Zhuhai

Zhuhai (珠海; Zhūhǎi) is the name of a city, and Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in Guangdong Province, China. The name means Pearl Sea; Zhuhai is where the Pearl River (珠江; Zhūjiāng) flows into the South China Sea (南海 Nánhǎi).

Guangdong province, Zhuhai in yellow

Located in the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai borders Jiangmen to the northwest, Zhongshan to the north, and former Portuguese colony Macau to the south. By sea, former British colony Hong Kong and Chinese boomtown Shenzhen are just across the Pearl estuary to the east. The provincial capital Guangzhou is about 150 km to the north.

Zhuhai is known for its beautiful long coastline, waving palm trees, open spaces, low population density, and its many islands; Zhuhai's nicknames are the city for lovers and the city of a hundred islands. Zhuhai serves as the gateway to Macau, as a tourist destination for Chinese, and as a playground for hedonistic Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan visitors who come for Zhuhai's very colorful nightlife and available women at mainland prices.

Understand

Lovers' Road, Gongbei, with Jida visible past the hills

The Zhuhai area has been inhabited for thousands of years. Until the 1970s, Zhuhai was a group of fishing villages with a population of around 100,000. Since 1980, when it was designated a Special Economic Zone by the central government, Zhuhai has expanded to include nearby areas and is now a fast-growing modern city with about 1.5 million inhabitants. However, it is still not as large and developed as neighboring cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Zhuhai's northern districts of Jinding and Tangjia, as well as the western district of Doumen, are less developed factory-driven areas that retain a deeper working-man, salt-of-the-earth quality.

Zhuhai is one of China's cleanest and prettiest cities, and received numerous accolades for its excellent ecological development efforts. In 1998, it was awarded the International Award for Best Practices in Improving Living Environment by the United Nations Center for Human Settlements. It is also commonly agreed to be one of the best cities in China to retire in. With a low population density compared to other cities in China, Zhuhai is unsurprisingly greener. Parks and open spaces dot the cityscape, and waving palm trees line the extensive coastline and many of the major streets.

The weather in Zhuhai is sub-tropical. Temperature varies between 10C/50F degrees in winter (Dec to Feb) to a hot and humid 35C/95F degrees in summer (Jun to Sep). Typhoons are also a possibility in summer. The best times to visit are during spring and Autumn.

Districts

The city of Zhuhai itself is composed of Gongbei, Jida and Xiangzhou. The other areas mentioned are districts within the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone.

North to South along the coast, the main districts are:

Main commercial area of Tangjia at night.
Xiangzhou skyline seen from Jinshan Park
On the inland side is New Xiangzhou (Xin Xiangzhou), an area that has undergone extensive development over the last few decades, especially midrange or upmarket residential buildings but with commercial and business buildings as well.
Jida, with Mao's personal jet
Gongbei shopping on Lotus Road

Going West from Gongbei are other districts:

Islands

One of Zhuhai's nicknames is the city of a hundred islands (146 to be exact), and it has a number of islands that are accessible from ports by ferries. An often overlooked aspect is the fact that each of the islands has a unique character. Some have decent beaches, and some are eerily quiet fishing islands. Each trip is a noticeable escape from the hustle and bustle of living in Chinese cities. A trip to the islands is arguably comparable to leaving the country. High-quality seafood abounds. Information about where to go or what to do can be difficult to come by because most locals do not visit due to cost of transportation. As a result, most tourists do not get a chance to explore these beautiful places at all, and most of the information available on the internet regarding Zhuhai focuses on the urban areas. Nonetheless, the curious expat or adventurous traveler will be generously rewarded. From the Xiangzhou Northern Wharf (香洲北堤码头; Xiāngzhōu Běidīmǎtóu), you can get to the Wanshan Islands (万山群岛; Wànshānqúndǎo):

While not as distant and not part of the Wanshan Islands, Henquin Island, Qi'ao Island, and Gaolan Island can all be reached by bus via a bridge.

Remember to take plenty of cash with you on these island excursions because some islands do not have ATMs.

