It’s probably impossible to spend some time in Hong Kong without making the short trip over to Macau, just to find out if it’s really the hedonistic playground its reputation portrays it to be. So, how do you get to there from Hong Kong? It’s an easy and painless journey. There’s a Hong Kong-Macau ferry operated by TurboJet; the journey takes less than an hour and it’s super efficient. Runs on time, no faff, no hassle.
It’s famous for being the “Vegas of China”, but that doesn’t really capture the enormity of its gambling industry, which pulls in seven times more revenue than the Las Vegas strip.
Like Vegas, there are replicas of some of the world’s iconic landmarks. Do you want to pretend you’re in Ancient Greece? Here you go. Turn the corner and you’re in Shakespearean England.
Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal
3/F Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan
The ferry terminal is on the third floor of the Shun Take Centre, a multi-storey shopping centre in Sheung Wan. There are clear signs in English, so no excuse for getting lost. The shopping centre has some fast food options, if you want to pick up a snack for the trip. The Marks and Spencer Food store was calling for me – you can take a girl out of Blighty…
Tickets cost around 300 HKD for a return and you can book online. It’s a tad cheaper if you buy the tickets directly at the ferry terminal, but the savings are miniscule so it’s not worth the effort unless, like me, you find that you have to travel the very next day and the online booking system is down. At least then it lessened the pain of having to traipse down to the ferry terminal to secure my tickets in the mad lead-up to Chinese New Year.
The ferry runs every 15 minutes from 7am to midnight. During certain holidays, tickets can get sold out but it’s still fairly easy to secure standby tickets to your preferred sailing time. You just have to go to the gate of the departure you want to take and ask the “check-in” staff to allocate you an available seat. This process took me less than a minute.
As Macau is an autonomous region, it has its own border country and visa requirements. It’s pretty welcoming to most citizens of the world and, with more low-cost flights to Macau now available, it’s becoming an affordable route into Hong Kong.
Regardless, what I found out during my short time there was that it deserves to be a destination in its own right, not just a side note.