As Hong Kong, Macau and mainland cities strip off their travel restrictions, it’s time to revise what are the best ways to cross the Macau-Zhuhai-Hong Kong Bridge.
Reminder: While most restrictions for entering Hong Kong have dropped, travellers using the bridge should check the most updated information regarding COVID-19 health requirements from your city and your destination before travelling.
Dubbed the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, the 55 km Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB) cost the three city governments a whopping HK$110 billion and took nine years to build.
About the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge
Opened to the public in October 2018, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge connects the three Pearl River Delta cities: Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau (sometimes spelt Macao).
The bridge offers an alternative way to cross between the three cities for as little as HK$65.00, which were mostly connected by ferry. It’s also largely shortened the drive from Hong Kong to Zhuhai from five hours to 45 minutes.
The bridge comprises 12 kilometres of the Hong Kong Link Road, 29.6 kilometres of the Main Bridge (including a 6.7-kilometre underwater tunnel), and 13.4 kilometres of the Zhuhai Link Road.
Guarding each side of the bridge are three boundary crossing facilities (Hong Kong and Macau, despite being handed over to China, still have a different political system and hence, each has a different border control facility).
The Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities is located on an artificial island on Chek Lap Kok, next to the airport, while the Boundary Crossing Facilities for Macau and Zhuhai are on the same island.
Shuttle Bus “Golden Bus”: The cheapest option
From January 2023, the ticket counter service for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Shuttle Bus services has resumed. Passengers can purchase tickets at the station, or purchase tickets in advance through the online platforms (Official website www.hzmbus.com, Weixin official account: 港珠澳大橋穿梭巴士 or WeChat ID: hzmbus).
Routes: Nicknamed the Golden Bus, this HKMB shuttle service is the cheapest way to cross the bridge. The shuttle bus service operates two routes, Hong Kong–Macau and Hong Kong–Zhuhai, carrying passengers to and from the shuttle bus stops located at the three cities’ Boundary Crossing Facilities.
Bus ride duration: The ride on the bridge itself takes around 45 minutes.
Shuttle bus hours: 24 hours
Shuttle bus cost: Travellers can buy a ticket at passenger port ticket counters. A ticket costs HK$65.00 from the Hong Kong port. But if you’re travelling between midnight and 5:59 am, it’s HK$70.00.
The Zhuhai port will take Renminbi while the Macau port takes both Macau Pataca and Hong Kong Dollars, but will only give change in Macau Pataca.
Shuttle bus luggage allowance: The bus also has a luggage policy. Each traveller can only bring one suitcase no bigger than 30″ x 20″ x 13″ and no heavier than 20 kg.
Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? There’s more to the journey. The three Boundary Crossing Facilities—where the bus stops are found—are on the outskirts of the cities. That means passengers will need to use other bus services to get to the shuttle bus stops (feeder routes aren’t provided by Golden).
Getting from Hong Kong to the shuttle bus station
There aren’t many feeder routes that go directly from the city to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facility except the new B buses (B4 to and from the Hong Kong International Airport, B5 to and from Tung Chung and B6 to and from Sunny Bay Station).
Some existing Hong Kong airport buses also operate via the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facility. Check this list on the bridge’s official website to find out more.
Getting from the shuttle bus station to Macau
At Macau Boundary Crossing Facility, there are two buses (101X and 102X, both cost HK$6.00), that take passengers to downtown Macau.
Free shuttle buses provided by major hotels in Macau are also available to take travellers from the Golden Bus Stop at Macau Boundary Crossing Facility to Cotai Ferry Pier or Macau Ferry Pier.
From there, travellers can continue their journeys by again taking free shuttle bus service provided by the major hotels around Macau. Most major casinos and hotels across Macau provide free shuttle bus services between the two piers to their hotels for everyone—i.e. you don’t have to be a hotel guest to use the shuttle buses. If you’re staying in a hotel that doesn’t offer shuttle bus services, you just have to look up the nearest major hotels (e.g. Sands Macao, The Venetian, Galaxy, Studio City), find the hotel signs at the bus terminal (there isn’t a bus number) and get on the right bus.
Getting from the shuttle bus station to Zhuhai
Zhuhai Port has eight new public bus routes ferrying passengers to Zhuhai.
Domestic non-franchised coaches: Hong Kong–Macau Express
Hong Kong–Macau Express is another company running the route. The journey begins at Cross-Boundary Coach Terminus inside Elements (a shopping mall at Kowloon MTR Station). You will need to change buses at Prince Edward (ChinaLink, Shop A, 695 Shanghai Street) before heading to Macau. Although Hong Kong–Macau Express covers more hotels (Grand Lisboa, MGM Macau, Sands, MGM Cotai, The Venetian Macao, Galaxy Macau and StarWorld Hotel), each route will stop at only three of the hotels listed.
The company recently set up a new express route that runs from Prince Edward to Grand Lisboa Palace Resort Macau, stopping at Oceanus casino and the Grand Lisboa in between. However, it runs only twice a day from Hong Kong, at 10am and 4pm.
Tickets: For those riding with Hong Kong–Macau Express, you can book tickets in English on Klook. There’s more info on the company’s website (in Chinese only) or you can purchase tickets from each of the stops.
Bus fare is HK$163.00 except for public holidays, when the price rises to HK$184.00.
Hours: Hong Kong-Macau Express operates from 10:50 am to 4:50 pm.
Domestic non-franchised coaches: The One Bus Company
There are a few coach companies that operate between the cities via the bridge. The One Bus Company operates a route between Yau Ma Tei (505 Canton Road) in Hong Kong to Macau, stopping at Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao and The Parisian Macao.
Tickets: You can get a ticket online if you’re travelling with One Bus. Their ticket booth is located at 535 Canton Road (next to the Hong Kong stop for the bus service) or at the three hotels when you’re in Macau. It costs HK$160.00 if you travel between 9 am to 6 pm and HK$180.00 after 6 pm.
Hours: The last One Bus coach from Hong Kong departs at 6 pm.
Domestic non-franchised coaches: Trans-Island Limousine
If you’re heading to Zhuhai Port, the Trans-Island Limousine is your coach service.
Check its multiple routes and timetable on its website.
The journey takes between 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic.
Tickets: Tickets between Zhuhai and Hong Kong cost around HK$120.00 for one way or HK$220.00 for return.
Hours: Different routes operate on different schedules for Trans-Island Limousine, between 7:25 am to 10:45 pm.
Can I drive across the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge?
The new bridge is good news for those who are prone to seasickness, but it doesn’t mean that everyone can now drive across the bridge. Spanning across three different jurisdictions, drivers using the bridge will have to apply for multiple documents before their trips.
There are regular quotas for cars driving between Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau. The quota has just been reallocated, while the government announced in January that an additional 1,000 quotas will be distributed in the second quarter of 2023. Applications open on 20 February 2023.
However, drivers can go to Macau via the bridge and park their car at the Macau Port through the Park-and-Ride Scheme.
Here’s a brief explanation on how to do it:
- Apply for a Closed Road Permit from Hong Kong Transportation Department (which cost HK$540.00 for an annual pass), an Identification Label issued by the Macao Transportation Bureau, and, since the bridge is located within the Mainland waters, a valid electronic temporary vehicle license and driving permission by the Mainland Government. Don’t fret yet! The three documents can be applied through a one-stop service on this Hong Kong government website.
- With the approval number (on the Identification Label), you can then reserve a parking space in Macau on this website.
- The applicant must also purchase Macau and Mainland vehicle insurances. Here’s a list of insurers in the city that provides vehicle insurances for all three cities.
- Upload the Mainland vehicle insurance information at the Mainland’s online filing platform for formal approval.
- Voila! You can finally drive on the bridge and pay the HK$150.00 toll fee.
Applying for a permit for the first time takes longer to process (around 12 days), so if you’re a frequent traveller using the bridge, you may consider getting a one-year Closed Road Permit and vehicle insurances.
However, you shouldn’t give up on the ferries
If you’re closer to the ferry terminals (in Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui), it may just be easier and more direct to stick with the ferries.
A ferry ticket costs HK$163.00 (or up to HK$211.00 if you travel after midnight). The journey takes about an hour.
Bonus: You can actually see the bridge from the sea and you arrive at the ferry piers with easy, free transportation to the city (as mentioned above—see the section on Golden Bus).
Remember to bring all valid documents to travel to Macau or Zhuhai if you’re not a resident.
And if you’re driving, you switch driving from the left side of the road to the right side once you get on the bridge.
This post was originally authored by Hiufu Wong and published in August 2019. It was updated in June, 2021, and in February, 2023 by Jennifer Ng. Information is subject to change at any time.