Entrance to Zhuhai from the Macau border

Geography

Zhuhai city inland portions of the terrain from the northwest to Southeast tilt, and diverse topography, with plain (25.5%), hills (58.68%), which has low mountain, tidal flat. Flat terrain, the hills of Linhai, sea area is vast, the hundred islands crouch, have qifengyidan beautiful bay, and the beach. Inland from Lantau Peak, General Hill's two major mountain ranges and coastal hills, plains. Sanzao island is the largest island, an area of about 78 square kilometers. Mountain land, hills, plains, terraces, is arranged in a crisscross pattern water network division. Coastal alluvial plain from the Xijiang and Beijiang together into alluvial deposits.

The Pearl River Estuary coastal territory, the underwater beach coast to slow gradient. Coastline, island 690 km long coastline. Highest inland Lantau Peak,437 meters above sea level, sea island in100 meters above the sea level. The main mineral resources of the crystal, iron, tungsten, tin, manganese, potassium feldspar, quartz sand. Natural soil red soil, rocky soil, coastal sand, salt swamp soil. The main rivers are Modaomen, Venus doors, Nai bay door, gate, Hutiaomen, before Hill, Wan Chai River Macao waterway, Nanshui Lek, a total length of 135 km.

Get in

Most visitors to China will require an advance visa, which can be obtained in Hong Kong or Macau. See Visas for details.

If you are only visiting the Zhuhai area, three-day visas upon arrival are available at the border. Upon entering the Gongbei immigration building, after passing all the duty free shops, the visa office is behind a green door on the right hand side of the hall. Follow the stairs and you will find the office on the left. You need to complete a small white form, pay the fee and have your photograph taken with a webcam. The visa is then processed within minutes. This costs ¥160 for most nationalities, but Americans cannot use the service and Brits have to fork out ¥450 (December 2008). Hong Kong dollars are not accepted. Currency can be converted at the China Tourist Services office back downstairs in the main immigration hall, but usually at an awful rate. Once the visa has been issued, proceed to the immigration hall to complete the immigration process.

(january 2011: I applied for a SEZ visa. The price list did have USA as a nationality, the price being about ¥950)

By plane

Outside of the Zhuhai Airport

The Airport Express Bus departs from the airport to Xiangzhen and Gongbei districts for ¥30 (November 2010) per passenger, and follows the schedule of arriving flights. The first bus departs around 11:00 and the last bus departs about 21:30. A taxi from the airport to Gongbei or Jiuzhou in downtown Zhuhai is around ¥130 (October 2011) when traffic is free flowing. You may also take public bus number 207, which goes right to the Gongbei border crossing, and costs ¥6. However the journey time is between 1 hour 45 mins and 2 hours. Note that this bus does not have a luggage storage area on board.

Other airports

To reach Zhuhai from outside China, one would usually fly to Hong Kong, Macau or Guangzhou. All three cities have large, modern airports with many international connections and all are within an hour or two of Zhuhai; Macau is closest. Shenzhen is another large modern airport nearby, but it has fewer international connections.

From the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (IATA: CAN), a frequent express bus service that goes to Zhuhai is available. It costs ¥80 and takes approximately 2.5 hours with one stop in the northern part of Zhuhai before going on to the Gongbei border gate to Macau. There is a check in for the airport at Gongbei bus station, located near the KFC.

From the Macau International Airport (IATA: MFM), the best way to get to Zhuhai is via the Express Link service, skipping the Macau immigration and customs altogether. Once you alight from the plane, instead of going through immigration, look for the Express Link (China) sign and follow it. This will lead you past a transit security scan station where you must pick up an Express Link card, and upstairs into the departure hall. Go to the ticket counter at Gate 8, present your card and buy a ticket for the coach that goes to the Gongbei Port of Entry. The coach fare is ¥52 and the ride takes only 15 minutes. Coach departure times are 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 14:45, 17:00, 17:30, and 18:00. If you need to check in any bags for your flight, remember to have them blue tagged during your flight check-in procedure for this Express Link service. The blue tag is not a necessity, merely a convenience. Present your luggage tags at the above-mentioned coach ticket counter and pick up your bags at the bus bay later.

The option to skip the Macau immigration is not available on the return. Allow at least three hours to get from Gongbei to the Macau airport. Immigration formalities can be very time-consuming, particularly on the Chinese side during the weekends. Once out of the Chinese customs (before entering Macau), there is a little ticket booth to the left where you can get a shuttle bus ticket to the airport for ¥35. The buses will be waiting on the left once you leave the Macau immigration hall. They run at 10 minutes intervals.

