The 55-kilometer-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) is the world’s longest sea crossing bridge and tunnel system. It links Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai together. Now tourists and travelers traveling to and from Hong Kong on one side and Macau and Zhuhai on the other side across the straight may use it as an alternative to taking the ferry.
The bridge and tunnel set world records, and there are taxis, buses, and private transfer methods. Bus travel is useful especially if you are starting from a place, such as the Hong Kong International Airport, that has a bus stop for buses that cross the bridge. Some may find that taking the ferry is more convenient and/or scenic. Here is what you need to know about transport methods and how travelers and tourists can use it.
Facts about the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Sea Bridge and Tunnel
- Opened: October 24, 2018
- Length: 55.5 kilometers (34.5 miles)
- Allowed top speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
- Materials: 420,000 tons of steel plate, 330,000 tons of steel bars and 1,000,000 tons of concrete.
- Travel time on the bridge: about 40 or 50 minutes. This includes about 6 minutes passing through an undersea tunnel.
- Immigration checking time: Immigration checking procedures on both sides of the bridge may add up to half an hour at each port as of early 2020.
- Other features: The HKZM project has one undersea tunnel and two artificial islands.
Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai each have a port of entry for the bridge. These ports are called Boundary Crossing Facilities (BCF), and passengers using the HZMB have to clear immigration at these BCFs.
Faster road travel: The new bridge cuts road travel time. Travel by road between Hong Kong and Zhuhai/Macau along the shoreline takes 3 hours, so now road travel time is about 2/3 less than previously.
Useful for Quicker Travel
In general, the new bridge makes it more convenient to travel between Hong Kong's airport and Macau/Zhuhai since the buses are much more frequent and run 24 hours.
For example, if you have a late night or early morning flight out of Hong Kong, it is now easy to do a day visit to Macau because the bridge is close to the airport. You can still make your flight in ample time.
The Bridge Makes Regional Airport Transfer More Convenient
Convenient for airport transfer: The Hong Kong BCF is open 24-hours and is conveniently close to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in Lantau Island.
Faster transport: The new bridge cuts travel time between the Hong Kong BCF and the Macau BCF areas from 70 minutes by ferry to a little more than an hour by bus.
Much more frequent departures: Buses leave up to about 6 times an hour during the day from the airport, and there is 24-hour service by bus between Macau/Zhuhai and the airport. Depending on need, there might be only two bus departures per hour in the late night hours. Generally, the buses leave once they are full.
Convenient Airport Check-In Service at the Three Ports
There is a Hong Kong International check-in service center at the Hong Kong BCF port building in the Arrival Hall on the ground floor. It has both self-service machines and counters with staff. These provide check-in and bag drop services from 7:00 am to 10:30 pm daily. Depending on the carrier and destination, people maybe be able to check in one day in advance.
Hong Kong International Airport also has check-in services at the Macau and Zhuhai BCF ports. However, these don’t provide baggage drop services. So passengers would need to carry their luggage with them to Hong Kong and pass through immigration and customs before entering the airport.
Now Direct Buses to Hong Kong from Macau/Zhuhai
Various cross-border direct buses are available now: Passengers from Hong Kong can board the coach at pick-up points near popular MTR stations such as Jordan Station, Causeway Bay, Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui, Prince Edward and Kwun Tong. In Macau, the pickup points are generally at the big casinos. So if you have a specific location in Macau in mind, you can try to find the appropriate bus schedule and pick-up points.
The Ferries Might Be a Better Option for Hong Kong Island/Kowloon
The bridge might make it more convenient for going to/from the airport and for road travel, but for going to/from Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Island, and places in Kowloon, taking the ferry might actually be more convenient and faster though the number of departures per day are limited.
It depends on the location in these areas you are coming from or leaving from. For example, if you are in a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui conveniently close to the China Ferry Terminal or you are close to the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal at the Shun Tak building in Sheung Wan, simply taking a 65-minute fast ferry might be as fast as or faster than taking a taxi to Macau and much less expensive.
For more ferry information, see the Ferries between Hong Kong and Nearby Cities.
See the travel details below for price/times comparisons for two of the most important routes.
The Bridge and Ferry Give Different Scenery and Experiences
Bus scenery: From the bus of course, you can see the bridge and experience the 6-minute ride in the sea tunnel. You'll see mainly sea and the bridge.
Ferry scenery: The ferry from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon is more scenic since you'll pass by islands such as big green Lantau Island. In the middle of the channel, the scenery is monotonous.
However, taking the ferry is also better for those who want to get up out of their seats and look around, go to the bathroom, or maybe enjoy a drink or snack en route. If the seas are rough, seasickness is a real problem since the hydrofoil ride is choppy.
Comparisons of Transport Methods to/from the Airport and Macau
Ferries: 70 minutes to 2 hours. Ferries travel from the Outer Harbour Ferry to Hong Kong Airport SkyPier. The cost is about 35 USD. There are only 5 ferries a day, with the earliest leaving about 7:00 am and the last leaving about 1:00 pm.
Taxis: 40 minutes or more depending on departure point. Taking taxis to and from Macau and Hong Kong Airport (HKG) is the fastest way. One-way trips vary from 65 USD to 80 USD or more. There are three taxi companies called Yellow Radio Taxi, Macao Taxi and Black Radio Taxi.
Bridge Buses: 70 to 85 minutes depending on waiting times for buses. Expect about 50 minutes from Ponte HK-Zhuhai-Macau port and 5 or 10 minutes from the Hong Kong Port of Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to the Hong Kong Airport Station. Single ticket price is 65 about HKD (8.50 USD). Buses leave every 15 or so minutes from Macau and about every 10 minutes from the Hong Kong Port bus station.
