal is on the shore of the Shekou district in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. It is near Haishangshijie that is a foreigners' enclave in Shekou. Ferries from there go to the Hong Kong Airport, Zhuhai and Macao. It is served by several public bus routes that have the ferry terminal as the terminus. The name of the public bus station right in front of the Shekou Ferry Terminal is Shekou Matou. This means Shekou Dock.
In Macau, there is a lesser known ferry terminal at Pier No. 11 at the Inner Harbor. It is near the Macau city center on the peninsula. It services ferries to Shenzhen and Zhuhai. A third ferry terminal connects the southern island that has the Cotai Strip to Hong Kong. The Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal is adjacent the Ponte da Amizade Friendship Bridge on Estrada de Pac On. There is a free shuttle bus to the Venetian hotel-casino. A ferry service called the Cotai Strip Cotai Jet ferries between Taipa and the SkyPier terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. The fee is about 220 HKD and takes about 45 minutes.
Tourists in Macau can take a manpowered pedicab while traveling in some special scenic areas. Riders usually walk slowly so as to let tourists enjoy the beautiful scenery along the roads. Most riders are good tourist guides and they charge by the time of service. Tourists can bargain with them; the normal price is about 150-200 Macau dollars per hour.
Macau has two bus companies. There is a flat fare of MOP$ 3.20 for rides within the Macau Peninsula, MOP$ 4.20 between the peninsula and Taipa, MOP$ 5.00 between the peninsula and Coloane village; and MOP$ 6.40 between the peninsula and the Hác Sá area in the south of the island. Be sure to have loose coins to put in the coin box when you enter the bus.