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Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

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Los Angeles...
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Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

I was wondering if you guys could advice me on this. Which one of the three cities in "mainland china" are best for a day trip? I can only do one so I need to chose wisely. My buddy and I are artist types, photographer and painter.. If that maybe helps you advise us better and we are also on a budget... Does it take long to go through Chinese customs and on the way back to HK is it a long cue? or any other things we need to know? Thanks a lot.

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

I just read that Macau is not part of mainland China either. .ok..

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

For an "easy" day trip, Macau. Avoid Fridays and weekends if possible to avoid longer immigration queues. To me, the evenings have great possibilities for photography, as well as the traditional older parts of the city, with Chinese and Portuguese influences Getting around can be inexpensive if you utilize the casino complimentary bus services from the ferry terminals.

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

I would pick Macau based on your interests, with Guangzhou second and Shenzhen last.

However, getting to and from Macau is the most expensive (around 300 HKD for a round trip ferry ticket). Guangzhou you can get to by bus for around $100 one way, but takes about 3 hours and not so good for a day trip. Shenzhen is the easiest and least expensive to get to (just take the MTR East Rail to the end). But there is very little worth seeing compared to the other two.

Hangzhou, Zhejiang...
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4. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

Agreed with the above one.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

Macau is a lot easier to get to: first because, assuming you are Americans, you don't need a visa for Macau, whereas you would need a full Chinese visa for GZ & SZ.

Macau is very compact and you can see a lot in one day. The heritage areas are very photogenic; the art gallery is good. I always try to take my visitors down to Coloane, where we walk around the old stilt fishing village & eat egg tarts at Lord Stowe's;-)

GZ is a huge city and you would really need to know what you want to see & do or you could waste a lot of time, as well as it taking about 2.5 to 3hr from HK.

Hong Kong
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6. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

+1 for Macau. You can hit the old part of the city, and if you have time later in the day, check out the dazzling new part where the casinos bustle (Taipa).

Dublin, California
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7. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

You'll need a visa for either Guangzhou or Shanzhen, so go to Macau.

Beijing, China
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8. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

Even if visa issues for the mainland were not present, Macau would still win, hands down. Parts of it are quite charming and IMO it's much more interesting than GZ (a few things of interest) or SZ (zero redeeming qualities).

Shanghai, China
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9. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

Same here:

1. Macau

2. Guangzhou

3. Shenzhen

Hong Kong, China
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for Macau
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10. Re: Best day trip city near HK? Guangzhou, Macau or Shenzhen?

If you're on a budget, then it's going to be Macau: sure the ferry tickets cost a bit over HKD300 return, but a mainland visa for an American costs more than 3 times that.

Macau also has everything that photographers and artists could want, all packed into a small and easily accessible space - people, historical buildings (both restored and unrestored), glitzy modern palaces, parks and gardens, seascapes, cityscapes, and even some unspoilt nature. If you search "photography" in the Macau forum you should get some more specific ideas.

I agree with those posters who say that GZ is great if you exactly where to go and how to get there (if you're just doing a day trip), and that SZ has no redeeming features.