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Hong Kong and Macau CLOSE NEIGHBOURS


Separated by just 40 miles of water but offering


contrasting attractions and experiences, Hong Kong and Macau make for the perfect twin-centre combination, says Ben Lerwill


and Macau could never be accused of being behind the times!


R


Both destinations have made a habit of providing more attractions, accommodation and activities with each passing year, and with water transfers between the two


affordable and easy, make for a logical twin-centre break. But for all their


similarities, China’s two Special Administrative Regions


offer a highly contrasting range of experiences.


Hong Kong is home to seven million people, a world-famous


harbour and one of the most vibrant, multi-layered cities on the planet. Macau, while not lacking bustle, is far smaller in size and has become feted for its sparkling range of high-end resorts where guests can split their time between the theatre, the spa and the casino – which is why that ‘Vegas of the East’ tag is increasingly apt. The two destinations offset their modern appeal with rich colonial histories. Hong Kong was a British


egularly adding new


infrastructure and fresh investment, Hong Kong


outpost, while Macau spent centuries under Portuguese rule: heritage and history buffs have plenty to explore on both sides of the water. Getting between Hong Kong and Macau is easy, with transfers affordable and hassle-free. The crossing takes only around an hour, and will be shorter still when the enormous Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge opens in 2016. Hong Kong remains the bigger visitor


draw, thanks to its size, its air access and its kaleidoscopic urban culture, but Macau – once seen mainly as just a colourful day trip – has become worthy of a longer stay in its own right. The immense 6,000-room Sands Cotai Central complex is just the newest in a string of new visitor developments, and entertainment, dining and leisure options are all growing in kind. Gastronomy, in fact, is a major pull in both Hong Kong and Macau – as evidenced by the 2012 Michelin guide to the region that highlights more than 330 establishments. Elsewhere, the ongoing work on a


new cruise terminal in Hong Kong is a good reminder that the region can be incorporated into cruise itineraries.


Above: Causeway Bay in Hong Kong www.sellinglonghaul.com • March 2012 37


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