Hong Kong is one of the busiest destinations in the world for business and leisure travelers alike. It’s Asia’s top tourist destination with its plethora of shopping and dining options, as well as a unique blend of Chinese traditions and modern culture. Hong Kong is also one of the most popular layover airports in the world. Most travelers usually grumble over layovers, but you’ll love having a layover in Hong Kong. Hong Kong International Airport is ranked the #1 airport in the world and with many of the top attractions within close proximity to the airport you’ll be able to capture the magic of the city, even on a short layover. Today I’ve compiled a bunch of ideas for your next layover in Hong Kong, no matter how long or short it is!
If you’ve got 4 hours…
If you’ve only got four hours I wouldn’t recommend leaving the airport. Hong Kong traffic can be very congested and unpredictable; the last thing you want to do is miss your connecting flight! Not to worry though, the airport itself provides a ton of options for travelers needing to pass the time before their next flight.
Catch a flick
Hong Kong International Airport is home to the largest IMAX screen in Hong Kong and arguably one of the most immersive movie experience’s on the planet. Check out a 2D or 3D movie in this theatre seating 350 people in a unique way designed to maximize the view of each and every audience member.
Explore the Aviation Discovery Centre
This incredible museum will walk you through the entire fascinating field of aviation and specifically the development of the aviation industry in Hong Kong. There are dozens of exhibits and attractions, including an aircraft simulator for you to try out during your next visit.
Inside the Hong Kong airport you will also find the Wellness Spa & Salon. Pop in here for a variety of quick in between flight treatments including reflexology foot massages, aromatherapy massages, and organic hand massages.
If you’ve got 12 hours…
Half a day is more than enough time to venture outside the airport and explore the nearby sites. There are a variety of attractions a short distance away from the airport, however if you decide to bypass these and head downtown, again, just be weary of the Hong Kong traffic and give yourself lots of extra time.
Enjoy the views from Victoria’s Peak
Take the iconic Peak Tram to the top of Victoria’s Peak to enjoy the most breath-taking views of Hong Kong. The ride in itself is a thrilling adventure as you climb 396 meters above sea level at a steep enough angle that’ll have you holding your breath the whole way up. One you finally reach the top, you’ll be able to enjoy attractions such as The Peak Tower, the Sky Terrace, and the Sky Gallery.
Visit Tian Tan Buddha
This famous “Big Buddha” statue located at Ngong Ping, symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature. Sitting 34 meters high the majestic bronze statue is a major symbol of Buddhism in Hong Kong. If you’re feeling up to it, climb the 268 steps for a closer look at the statue and enjoy the views that can be enjoyed from its base.
Take the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry has been rated one of the world’s most exciting Ferry Rides and for a good reason. This quick ride will only set you back 2.50 HK dollars and will provide you with the most breath-taking views of the Victoria Harbour on your way to Kowloon.
If you’ve got 24 hours…
You’re in for a treat with 24 hours in Hong Kong; you’ll be able to see almost all of the main attractions depending how long you spend at each one. For nightly accommodation, the Regal Airport Hotel is conveniently connected to terminal 1 of the airport. However, if you want to stay somewhere else there are a handful of other hotel options within the vicinity offering free airport shuttle service. With 24 hours you’ve got more than enough time to venture outside the sites close to the airport, so take the opportunity to head downtown and see what Hong Kong is really all about!
Do some shopping in Harbour City
If you’re looking to do some shopping in Hong Kong, Harbour city is the place to be. The shopping mall is spread over 2 million square feet and offers over 450 shops, 50 food outlets, two cinemas, three hotels, as well as a luxurious private club. The mall offers common household name brands as well as more luxurious retailers such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.
Party on a junk boat
Junk boats were the term fisherman used to use when referring to Chinese fishing boats, however now these junk boats are completely renovated and updated, sleek party boats ready for cruising. If you’re looking to have a wild time in Hong Kong, charter a junk boat, load it with beer, food, and 30 of your closest friends and spend the night cruising around the city’s spectacular beaches.
Enjoy the Symphony of Lights show
If you thought Victoria Harbour was beautiful during the day, just wait until you see it lit up at night by the buildings on either side of the harbor. Every night the Symphony of Lights show puts on a dazzling display of coloured lights, laser beams, and searchlights synchronized to music and narration. Best of all the show is completely free; all you need to do is find a cozy spot to watch from! I recommend grabbing a drink at the Dynasty restaurant in the Renaissance Harbour View hotel for an excellent viewpoint!
Eat a traditional dim sum breakfast
Before you head on off to catch your flight, be sure to fill up with this traditional Chinese dish. Dim sum is a unique bite sized dish usually served in small steamer baskets. These delicious dumplings are steamed or fried and can be filled with various different fillings; try them all out to figure out what your favourite is!
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you a few ideas for your next layover in Hong Kong!