Should you decide to go through the Macau immigration at the airport and use the Taxi service to get to Zhuhai, the ride takes only about 15 minutes. It costs about ¥60-80 for the short ride. But it is reasonable priced for those (>2 persons) who wish to share the taxi cab fees. The charges are inclusive of surcharge of ¥5 at the airport, ¥5 per piece of luggage. Taxi payment can be in patacas, Hong Kong dollars or renminbi. They are all treated equally in value (i.e. dollar for dollar, even though Macau dollar has the lowest value of the three currencies). Taxi cabs queue at the curve outside of the airport.

From Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG), one option is to take the Airport Express to Kowloon Station (at the cost of HK$90), then hop on the free Airport Express transit bus K2 to the China-Hong Kong Ferry Terminal (中港城码头; Zhōnggǎng Chéngmǎtóu) to take a ferry to Zhuhai. See below for ferry timetable.

Another option from Hong Kong is to catch a ferry from the HKIA Skypier to Macau and then cross into Zhuhai via the Gongbei border gate. Immigration and custom procedures can be skipped at the Hong Kong end. Full instructions can be found here . The ferry journey takes about 50 minutes and runs hourly (usually).

A third option from HKIA is now available in the form of long-distance buses that go overland to Gongbei. The journey takes 3.5 hours and costs HK$200. Departure times are 07:00, 08:00, 16:00, 17:00, and 19:00.

A new ferry service was introduced that brings travelers directly from HKIA to the Jiuzhou Port in Zhuhai. The ferry leaves at 12:15, 14:04, 17:00, and 20:00. The one from Zhuhai to HKIA leaves at 9:30, 12:40, 15:30, and 18:30. The trip takes approximately 50 minutes.

By boat

Zhuhai ferry boat

From Hong Kong: There are several ferries per day from Hong Kong International Airport, HK-Macau Ferry Terminal (港澳码头; Gǎng'ào Mǎtóu; Hong Kong Island), China Ferry Terminal (中港城码头; Zhōnggǎng Chéngmǎtóu; Kowloon) and Shekou Ferry Terminal (蛇口港; Shékǒugǎng; Shekou) arriving at the Zhuhai Jiuzhou Ferry Terminal (九洲港; Jiǔzhōugǎng). There is a taxi rank and bus stops directly outside. You can take a free bus ride to Gongbei by showing your ferry ticket. Visas can be purchased here for most nationalities (not American citizens). Payment is in RMB only and the ATMs are through immigration so plan ahead.

The HKIA-Zhuhai ferry is operated by Chu Kong, who charge HK$260/¥280 one-way to/from Zhuhai.

Getting to Zhuhai Airport from the Jiuzhou Ferry port that connects Zhuhai with Hong Kong, an Airport bus can be taken for about ¥30 and the last bus departs at 20:00. The journey takes about 2 hours.

From Macau: There is a ferry service operating from Macau's Inner Harbour's Pier 14 (澳门粤通码头; Àomén Yuètōng Mǎtóu) to Wanzai. Daily departures roughly hourly from 08:00-16:00.

By bridges and tunnel

Scheduled to open in late 2017, the 50 km Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau link is likely one of the largest ongoing construction projects in the world right now. The link will make it possible to travel quickly between across the Pearl River Delta without taking the ferry and will also be a remarkable landmark.

By car

It is possible to drive across the border from Macau. Unlike Macau, China drives on the right.

Only vehicles with dual plates are allowed to drive across the border.

By bus

Main bus station in Gongbei

Hundreds of buses come from Guangzhou every day, usually via the Jingzhu (Beijing-Zhuhai) Highway (京珠高速; Jīngzhū Gāosù). You can catch one at:

From any of these locations, the trip will cost ¥70-75 and take about 2.5 hours. Buses leave every half hour and go to Gongbei. Along the way, they usually make a stop at Xiangzhou (香洲; Xiāngzhōu) and Suidaonan (隧道南; Suìdàonán).

Zhuhai has several bus stations:

On foot

The border, seen from Gongbei; the red building is the Port of Entry (customs and immigration). Beyond it is Macau

You can walk across the border from Macau at Gongbei. The border is open from 07:00-24:00. It typically takes 20 minutes of walking time, but be prepared for long queues, which can easily add over an hour to your total border crossing time.

