Opened on May 22nd 1997, Tsing Ma Bridge is named after the two island at its end (Tsing Yi and Ma Wan).
The 2.2 km long bridge is the key connection between Hong Kong International Airport (Lantau Island) and Hong Kong Kowloon city side. With the impressive main span of 1377 m (4518 ft) and a height of 206 m (676 ft), Tsing Ma Bridge is currently the world’s longest suspension bridge for both rail and traffic. In terms of “only” suspension-span, the bridge is ranked 7th in the world. Tsing Ma Bridge became soon one of the famous and spectacular landmarks of Hong Kong. Btw…did you know that the main span is 100m longer than the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco?
Due to these facts the bridge is one major sightseeing attraction in Hong Kong and became a favorite scenic spot for locals as well as tourists. At the northwest corner of Tsing Yi, there is the Lantau Link Visitor Center and Viewing Platform located. The viewing platform provides you some nice panoramic views and you are able to admire this spectacular bridge. In addition, there are two – not less impressive and interesting – bridges you can take a look at: the Ting Kau Bridge (1177m long) and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge (820m long and world’s second largest cable stayed bridge carrying road and trail traffic). Both bridges held records before, too. Besides providing excellent views of the bridges from the viewing platform the Visitor Center offers interested visitors (especially if you are interested in engineering and/or architecture) insights of the structure, construction and installation process.
Insider Tip 1: The bridge is already quite impressive at daytime, but if you have time check it out around the sunset. Around 8:30pm the lights get on and put the bridge in a beautiful setting. Don’t miss this spectacular setting! Even most of the locals don’t know that the illumination change for different occasions and the bridge is illuminated differently in summer, autumn or special holidays such the National Day.
Insider Tip 2: May be you want to relax a little bit and grab a coffee at Starbucks, try some Dim Sum or do some shopping after the sightseeing? No problem. Just in the Tsing Yi MTR station is the shopping mall “Maritime Square” located.How to Get to Tsing Ma Bridge:
Take MTR to Tsing Yi station and exit through Exit A1. Then you will find yourself at the bus terminal. To get to the Lantau Visitor Center you have now two options: either by taxi or by the green Minibus.
If you decide to take the Minibus just walk straight and pass the KMB office on your left hand side and walk towards the green Minibus terminals on your right hand side. Look for the green Minibus 308M almost at the end of the walkway. Approx. travel time is 8-10 minutes (depending on traffic conditions) and the fare for a single ride is about HK$ 7.
There are several green Minibus 308M starting in a high frequency from Tsing Yi, but not every bus stops at the Lantau Visitor Center. Please be aware that the Minibus 308M towards the Lantau Visitor Center runs just at one-hour (!) intervals starting from 10:00am-4:00pm weekdays and from 9:30am-6:30pm on Sat, Sun and Public Holidays. Double-check with the driver if he really stops (!) at the Lantau Visitor Center. For your way back to Tsing Yi, it will be the same. Either you stop a taxi at the Lantau Visitor center or you take the green Minibus 308M back. The one hour intervals for the back trip starts at 10:30am-4:30pm on weekdays and from 10:00am-7:00pm on Sat, Sun and Public Holidays.
If you have a group of three or more person you might want to consider to take the taxi. The fare to the Visitor Center is approx. HK$ 50 (depending on the traffic conditions). The way back is a little bit cheaper and runs about HK$ 30.
The Bottomline: Is it worthwhile to go? If you are interested in architecture and/or engineering I would recommend you to take a look since the whole construction process and the bridge itself is very impressive. If you are pressed for time and just have one or two days days in Hong Kong, you might want to waive this sightseeing attraction or consider this one as a side option when you are already close by and finished other sightseeing attractions. Don’t be unhappy, because you will have chance to cross this pretty bridge and take a look of it when you drive from the airport to downtown.
Map and Location of Tsing Ma Bridge: