Layovers have the power to set our teeth gnashing — there’s no changing that. Finding yourself back at an air hub with three hours to kill can be dispiriting. Do yourself a favour and get to know the airport’s facilities before you embark.
Stopping over in Hong Kong? At Hong Kong International Airport, this bustling regional hub has the facilities you need for a smooth layover. Be well prepared with our nifty tips and tricks on making the most of your time here.
Sneak in a little snooze
Heavy-eyed travellers are assured of getting their peaceful slumber at this airport. The first place to check out should be the Relaxation Corner (T1). It’s free of charge and available 24 hours. This area offers cosy lounge chairs with charging points – great for catching up on some sleep while charging your devices. Massage services are also available at US$30 for 20 minutes.
The Relaxation Corner is a favourite among frequent travellers. If you can’t snag a spot there, head to the airport’s Resting Lounges instead. Check here to find out where the resting lounges are located.
For the light sleepers, come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.
Your sleep would be fitful at best with all the airport announcements happening at night.
And for the ones in serious need of shut-eye, you’ll appreciate a comfortable rest at the Regal Airport Hotel (T1). It is connected to Terminal 1 and prices begin from US$139.
Catch up on work
A short layover during your business travels is an opportunity to get work done. Travellers can stay connected to their inboxes with the free wifi available throughout the terminals. Connect to #HKAirport Free Wifi.
Don’t have your laptop with you? You can still keep up with work through the 96 desktop computers available at the airport. Locations of desktop computers can be found here.
In a perfect scenario, you’d have exhausted your to-do list by the end of your layover. But seasoned travellers would know that it depends on how conducive the airport can be. It could be the light, the background noise, or the chair that’s not right. If you prefer to avoid the fuss, head to the lounges for an ideal working environment.
The Centurion (T1) and Plaza Premium Lounge (T1/2) are pay-in lounges open 24 hours. The lounges offer facilities including food and beverages, shower, television, and newspapers.
Keep yourself entertained
Entertainment remains one of the best remedies for a layover. The Hong Kong airport has one of the largest IMAX giant screens in the region and can be found in Terminal 2. Look forward to an immersive movie experience to the latest blockbusters with the airport theatre’s special IMAX features such as a laser-aligned digital sound system and patented projection technology that provides improved audio-visual quality for moviegoers.
A bit of nostalgia at the arcade can sweeten your layover experience. At i-Sports (T2), play to your heart’s content (so long as you keep an eye on the time!). Race through the hairpin bends of Akagi in your Toyota AE86 in the car racing machines. For the true retro fans, you’d be mad to miss the arcade machines with Air Hockey, Skee-Ball, and Pac-Man.
Golf-lovers can enjoy indoor golf simulation games at GreenLive AIR at Terminal 2. Hit the greens with a 9 or full 18-hole course.
Satiate your hunger
You’d be hard pushed to find cuisine as scrumptious as Hong Kong’s cha chaan tengs, or restaurants. This city is no doubt one of the best foodie destinations in Asia, so be sure to give their local dishes a try.
For travellers who enjoy marinated and roasted meats, Hung’s Delicacies is sure to please. This Michelin-starred bistro has come a long way since its humble beginnings on Wharf Road. Today, its flavourful dishes attract even the local crowd with its affordable prices.
Tsui Wah Restaurant serves up signature cha chaan teng dishes. Think HK milk tea, crispy pork chop bun, Swiss-style chicken wings, and beef brisket curry dishes.
Other eateries worth your visit are Yung Kee, Ho Hung Kee, and Beef & Liberty if you are at Terminal 1. For Terminal 2, TamJai SamGor, Viet’s Choice, Chao Inn, and Thai Chiu is recommended.
Stay fresh with a shower
Aeroplanes are not exactly the cleanest place around. In fact, your tray tables and seat belt buckles contain more germs than the toilet flush button on the airplane. You can take precautions when you fly, such as cleaning the areas around your seat when you board, but if time permits, it’s best to hit the showers as soon as you land.
At the Hong Kong International Airport, 24/7 free shower facilities are found at Terminal 1. Be prepared to queue, as there are only 10 cubicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Satisfy your urge to shop
If you are in the mood for some serious shopping, the airport’s two malls will not disappoint. Skymart and SkyPlaza have more than 300 retail and catering outlets combined. Prada, Chanel, Burberry, and Versace are some of the upscale designer brands in the malls.
For duty-free shopping, Duty Zero offers wines and spirits at Terminal 1. Beauty&You by The Shilla Duty-Free has a varied selection of branded fashion accessories, including sunglasses, watches, and designer bags.
Visit the Aviation Discovery Centre
The Aviation Discovery Centre is the airport’s best-kept secret. The highlight of the centre is the flight simulator – one for the aviation lovers – where you get to experience plane takeoff and landings. More than 20 interactive exhibits and mockups are also on display.
If you are into plane-spotting, the Sky Deck offers ideal plane-watching spots and open-air runway views. Entrance fee for the Sky Deck is ticketed at US$1.90.
An airport racing to catch up
Hong Kong International Airport has been slipping in its ranks. Coming in fifth for Skytrax’s 2019 World’s Best Airports has been its lowest position since 2010. To boost its accolades, expansion projects are in progress such as a new runway.
Stiff competition from its Asian counterparts also keeps the airport on its toes. By 2024, passengers can expect improvements: a new passenger concourse, expanded terminal building, and a new airport-based train and baggage system.
Still, you can be sure that a layover in Hong Kong is still a pleasant experience. The airport remains in the top 10 for leisure amenities, shopping, staff service, and cleanliness. Best of all, it keeps its title for the world’s best airport dining experience.