Enter the (Flying) Dragon – Hong Kong Airport Highlights



The first time I flew out of Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), I was lucky enough to have access to the Cathay Pacific lounge known as The Pier. It was a memorable experience.

Because HKG is Cathay’s home airport, it has several lounges scattered around the terminals. But The Pier is something special. Walking along its length, from room to room, feels like taking a stroll through the opening shot of an arthouse movie.

There’s a dedicated noodle room, a tea room, bars and relaxation rooms, and at the very end there’s a dimly-lit space dotted with comfy reclined chairs that are more like beds.

You need to be flying Business or First on Cathay or another OneWorld airline to access The Pier, of course. But Hong Kong Airport has plenty of attractions even if you’re flying in Economy. Here are some highlights.

1. Take the train. HKG is served by the Airport Express, a dedicated rail service which runs to Hong Kong Island, with stops in Tsing Yi and Kowloon. It takes 24 minutes to make the trip, which you can do with the local Octopus card (though it’s a higher fare than other lines, HK$110). It’s well worth getting an Octopus card for HK$150, which includes HK$100 credit. Aside from use in local travel, it can be used to pay for small purchases almost everywhere.

2. Catch a ferry. If you’re actually heading elsewhere in China, you don’t need to clear immigration at HKG. Instead you can catch a ferry from the airport’s SkyPier, to Pearl River Delta destinations such as Macau. So you get to skip passport control, and have a picturesque cruise into the bargain.

3. Lounge access. Even if you’re not flying at the pointy end, you can access the comfortable interiors of the Plaza Premium Lounge at several locations across HKG (even in Arrivals). Entry costs US$75 for two hours, US$100 for five hours, and includes free wifi and food. The signature dish, as the company happily points out on its website, is Hong Kong-style fish ball noodle soup with homemade XO sauce.



4. Go to the movies. The UA IMAX Theatre in Departures has room for 350 patrons, and screens some spectacular content designed for its big high-tech screen.

5. See more planes. If too much aviation is never enough, head for the Aviation Discovery Centre on Level 6. It’s full of exhibits devoted to flight, and also has access to the panoramic SkyDeck viewing area from where you can watch planes take off and land.

6. Eat HK style. As you’d expect, there are plenty of food outlets serving Asian cuisines within the airport. For distinctively Hong Kong-style dining, try Tsui Wah, a popular local chain. Sizzling king prawns with fried noodles are popular here, as are the fish balls and fish cakes served with flat rice noodles in fish soup.

7. Shop till you fly. As you might expect, HKG is well stocked with fashion boutiques, and shops selling all manner of desirable retail therapy goods.

8. Go golfing. Fancy a round of golf before you fly? Believe it or not, no problem. The GreenLive Air facility offers virtual simulations of the game over nine or 18 holes (HK$200 per hour). Or you can just practise your putting if you like, that’s time well spent in transit.

For more about Hong Kong International Airport’s highlights and services, visit here

Tim Richards was hosted by Cathay Pacific

You can get Hong Kong included as a stopover on a Navigator RTW or on our Discoverer RTW deal


Published by Stuart Lodge