HKG – Hong Kong International
Being one of the world’s largest and busiest airports, Hong Kong International is quite impressive overall. Open, spacious, filled with light and plenty of seating make this airport quite enjoyable for a layover or departure.
When it opened, Hong Kong International airport was actually the largest in the world. Because the airport is so big, you are unlikely to be stuck in a crowd on your way to the gate. However, distances from security to your departure gate might be quite long so prepare plenty of time for your walk to the gate. Also notice that even though Hong Kong is a relatively small area, the distance from the City to the airport is rather long and your journey will take between 30 minutes to around 1 hour depending on do you take the fast rail link service operated by MTR or one of the airport express busses. There is also a ferry terminal at the airport that serves routes to Macau and mainland China.
Even with its efficient operations, to me as a traveller Hong Kong International is missing a lot of the charm the city has. Sure the airport is enjoyable and comfortable but as a whole Hong Kong international resembles more a city block from Hong Kong Island (near to Central and Admiralty MTR stations) than the charming chaos of the streets of Kowloon (Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui). So don’t expect to see too much of historic Hong Kong at HKG. I wouldn’t mind seeing some version of traditional Hong Kong here and there in between Rolex and Chanel stores.
A very disappointing part of HKG and our experience there was that finding a place to buy a bottle of water (other places than McDonald’s etc.) was a pain and eventually took quite some time. Eventually water was found at a Mannings store near to North security check in Terminal 1. There was further water for sale near to gate 31 and further down the terminal building but there is a general lack of small stores. For an airport of this scale it is quite surprising that such a simple thing as water is not in place.
TOP 3 OF HKG
- Overall efficiency the airport offers from check in to gate and from gate to arrivals hall. Both departure and arrival border control works efficiently and there are plenty of employees to ensure operations run smoothly.
- Compared to the limited space you have in the city, the airport is spacious and full of light. Very enjoyable.
- Connections to all around the world.
WORTS 3 OF HKG
- “Watergate” – I am quite sure that water is easier to come by in the desert than at airside of HKG Terminal 1.
- The spirit of Hong Kong is missing in many ways. Tradition and local history is nowhere to be seen.
- The airport is clearly focused more on high-end travellers rather than the average passenger.