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Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

Toronto, Canada
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Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

I will be in Guangzhou for work next month and will have 4 days to explore the surrounding areas. I have been to GZ once before, a few years ago, so was hoping to see both Hong Kong and Macau during my long weekend.

I've read up a bit about transit options, but considering I will be based in Guangzhou, what are the best/easiest ways to travel between the three (and end up back in Guangzhou) if I do not know any Chinese (making subways somewhat difficult in the country)? I have seen there are some ferries and high-speed trains but everything I've read online so far is confusing. Any info on specific lines/websites to book (or do you just book in person when you get there?) or advice would be very helpful.

I can do them in any order:

1) Guangzhou - Hong Kong - Macau - Guangzhou;

2) Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong - Guangzhou;

or go back to Guangzhou in between (this didn't seem practical) -

3) Guangzhou - Macau - Guangzhou - Hong Kong - Guangzhou (or the reverse, with Hong Kong first).

Is there a good way to get from GZ to Hong Kong OR is it easier to get from GZ to Macau?

Is there a good transit option from Hong Kong to Macau (or vice versa)?

Any recommendations on the above order?

Thank you!

Elk Grove...
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1. Re: Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

Guangzhou, Macau, Hong Kong - they are the 3 corners of a triangle - the Pearl River Delta.

It doesn't matter as much on the order, #1 or #2. Avoid #3 because that is backtracking quite a bit.

Most practical options:

Guangzhou - Macau:

#1) Highspeed rail from Guangzhou South to Gongbei (Zhuhai) (Macau's border neighbor in Zhuhai, China). Then walk across the border. Then take public bus, hotel shuttle bus or taxi to your destination in Macau. But with this option, you need to take taxi or metro from most places in Guangzhou to "Guangzhou South Railway Station" in order to board the high speed train.

#2) Take a bus from Guangzhou (around Haizhu Square), which is more central in Guangzhou, to Gongbei border. Then walk across the border. Takes about 2-3 hours for the ride.

Between Macau and Hong Kong:

Ferry service, jet catamaran or jetfoil. The voyage is about 1 hour, plus immigration/custom checks on both ends.

Between Hong Kong and Guangzhou:

#1) Through Train: from Hung Hom Railway Station to Guangzhou East Railway Station. Ride is about 2 hours, plus immigration/custom and connections on both ends.

#2) Bus: Various pick-up points in Hong Kong and various drop-off points in Guangzhou. You cross the border at either Shenzhen Bay Control Point or Huanggang Control Point. You go through the immigration/custom yourself, with your luggage, and board a different bus to your destination on the other side after you cross the border. The workers will guide you. End to end takes about 3+ hours.

Booking:

For trains - best to go through your hotel concierge. They will call up the local travel agent to book your train tickets and deliver them to the hotel for you. Best at least overnight (not the same day) or a few days in advance. They do charge a little bit for service charge... but believe me, it is money well spent compared to spending a long time waiting in queues at the train station to buy the tickets yourself. That applies to Through Train as well (Hong Kong to Guangzhou) and it is best you book in advance.

For bus - bus is no problem. You can buy the ticket as you ride (more flexible - pay cash, get on the next bus) or book in advance through your agent.

For ferry (Macau - Hong Kong) - unless you travel during a peak hour, you can buy ticket as you ride. There are 24x7 ferry service between Macau and Hong Kong.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

Thank you so much. This is incredibly helpful. Like I said in the other forum (again, wasn't sure where to get the best response since my question spans three location forums!) I'm not super familiar with the trains in China so the hotel concierge tip is great...I will do that. I don't mind spending more money if it's shorter and less of a hassle so it sounds like trains are preferable over busses.

Walking across the border... is it very clear where to go and you just go through customs on the other side?

Elk Grove...
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3. Re: Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

>> Walking across the border... is it very clear where to go and you just go through customs on the other side? <<

Should be fairly clear. Since Macau and Hong Kong are SAR (Special Administrative Region), the process is the same as international border crossing.

First go through Immigration to Exit "This Country". Then walk to the other side. Go through Immigration to Enter "That Country", followed by Custom Inspection by "That Country".

Elk Grove...
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for Hong Kong
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4. Re: Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

Also... buying train tickets...

For trains inside China (Guangzhou), going through hotel concierge is the best, though it costs a little more.

For Through Train from Hong Kong (Hung Hom Station) to Guangzhou - you can book online and pay with credit card yourself if you like. Save you a little bit money. You pick up your train ticket at the Customer Service Counter at the Hung Hom Railway Station. Just arrive there a little earlier. With Through Train, Exit Hong Kong Immigration is done at Hung Hom. And Enter China Immigration is done after the train arrives Guangzhou.

5. Re: Guangzhou - Macau - Hong Kong transportation/ease of travel?

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