When you think of Hong Kong, you might think of bright lights, lots of people, Victoria Harbor, and the light show on buildings every night. But did you know that the city’s international airport is a destination in itself? Regularly ranked as one of the best airports in the world (voted # 3 in 2012 by the Skytraxx World Airport Awards), Hong Kong International Airport is a pleasure for travelers.
Hong Kong International Airport Information
- Hong Kong International Airport opened on July 6, 1988.
- It was built at a cost of $ 20 billion and took six years to complete.
- It is built on an artificially created island which added about 1% to the total area of the city.
- It has 74 moving walkways in total (30 in the Arrivals Hall, 34 in the Departures and 10 in the Ground Transportation Center).
- The passenger terminal is 1.27 km (0.8 mile) long.
- Over 50 million travelers passed through Hong Kong International Airport in 2010. This airport is the eleventh 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 shopping areas; the terminal 1 shopping area is called SkyMart and the terminal 2 shopping area is called SkyPlaza. There are over 200 retail and dining outlets at SkyMart and over 120 retail and dining outlets at 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 what you would pay outside of the city.
Dining options are plentiful. From Popeye’s Chicken, Starbucks, McDonalds and Burger King to traditional Chinese and Asian cuisine, anything you want can be found at the airport. Restaurants vary from fast food to places to sit and eat a nice dinner before you catch your flight.
If you’re looking to relax on a long layover or need to leave your hotel early and catch a late flight, the Traveler’s Lounge offers food, showers, internet access, newspapers, magazines and international TV channels. for a single entry price. For a higher price, 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 lounges.
Outside the airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the closest to Lantau Island, easily accessible by train. If you are staying four to six hours, there are a few sites to visit nearby. The Ngong Ping Skyrail is 5.7 km (the trip takes 25 minutes) and offers views of North Lantau National Park, the South China Sea, the airport and the Tian Tan Buddha Statue.
When you reach the Skyrail terminal, you will find Ngong Ping village right next to it. There are a number of cultural exhibits and the Heart Sutra, a classic Buddhist text, can be seen carved from wooden logs.
The Giant Buddha (Tian Tan) is easily visible from many points on Lantau Island. Located at PoLin Monastery, this gold-colored Buddha statue is 85 feet tall, once 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 located close to the airport and easily accessible by train. Smaller than California Disneyland, this is an easy day trip if the weather 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.