For many reasons, foreigners in China occasionally have to leave the country and then reenter. Most of the time, people go to Hong Kong, but one option is to do your visa run to Macau. If youre doing things on the cheap, you can fly to the Zhuhai airport and then take a bus to Macau. Getting from the Zhuhai airport to Macau is very simple, and bus tickets only cost 25 RMB.

First, you have to get to the Zhuhai airport. Currently (May 16, 2013), round trip flights from Shanghai to Zhuhai can be gotten with Spring Airlines for as little as 920 RMB ($150). Now, heres how to get from the Zhuhai airport to Macau and then back into China.

Get from Zhuhai Airport to Macau

1) After you exit baggage claim, look to your right for the Zhuhai Airport Bus ticket counter. Buy a ticket to GǒngBěi (拱北). Gongbei is the port which connects Zhuhai and Macau. The ticket is 25 RMB. Busses leave every 30 minutes or so.

2) Wait in the bus terminal waiting room. Keep an eye on on the busses that pull up outside and what other people are doing in the waiting hall so that you dont miss your bus.

3) Board the bus from the Zhuhai airport to Gongbei. Your ticket has an assigned seat, so make sure you sit in your own seat. The bus trip will take 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.

Waiting to board the bus Going to Gong Bei

4) The bus will drop you off right in front of the ticket office where you will buy your return ticket when you are done. It is about a 10 minute walk from the border. Make note of the Starbucks right next to the ticket office, so you can remember where it is.

Bus ticket office on Yuehua Lu Starbucks is next the ticket office

5) Walk straight ahead to the intersection and turn right onto a fairly big, divided road (Yingbin Nan Lu). As you walk, youll notice up ahead of you is a big fountain and a big red building that has big sign saying Gongbei Port. Just walk to the red building. There is an option to go underground and go through some shopping markets, but thats not necessary. The entire walk will take about 10 minutes.

Directions from bus station to Gongbei crossing to Macau

View of the port from a distance Gongbei port

6) Youll see signs telling non-Macau residents where they should enter. From here, you follow everyone to the departure hall, and then wait in line. Before you get in line, grab a yellow exit card from the back of the room, which you will have to fill out and give to the emigration officer. There are specific lines for Chinese nationals and Foreigners, so queue up in one of the Foreigner lines. The lines can be very long. I was there on Monday morning around 11 and had to wait for 45 minutes in this line. Ive read stories online that during the weekends (and probably Friday as well) people have to wait 2 hours.

Get ready to line up! Entering the departure hall Lines! Hope you brought something to do!

7) Once youve exited China, you have to enter Macau. Follow the mass of people to the entrance to Macau. Once youre in the waiting hall, grab a small blue form from the back of the room to fill out, and get in one of the visitor lines. This was also a long line, and I waited 30-40 minutes.

Walk from China to Macau Entrance to Macau immigration More lines! Yay!

8) Now youre in Macau! Unfortunately my flight back to Shanghai was in the afternoon, so I just had to turn right back around and go back to Mainland China. If you need to do the same, walk straight for a minute, then turn around and go back the way you came, this time going to the left of the yellow gateway below. (When you enter Macau, you come to the right of the gateway).

Ooo! Its Macau. Now time to say goodbye Enter Macau on the right; Exit on the left Head with these people to leave Macau

9) Now you have to exit Macau, then walk a bit, enter the China immigration building, grab a yellow entry form, fill it out while youre wa