Old May 4, 09, 1:25 am
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MEL, Australia
Programs: QF PS, EK SkyWards Blue, SQ Krisflyer
Posts: 256
Part VI - Macau to Hong Kong

The Grand Lisboa courtesy shuttle bus disgorged me and thirty five Chinese gamblers wearing baseball caps in front of the international ferry terminal entrance. The departures board showed a 1800 and 1805 departure which i could potentially get on using my ticket for the later 2000 service.

The standby procedure is amazingly simple. If you wish to get onto a ferry earlier than the one you hold a ticket for, you join the standby queue at the gate from which your preferred ferry departs from. Its first come first served and theres every possibility you'll be waiting for hours as your priority is not transferred to the next ferry should the one you're waiting for be full.

The 1800 ferry departed from a gate directly behind the immigration checkpoint and the standby queue was gigantic, stretching from the gate entrance to the end of the terminal, some 250 meters away. There was no way that most of the standby pax would make it, yet more and more people joined the queue as i watched so that it began to double back on itself around the outer wall of the terminal. Hmmm.

I walked to the other end of the terminal to gate 8, where the 1805 ferry would depart only to find a completely empty standby queue. 'Surely, there must be some mistake,' i thought,'why on earth would people be trying their luck on a 1800 ferry when an 1805 ferry was pretty much guaranteed?' Shrugging an answer to my own mental question i stood at the front of the queue and smirked at my bright idea. Surely enough, within minutes hordes of passengers came surging through the terminal, as the 1800 ferry departed.

The 1805 was delayed some 15 minutes but i recieved a seat (and a window seat, at that) with no problems whatsoever. There was little to see or do on the return crossing as night had fallen.

Newer seat

Leg room shot

I disembarked at Hong Kong and completed the usual immigration formalities. After a short hike to the taxi rank and a myriad of misunderstandings with the locals regarding queuing etiquette i was on my way back to apartment, exhausted, but filled with a renewed sense of wonder for the world that we live in.
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