An alternative crossing is via the Lotus Bridge in Macau's Cotai area to the island of Hengqin. This border crossing point is open 08:00-20:00. After crossing the Macau side, take a shuttle bus across the bridge to the China side (fare ¥3, no change given so carry the exact amount). From the Hengqin side of the border take bus number 14 to Xiangzhou, or catch one of the Kee Kwan air-conditioned minibuses to Wanzai or Gongbei (¥5).

For foreigner entering China, you will need to produce a valid visa. Follow the immigration line that says "Foreigner". Once you clear immigration, you enter the duty free zone. Consider picking up some Western chocolate or liquor, especially if you need gifts for Chinese. Jameson's at HK$70 a bottle is a good buy, as are some of the wines and single malt whiskeys. Do not bother with common brands of whiskey or cognac; those a readily available in China. Cigarettes are generally cheaper in downtown Zhuhai than at the duty-free( do not buy cigarettes in duty free, most are fake).

When you exit the Gongbei immigration building, you have reached the Zhuhai border. If you need to purchase a pre-paid cellphone card, please proceed to exit the immigration building, then walk downstairs to the underground mall. There are many telephone services stalls here. You may purchase a pre-paid sim-card here for ¥100. It comes with a loaded value of ¥50. You will need a GSM phone to get it to work. Always keep your belongings zipped inside your pocket here as pickpockets are very common at the border check point.

On the return trip from China to Macau, here are the border crossing tips from Zhuhai China to Macau via Gongbei port. The Gongbei immigration building opens at 07:00. If you arrived at the Zhuhai Gongbei port via Taxi cab, you either arrive in front of the Gongbei immigration building or via the underground tunnel, linked to the underground mall below the Gongbei immigration building. Proceed to queue up at the entrance of building. It is rather cold in the morning so bring enough warm clothing with you if you decided to queue up in the morning before 07:00.

When the building opens, proceed inside the building. Look for the line that says "Foreigner" (usually line# 15). If you are already late for your connecting flight, go to the express line (no queuing required) and show them your air ticket for immediate attention. Once you clear the Chinese immigration, you enter the duty-free zone. Proceed to the immigration hall. Foreigner is required to fill up a blue-color slip in this hall, declaring your place of stay in Macau and your departure details. Proceed to queue at the line that says "Foreigner". Once you clear the Macau immigration, proceed to exit the building. If you carry any luggage with you, the immigration officer may request that your luggage be scanned by the X-ray machine before you are allowed to exit the immigration building. The whole border crossing process takes about 20-25 minutes, excluding waiting time in the long queues.

You may choose Taxi cab or bus to get to the airport. The ride to the Macau International Airport takes only 15 minutes from Gongbei port. There will be surcharge of Macau$5 to the airport and $6 per item of luggage. It costs about Macau $70 to get to the airport by Taxi cab (inclusive of surcharges). Taxi cabs accepts Macau Patacas, Hong Kong Dollars or Chinese RMB for payment. These currencies are treated equally (With RMB being the most expensive) during payment. You may still use your Chinese pre-paid telephone card up to the mid-span of the Friendship Bridge in Macau. After that, the signal drops off.

By train

The Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway (Guangzhu ICR) partially opened on 7 January 2011, and was fully opened to the public on 31 December 2012. There are five stations in Zhuhai: Zhuhai North (珠海北) in Jinding, Tangjiawan, Mingzhu (明珠) in New Xiangzhou, Qianshan (前山) and the main Zhuhai Railway Station in Gongbei.

The journey from Guangzhou South station to Zhuhai takes around 60-90 minutes and costs ¥43 for first class or ¥36 for second class. Trains will stop at either Zhuhai North, Tangjiawan, Mingzhu or Qianshan (or any combination of the four) before terminating at Gongbei: different trains stop at different stations, so if you intend to alight at an intermediate station, be sure to check first if your train will stop there. The first train departs Guangzhou South for Zhuhai at 07:00, while the last train departs Zhuhai for Guangzhou at 22:45.

