Macau transportation is convenient and well developed so that Macau is a popular and easily accessible destination in Southeast Asia. Located on the western shore of the Pearl River Delta, Macau is the gateway to mainland China from the South China Sea. Connections with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and other centers in southern China as well as countries on the Pacific Rim are provided by numerous domestic and international flights, ferries and buses. However, it should be remembered that the city's status as a free port means that there are immigration procedures to be observed prior to entry to the mainland of China.
Macau International Airport is located on the eastern side of Taipa, the northernmost of Macau’s two connected islands. Taipa is linked to the peninsula by three bridges. From the airport, several bus services run to destinations on the islands and on the peninsula. Taxis are also easily available.
Airport Code: MFM. Location: Website: http://www.macau-airport.com. Public transport description: Another airborne access route is provided by Heli Express, which operates a frequent daily helicopter service from the Shun Tak Centre in Hong Kong to the Macau Ferry Terminal. (tel: 2872 7288; www.heliexpress.com).
Entry is usually via Hong Kong from Europe and North America.
To Hong Kong: from London - 12 hours; New York - 16 hours.
Macau has its own airline, Air Macau (en.airmacau.com.mo), which operates regional flights. Visitors from outside of Asia are more likely to fly into Hong Kong and then visit Macau by ferry; Hong Kong is served by numerous airlines including Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com).
For those with plenty of disposable income, it’s also possible to arrive in Macau by helicopter. Sky Shuttle (www.skyshuttlehk.com) operates services from the Hong Kong Ferry terminal – the flight only takes 15 minutes. It also operates flights from Shenzen airport.
There are no train services between Macau and mainland China. There are, however, trains to Hong Kong from Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Shanghai and Beijing.
Services run to Macau from Hong Kong, Shenzen, Wan Chai and Guangzhou. Ferries from Hong Kong dock at the Jetfoil Terminal on Avenida da Amizade, while those from the Chinese mainland arrive at the China Ferry Port on Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.
There are three main departure points in Hong Kong: Shun Tak Centre (Hong Kong Island), China Ferry Terminal (Kowloon) and Hong Kong International Airport. Services from all three are operated by TurboJet (tel: +853 2855 5025; www.turbojet.com.hk) and CotaiJet (tel: +853 2885 0595;www.cotaijet.com.mo). Most TurboJet services are to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal in Macau, while CotaiJet mostly uses the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal (close to the international airport).
There are also several routes from the Chinese mainland, from Shekou in Shenzen run by both TurboJet and Yuet Tung Shipping (tel: +853 2893 9944, www.ytmacau.com), Wan Chai in Zhuhai (Yuet Tung Shipping) and Guangzhou (TurboJet).
Macau is linked by road to mainland China, with two main points of arrival. One is the Barrier Gate, also known as the Portas do Cerco which is open daily 0600-0100 on the peninsula. The other is the newer Cotai Frontier Post, open 24 hours a day, on the reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane. Kee Kwan Motor Road Co operates buses from Guangdong province, stopping at the end of Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and Rua das Lorchas.
Macau has its own immigration rules and the crossings from mainland China are treated like international border crossings.
Air: Macau is too small for domestic flights to be useful.
Car hire: Since the territory is small, with good public transport and affordable taxis, it is generally not necessary to hire a car. If it is required, however, car hire is easily available through several agencies including large international companies; drivers must be over 21. Chauffeur-driven limousines are also available.
Rickshaws and pedicabs (cycle rickshaws): These are available for hire but many of Macau's attractions are located on hilltops, beyond the reach of even the strongest-legged pedicab driver. Prices should always be agreed in advance.
Bike: You can hire bikes on Taipa and Coloane but can't take them to the mainland. Bear in mind that parts of Macau are quite hilly, so cycling can be hard work; generally speaking, Coloane is the most suitable area for cycling.
Regulations: The speed limit varies according to the road type. In built-up areas it can be as low as 20kph (12mph) or as high as 60kph (37mph), while on open roads and highways the highest limit is 80kph (50mph).
Breakdown service: Car hire agencies should be able to provide contact details for breakdown services.