The buses are especially useful for later afternoon, evening and overnight travel. It is inexpensive.
Comparisons of Transport Methods to/from Tsim Sha Tsui and Macau
To go to and from Tsim Sha Tsui and Macau, you can catch a direct bus or taxi between Tsim Sha Tsui and Macau, a ferry, or take transportation to the bridge and then get on a bridge bus. Except for taking direct buses or taxis, the bridge isn’t the quickest way to travel between Macau, Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.
Via the bridge bus, you might expect 2.5 hours or more to travel between a hotel in TST to Macau by the MTR and bridge bus method, but the direct ferry to TST takes about an hour.
Ferries: 65 or 70 minutes. Ferries ply between the Outer Harbour Ferry and China Ferry Terminal near the giant Harbour City Mall. The cost is about 185 HKD (25 USD). There are about 8 ferries a day, and the earliest Hong Kong bound ferry leaves about 9:00 am, and the last leaves about 9:30 pm. For the reverse trip, the earliest leaves about 7:30 am and the last leaves about 6:30 pm.
The ferry is faster since you don’t need to take the MTR, a bus or taxi to get to the bridge. Although the ferry costs about 172 HKD (23 USD) for a single journey and the bridge bus only 65 HKD (8.50 USD), because you need to use the MTR, an airport bus (about 5 USD) or taxi (about 50 USD) to get to the bridge, this adds both time and expense to a trip.
Taxis: 60 minutes or more depending on departure point. Taxis from Macau to Tsim Sha Tsui are the fastest and most convenient way. A one-way trip varies from 100 USD or more. There are three taxi companies: Yellow Radio Taxi, Macao Taxi and Black Radio Taxi.
Direct to Macau hotel buses: about 1 hour and 40 minutes or more depending on waiting times and passing through immigration procedures. For example, there is a bus from the Sands Macao to the Jordan Station. It costs about 23 USD. At the present time, for going to Tsim Sha Tsui, there are 5 buses with the first leaving at about 8 am and the last leaving about 11:30 am. For the reverse trip, the first bus departs around 10:30 and the last bus departs around 4:30 pm.
Macau city bus transport is inefficient: The Macau public bus system is inefficient. You may find long lines and few public buses such as 101X or 102X at the bus terminal for the Macau immigration building entrance. The price for a city bus ride generally costs about 6 MOP or about 80 cents USD.
For more specific details about travel methods between Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai including routes, times, and prices, see Guangzhou-Zhuhai-Macau Transportation and Hong Kong to Macau Transportation.
Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bus Tickets
Bus tickets: All three of the BCF ports have the self-service machine stations. These only accept Chinese e-payment methods such as Alipay and WeChat Pay or Hong Kong’s Octopus card. They do not accept foreign credit or debit cards.
Ticket prices: From 6:00 am to midnight, a single-journey ticket costs about 65 HKD (8.50 USD). During the wee hours (midnight-6:00 am), the fee is slightly higher at about 70 HKD (9.20 USD). Tickets are valid for one hour from the time of purchase.
Octopus cards: For travelers and tourists, a good idea is to simply to buy a Hong Kong Octopus Card at an MTR station. Once you do so, you can easily recharge them by depositing cash at recharge machines. These make travel much more convenient since you won't need to stand in line to buy tickets. For more information about the Octopus cards and using the MTR, see: Hong Kong's Subway (MTR): Your Expert Guide
The Bridge Shuttle Bus Doesn’t Go between Macau and Zhuhai
There are no bus routes between Macau and Zhuhai because their BCFs are situated next to each other. To travel between Macau and Zhuhai, you need to pass through immigration at the border gate. This may require from 10 minutes to about half an hour at each gate.
For more regional transportation information to/from Zhuhai, see Zhuhai Transportation.
Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Visa Requirements
Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai each have differing visa regulations. Zhuhai is a part of mainland China. See China Visa — Who Needs One and How to Get It.
Hong Kong has different visa requirements than China. Citizens of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa. See Hong Kong Visa Requirements: Visa-Free Countries/Stays.
Macau allows passport holders of 66 to visit without a visa. See Macau Visa — How to Apply for a Macau Visa?. Make sure you meet the visa requirements if you wish to travel across the bridge.
Private Drivers and Private Vehicles
High toll fees, barriers in immigration, and a licensing system that requires owners of private cars from any side to obtain a special permit beforehand to use the bridge keeps private vehicular traffic low. These regulations will probably keep foreign tourists and travelers from crossing in a private vehicle that they drive themselves.
The cross-boundary car hire services are a way to hire a private driver for your trip across the bridge. You can hire people to drive you in their vehicles, though it isn’t a car that you can drive yourself. You’ll find a list of companies providing this driver service on the Hong Kong Transportation Department’s website. In addition to the car hiring fee, passengers pay an additional toll of about 150 RMB (22 USD).
Our company can arrange your private driver services for you to ensure that your transportation in the Hong Kong/Zhuhai/Macau region is quick, comfortable, and convenient.
Enjoy Your Hong Kong and Macau Trip with Us
We provide hassle-free Hong Kong and Macau travel experiences. Our drivers and local expert tour guides can show you the best highlights of the region. When you travel with us, you decide the itinerary and what to do, and we provide expert help and assistance.
Hong Kong–Macau Tour Ideas
Our special 1-Day Macau Tour from Hong Kong can advantage of the new bridge to minimize travel time and maximize your enjoyment.