Guangzhu ICR stations are served by several bus routes. Bus routes 3A (to Jiuzhou ferry port) and 65 (to Zhulinpu in Tangjiawan), as well as a minivan service to Beijing Normal University, serve Zhuhai North station, while bus 207 (to the airport) stops outside of Zhuhai station. There are also taxi ranks outside all stations.

Get around

Zhuhai is quite spread out. The terrain is coastal plain broken up by mountains or, seen from the sea, a series of bays and headlands. There are many clumps of development separated by hills, often parkland.

Talk

Cantonese is the indigenous language of Zhuhai, it being a part of the Pearl River Delta. Nevertheless, due to the massive influx of immigrants from other parts of China over the last two decades, Mandarin is now the lingua franca. English is not widely used, but some people speak it.

See

Fisher Girl Statue, symbol of Zhuhai
Lover's Road in Gongbei, Jida in background
New Yuanming Palace
Jintai Temple in Doumen
Zhuhai Racetrack during the Asian Festival of Speed

Do

Buy

Gongbei

Always inspect the product before paying for it and leaving the shop. Also, note down where you bought the item. You will never get a refund, but Gongbei shop owners are surprisingly diligent about protecting their reputation, so they will more than likely exchange defective merchandise.

Gongbei underground shopping mall
Ying Bin Shopping Plaza in Gongbei
Lotus Road shopping at night in Gongbei
Hita Shopping Plaza in Jida

Jida

The main drag in Jida is Jingshan Road (景山路; Jǐngshānlù) and it has two blocks of nice department stores:

Xiangzhou

Western groceries

To shop for imported groceries, including items such as cheese, chocolate, and milk, try

Casual street dining in Gongbei

Eat

Cantonese cuisine is commonplace, but street food stalls and restaurants featuring food from all over China are also easily found. Seafood is a local specialty.

Budget

Street food

'Seafood Street' in Wanzai

Restaurants

For a cheap and filling snack, look for the tiny noodle places run by Muslims.

Mid-range

Azur Restaurant - Tel:8813197 Address:珠海市南屏海鲜街坪岚路65号香槟小镇D6区6号铺 中蓝海 (南屏海鲜街)email: info@azurvision.com Very good Mediterranean Cuisine with Croatian Chef. The menu is quite small and constantly changes according to seasons and what's freshly available on the market. Most of the items on the menu are handmade, including bread, pastas, gnocchi etc. Main courses from ¥60-130. They also do excellent events with great musicians from all over the world. They are linked with Hong Kong Jazz Festival, and occasionally bands that play in Hong Kong also play at Azur.

Cantonese

  • Gangwan Avenue, Xiangzhou District (香洲区港湾大道; Xiāngzhōuqū Gǎngwāndàdào) (A bit north of town on the coastal road, take bus 3 or 10 or the sightseeing bus),  +86 756 3611726. In an interesting old building
  • 108 Gaosha Middle Street, Xiangzhou District (香洲区高沙中街108号; Xiāngzhōuqū Gāoshāzhōngjiē) (Near the border, a short distance along the road by the clock tower),  +86 756 8132108.

Other Chinese

Food from other regions of China is also available. Hunan and Sichuan food is common.

Within walking distance north of Jusco on the main street of Xiangzhou, there are many restaurants:

There is a fine Xinjiang restaurant on bus 4 route, one stop north of the Jida ferry port. That is part of a cluster of at least a dozen mid-range restaurants in a newly developed area.

Other Asian

Around the border shopping area, there are a number of good and reasonably priced Thai restaurants.

Pizza

There are several good pizza places, popular with the local expatriate community:

Pizza can also be found in other local restaurants, including a local chain called Pizza Coffee, but the pizza is not very appealing to Western tastes.

Splurge

Chinese

An upscale ship-shaped seafood restaurant

Pub food

Indian

Japanese

There are several notable Japanese restaurants in Zhuhai:

Other

Drink

Zhuhai is known for its nightlife due to its status as a tourist destination for Chinese nationals, and as a playground for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan businessmen looking for female company. Whether it's enjoying Chinese street life, mixing it up with all walks of life on Walking Street, sipping cocktails on Bar Street, or hitting the wild electronic discos, Zhuhai has what you're looking for!

