Seeing as Macau is the only legal gambling destination in all of China it should come as little surprise that it’s one of the most popular Hong Kong day trips for those hoping to strike it rich. Just because Macau is a popular day trip from Hong Kong, however, doesn’t mean that the same can’t be said for moving in the opposite direction. Reachable via high-speed ferries which connect the two SAR’s (Special Administrative Regions), a day trip to Hong Kong provides Macau visitors with a chance to experience the pulse of one of the world’s leading global financial centers and swap the Portuguese breakfast tarts for foamy pints in an English pub.
Or, for those looking for a change from the colonial history the neighboring city of Zhuhai is the de facto gateway to mainland China. Though the customs and immigration process is pretty straightforward there are still over 30 nationalities which require a visa for China but not for Macau, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Though most people crossing the border from Macau to Zhuhai head for the shopping complex beneath the Gongbei Port, if shopping isn’t in the day trip plans be sure to instead catch a traditional face-changing show or pay a visit to the Meixi Archways. Towering arches constructed during the late Qing Dynsaty, the Meixi Archways pay homage to Chen Feng, a middle-class Zhuhai native who emigrated to Hawaii only to return years later a millionaire businessman and local philanthropist. Nearby, the New Yuanming Palace is arguably Zhuhai’s most popular attraction where visitors can enjoy a traditional show, witness a historic sea battle reenactment, or simply lounge by the lakeside and enjoy the serenity of the sprawling park grounds. Finally, if the beaches of Coloane simply aren’t cutting it for you there are ferry boats which periodically depart Zhuhai for a handful of the 146 Chinese islands found in this region of the South China Sea.
One of the most popular retirement destinations for native Chinese due to the warm weather and palm-lined boulevards, Zhuhai is deserving of a day trip for anyone planning a flexible visit to Macau.