Tourists will soon be able to visit the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, famed for being the world’s longest bridge-and-tunnel sea crossing. Authorities greenlit a trial programme by which visitors can undertake group tours to restricted areas of the port area and Blue Dolphin Island.
During the trial, bus routes between the Zhuhai Highway Port and Blue Dolphin Island — one of the bridge’s four artificial islands — will be opened. However, as the tours will begin in Zhuhai, they will only be open to two categories of people: Mainland residents with a valid resident identity card, and Hong Kong and Macau residents who have entered the Mainland and hold a valid travel permit to cross the border.
Each tour will last about two hours, of which 110 minutes will be spent at the restricted area of the port and at Blue Dolphin Island. Tour participants will also get to see the three channel bridges along the route: the Chinese-knotlike cable-stayed Qingzhou Channel Bridge, the dolphin-shaped Jianghai Channel Bridge, and the sail-shaped Jiuzhou Channel Bridge.
Visitors will return to the Zhuhai Highway Port after the end of the tour. If they need to go to Hong Kong or Macau, they must complete customs clearance in Zhuhai first.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which spans 42kms, opened in 2018, and comprises 6.7km of underwater tunnels. It is the only direct road link between Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. Prior to its opening, the only way to travel by car between the three cities was via the Humen Pearl River Bridge — a 200km journey that took at a minimum of four hours. It now takes 30 minutes to get to Macau from Hong Kong, and an additional 15 minutes to reach Zhuhai.
In January 2024, another restricted area of Hong Kong — the Sha Tau Kok Frontier Closed Area — will open completely to tourists. Group and individual tourists can enter the area — which is the northernmost town of Hong Kong and shares a border with Mainland China — once they get permits online.
Header image credits: CHUNYIP WONG via Canva