The ins and outs of travel across the HZMB

The 55km-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) is the world’s longest cross-sea bridge, linking its eponymous three cities – two Special Administrative Regions and one mainland Chinese city – together by land for the first time.

The Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities

All the three cities have set up their own ports of entry, also known as Boundary Crossing Facilities (BCF), and passengers using the HZMB have to clear immigration at these BCFs.

The 24-hour Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) are close to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Passengers from the airport can go to the HKBCF via the 24-hour B4 bus. The bus fare is HK$6 (US$0.75) and it takes around 10-15 minutes by way of AsiaWorld-Expo. Those travelling to the airport from the HKBCF can take the return route on the same bus.

The HKBCF is also connected to the Sunny Bay and Tung Chung MTR stations on the Tung Chung Line via buses B5 and B6, respectively. Alternatively, you can take the “A” route airport bus, which stops at various destinations around Hong Kong. Meanwhile, all types of taxis in Hong Kong – red urban taxis, green New Territories taxis and blue Lantau taxis – can be hired to go to and depart from the HKBCF.

Travelling on the HZMB

The most popular way to travel on the HZMB is to take the 24-hour HZM Bus, which only travels between the BCFs. There are two routes: Hong Kong-Macau and Hong Kong-Zhuhai. There are no bus routes between Macau and Zhuhai because their BCFs are situated next to each other.

Tickets can be bought at all the BCFs via the self-service kiosks, which only accept e-payment methods such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and Hong Kong’s Octopus card. However, there are also manned ticketing counters that accept cash and credit cards. From 6am to midnight, a single-journey ticket costs HK$65 (US$8); during the wee hours (midnight-6am) the fee is slightly higher at HK$70 (US$9). Tickets are valid for one hour from the time of purchase.

Passengers who wish to start their journey from other areas of Hong Kong and Macau should take a cross-boundary coach. These allow you to travel between Hong Kong and Macau, or between Hong Kong and other cities in the Greater Bay Area, via the HZMB. There are a few companies offering this service such as One Bus, Hong Kong-Macao Express, Trans-Island Limousine and Eternal East Bus. Passengers from Hong Kong can board the coach at pick-up points near popular MTR stations such as Causeway Bay, Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui, Prince Edward and Kwun Tong, while the boarding points in Macau are mainly hotels in the Cotai area.

Another option is to use a cross-boundary hire car service, though this is a chauffeur service rather than a car that you drive yourself. Simply contact the operators (a list is on the Hong Kong Transport Department’s website) and make advance bookings. In addition to the car hiring fee, passengers also have to pay a toll rate of RMB150 (US$22).

HKIA check-in service at BCFs

Passengers travelling to HKIA via the HZMB can now check in at the HKBCF as early as one day in advance, depending on the airline. An exception is US-bound flights, where boarding passes can only be issued within 24 hours of the scheduled departure time. The check-in service centre is situated at the Arrival Hall on the ground floor and is equipped with both self-service kiosks and manned counters, providing check-in and bag drop services from 7am to 10.30pm daily.

Currently, four local carriers offer a check-in service at the HKBCF. Passengers with luggage to check must arrive at the check-in centre at least 150 minutes before flight departure, while those without checked luggage need to arrive 90 minutes beforehand.

HKIA has also launched check-in services at the other two BCFs in Macau and Zhuhai. However, a bag drop service is not available at either facility, so passengers must carry their luggage with them to Hong Kong and go through immigration and customs before entering Hong Kong.