What to do at Hong Kong International Airport

When you think of Hong Kong, you might think of bright lights, lots of people, Victoria Harbor, and the light show on the buildings every night. But did you know that the city’s International Airport is a destination in itself? Consistently rated as one of the best airports in the world (voted number 3 in 2012 by the Skytraxx World Airport Awards), Hong Kong International Airport is a traveler’s delight.

Hong Kong International Airport Facts

  • Hong Kong International Airport opened on July 6, 1988.
  • It had been built at a cost of $ 20 billion and took six years to complete.
  • It is built on an artificially created island that added about 1 percent to the total area of ​​the city.
  • It has 74 moving walkways in total (30 in the Arrivals Hall, 34 in Departures and 10 in the Ground Transportation Center).
  • The passenger terminal is 1.27 km (0.8 miles) long.
  • More than 50 million travelers passed through Hong Kong International Airport in 2010. This ranks the airport as the 11th busiest airport in the world.

Things to do

Hong Kong is known for its shopping and the airport continues this tradition. Hong Kong International Airport has two business areas; the commercial area of ​​Terminal 1 is called SkyMart and the commercial area of ​​Terminal 2 is called SkyPlaza. There are over 200 catering and retail outlets on SkyMart and over 120 catering and retail outlets on SkyPlaza. Stores that have corresponding stores in Hong Kong outside the airport guarantee that the price you pay at the airport is the same as you would pay outside the city.

The dining options are numerous. From Popeye’s Chicken, Starbucks, McDonalds, and Burger King to traditional Chinese and Asian food, anything you want can be found at the airport. Restaurants range from fast food to places to sit and eat a nice dinner before you catch your flight.

If you are looking to relax during a long layover or have an early departure from your hotel and a late flight, Traveller’s Lounge offers food, showers, Internet access, newspapers, magazines and international TV channels for a one-time entry fee. For a higher rate, the Premier Lounge is also available. You can connect to free Wi-Fi throughout the airport and there are places to take a quick nap if you don’t want to pay to use one of the VIP lounges.

Outside the airport

Hong Kong International Airport is the closest to Lantau Island, which is easily accessible by train. If you’re staying four to six hours, there are a few nearby sights to visit. The Ngong Ping Skyrail runs for 5.7 km (the journey takes 25 minutes) and offers views of the North Lantau National Park, the South China Sea, the Airport and the Tian Tan Buddha Statue.

When you arrive at the Skyrail terminal, you will find Ngong Ping Village right next door. There are a number of cultural exhibits and the Heart Sutra, a classic Buddhist text, can be seen carved from wooden logs.

Easily visible from many points on Lantau Island is the Giant Buddha (Tian Tan). Located in the PoLin Monastery, this gold-colored Buddha statue stands 85 feet tall, making it the largest seated Buddha statue in the world. The PoLin Monastery also has a vegetarian restaurant.

If you have more time, Hong Kong Disneyland is close to the airport and easily accessible by train. Smaller than California’s Disneyland, it’s an easy day trip if time permits.

Hong Kong International Airport offers a variety of services and activities for all travelers. From local culture to high-end shopping, there is something for everyone. So leave your car in the airport parking lot, head to Asia and enjoy the layover.

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