Lotus Road

Lotus Road in Gongbei

For a truly unique experience, have a beer or coffee at one of the couple dozen open-air bar booths along Linhua Road (莲花路; Liánhuālù; lit. Lotus Road; also known as Walking Street (步行街; Bùxíngjiē)). It is parallel to Yingbin Road and a block east of it, starting on the western side of Gongbei Bus Station, opposite the northeast exit from the underground shopping complex at the Macau border. By day, it is a busy pedestrians-only shopping street with numerous shops.

It transforms into a spectacular must-see atmosphere at night. There are many small outdoor bars, 3 or 4 meters square with a half dozen stools on each side. In the middle is an open area for the bar girls. These girls earn commission on the drinks so their goal is to get you to buy as much beer as possible, partly by helping you put it back and often by winning at various games where the loser must drink. They are experts; do not expect to win. Also, do not expect to take one of them home; they are professional flirts, not prostitutes.

There are many streetwalkers in the area and offers from them are common, but note that prostitution is illegal in China. There are also beggars who offer to sing or shine your shoes, or present their pet monkey or simply point to their baby sadly.

There are two groups of outdoor bars with the one further south nearer the border emphasizing food (nothing special) and the one a little further north emphasizing drinks. There is a stretch of shops in between the two areas. Drinks are cheap (¥18 for a bottle of beer, fresh fruit juice or cup of coffee), and you get to meet all sorts of travelers, expats, Hong Kong and Macau residents coming over for shopping or cheaper entertainment, local wannabes, and working girls. Hanging out here is by far one of the most interesting things to do in Zhuhai. Use common sense late at night, as things can get pretty wild. Most stalls are open till 03:00 and a few stay open later for enthusiastic customers.

Bar Street

Bar Street lights

Bar Street (酒吧街; Jiǔbājiē), at around 300 meters long, is a well-established, modern strip of more upscale bars, some featuring live music. It is easily the first place newcomers to Zhuhai go to experience the energy and liveliness of life in Zhuhai after dark. This strip primarily caters to Chinese businessmen, Chinese yuppies, and moneyed or uninformed tourists. It is one block inland and a 20 minute walk from the Gongbei border. Follow the street with the clock tower until it becomes Bar Street.

Zhuhai is heavily infested with pickpockets and bar street is among their favorite areas. Beware of pairs of well-dressed young men who quietly follow groups of revelers; typically they have razor blades for cutting open pockets,

Discos

Your best bet is to hit your bar of choice first and then inquire and explore. The discos tend to be large, intense, heavily into generic Chinese imitation euro-trance music, and popular with the young and rebellious. Cover charges may or may not apply, drinks are expensive by Chinese standards (generally ¥30 or more). Be careful with your possessions as these places are notorious for pickpockets.

There are numerous discos in Zhuhai that will allow you to continue your night into the morning. There are several in Gongbei within a short cab ride of either Bar Street or Walking Street:

There are several slightly smaller, dance type clubs located right on Bar Street.

The Xiangzhou and Jida areas also have popular discos.

Karaoke

For singing/drinking in private rooms with your friends, the following places charge per hour for the room and drinks are bought separately in the mini-supermarket within the facilities.

GongBei

Jida

There are a handful of karaoke establishments across the street from the McDonald's as well.

XiangZhou

There are many KTVs in Xiangzhou.

Jinding

Come to Jinding Barbeque for a unique dining experience and beers aplenty (see Eat Section) and then go to Jinding Karaoke Bar Street, an off-the-beaten-path strip of about 10 truly hole-in-the-wall karaoke bars located northeast of the main street in Jinding. Come here if you want to experience where real salt-of-the-earth working class Chinese people go to get their drinks and howl at high decibel levels into a microphone. It is not easily reached by walking if you do not know where you are going, but it is easy to flag down any of the locals and get a ride on their motorcycle (takes about 3 minutes and costs ¥5) or take any of the taxi vans parked all around the middle of the main street. Just motion that you want to drink and sing and point in a eastward direction from the center of the main street to convey the message. You will be popular here and may be encouraged to join someone's table and drink gratis as most locals will be surprised a foreigner would come here. Drink plenty of beer or bring earplugs or both to dull the volume of the howling.

