What to do during a layover in Hong Kong

With a seven hour layover in Hong Kong, a member wonders whether it would be worth leaving the airport, and if so, what to do in order to get the most out of the short time.

Would it be too stressful to try and go somewhere if never been there before and be back in time? Off-hand I can’t remember the exact stopover time but it’s cathay pacific into HK at about 5.50am and then out (to Perth) in afternoon, I think about 2/230 pm.

Hong Kong’s efficient airport train makes travel into downtown Hong Kong possible in under half an hour, so with a reasonably long stopover, it’s certainly a possibility.

Not stressful. The airport train is totally reliable and integrated into the terminal; just make sure you are back at the airport 2 hours prior to your departure. Allowing for an hour through immigration (won’t take that long), you’ll have about 4-5 hours at liberty; 30 mins each way into town, so 3-4 hours to see stuff. Worth doing!!

While it is noted that the city will only really come to life at around 10 o’clock in the morning, there will be a few things to do early in the morning. It is recommended to take the airport train to Kowloon station. From there, it’s not far to the Star Ferry terminal for a ride across the harbour. Another possibility is a ride on the famous Ngong Ping 360 cable car.

There is no shortage of shopping. Hong Kong is full of shopping malls where travellers can enjoy good bargains and, more importantly if it’s a hot day, air conditioning!

Our members also recommend a traditional yum cha lunch for an authentic food experience. At some restaurants though, the great food is only part of the experience.

Take a taxi back down to a very traditional yum cha place like Lin Heung Tea House on Wellington Street, Central. It’s one of the craziest yum cha places that I have ever been to where its ‘find your own seat or table if lucky, you share with others too, also when the odd food trolley comes out, rush to the trolley, fight for your food and be prepared that you might even get scolded by the waitress if you get too assertive with them’.

Other suggestions include Disneyland or the Peak Tram on Hong Kong Island for breathtaking views of the city skyline.

There are also a range of lounges at Hong Kong’s international airport including the Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges, both of which are rated very highly. However with such a long transit, our members recommend that a first-timer to the city should venture beyond the confines of the airport terminal and experience the uniqueness of the city properly.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]