Other

The Blarney Stone in the Holiday Inn has quite a number of beers on tap. It is located in Jida. It features live western music performed by Filipino groups, among others, on some nights (usually weekends). The German beers on tap are rather expensive at ¥58 (+15%) but ¥23 (+15%) for a pint of draught Filipino San Miguel is rather a good deal, especially during happy hour (18:00-20:00 everyday) when it is buy one get one free. Although the Irish decor is pretty average, it is a large and comfortable venue for those who are looking for a tamer night out. One of the cheaper hotel bars that I have been in and enjoys a reasonable mix of clientèle for a bar in a western hotel.

Dragon Union Opera House, also in Tangjia, is a large entertainment venue, occasionally featuring live, perhaps tacky, variety shows with acrobats, jugglers, rope climbers and singers, etc. Beer is expensive during shows. There is also a floor dedicated to massages. There are quite a few karaoke rooms available, complete with furniture, beds, food, drink, choice of girls, and optional adult entertainment options to fulfill your every need no matter how unusual. Known even in Hong Kong as a destination for those seeking an 'all inclusive' karaoke experience, it can be as tame or as involved as you want it to be.

Zhuhai skyline at night

Sleep

Hotels in Zhuhai are reasonably priced. Travelers on tight budgets can opt for budget or midrange hotels. Most people choose to stay in Gongbei due to its proximity to attractions, nightlife, the Macau border, and its variety of conveniently located and reasonable hotels. Jida has primarily upscale hotels that business travelers sometimes opt for, which are usually conveniently located. Some are further away and require taking taxis or the bus. Further out, Xiangzhou also has a variety of options at different price ranges. The Northern districts of Tangjia and Jinding are further removed from the action of Zhuhai and offer very cheap hotels.

Budget

Most budget travelers opt for low end hotels, and there are a number of legitimate cheaper hotels in Gongbei with low prices between ¥160 and ¥230. Talking your way into Chinese only hotels may land you prices in the ¥120 to ¥150 range. Some hotels in Xiangzhou can be had for as little as ¥100 to ¥120, and in the Northern districts of Tangjia or Jinding hotels can be had for as low as ¥80 if you look around. However, for those who truly want rock bottom prices somewhere other than a hotel, there is budget lodging in the form of hostels, and private rooms offered by individuals or families.

Massage parlours

On the Walking Street in Gongbei there are at least three massage parlours. If you arrive after 21:00 you may pay ¥60 to ¥88 (depending on the room type) for two hours traditional Chinese massage and they will let you sleep until mid-day without additional payment. In one establishment you may have the room to yourself. It has television and air-conditioning. In the others you share a room with four other guests.

Private rooms

Touts outside the Xiangzhou bus station offer accommodation, often in private apartments with the family on bunk beds in the living room so the bedrooms can earn money. ¥50 a night is usual. These are usually clean and have a TV in every room, but up several flights of stairs and with a squat toilet.

Hostels

Gongbei hotels

There are at least a dozen hotels within short walking distance of the Gongbei border, mostly either cheap or mid-range (¥150-400) ones. You can bargain the prices down and normally they have special prices, around half the listed price. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to see a low price on the sign, but find when you go in that only more expensive rooms are available, sometimes this is true, sometimes it is an effort to coax you into a more expensive room. Adventurous single male travelers can scout around for rock bottom prices, and may be able to find a room for as little as ¥120-130 if they can talk these Chinese only hotels into accepting them, which is not always possible. Single female travelers, those with young families, or those fearing excessive street noise or noise from other guests should have no trouble landing a room for ¥175-275 (with an elevator, bellhop, restaurant etc), which anyone would feel more than comfortable staying in. Most of the hotels located around the border fall into this category. The available options are plentiful so looking around for a hotel that suits you may be the best plan.

Other hotels

Mid-range

Splurge

Most higher end hotels are located in Jida or Gongbei. Gongbei situated hotels are more convenient for accessing the Macau border crossing, colorful nightlife and walking around and exploring. Jida locations vary, depending on the address of the hotel as some are essentially in Gongbei, while others are well north of that and are a taxi ride from the heart of the action.

Connect

The area code for Zhuhai is 0756. When calling from overseas, dial +86 756 XXXX-XXXX

Both ZhuhaiNights.com and DeltaBridges.com are excellent resources for up-to-the-minute local information.

Be sure to thoroughly wash your fruit & vegetables as chemicals can cause illness

Stay safe

Go next

JiuZhou Port passenger terminal
This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.