Layover in Hong Kong
Replies: 16 - Last Post: May 17, 2013 9:19 AM Last Post By: drumbrake
May 9, 2013 11:40 AM
Layover in Hong KongHello,
My boyfriend and I are flying to Bali in two weeks with an overnight layover in Honk Kong. "Overnight" is generous as we land around 7pm and leave the next day at 10am. We've never been to Hong Kong, nor have we ever been on a flight that long, so I am trying to figure out whether to book a hotel near the airport (playing it safe), versus staying on Hong Kong Island (appeasing my curiosity even just a tad). Any advice/recommendations?
May 9, 2013 4:30 PM
1What's your budget for hotels? Near the airport I think the cheapest is the Novotel Citygate, and that is around US$150+ a night.
You can get somewhere cheaper -basically a box with bed and toilet / shower, where you can sleep, while the rest of the time you can spend seeing some of HK at night. Hostels and guesthouses in Kowloon can do that, or a cheapish hotel. I'd get the A21 airport bus from the airport into Kowloon. Sit on the top deck for a free tour through urban Kowloon. Drop bags off, then get on the star ferry and cross the harbour. If it is clear, get up to the Peak. At some point get something to eat. The last train from HK island to Kowloon is around 12:30 at night. After that, you can catch a taxi.
May 9, 2013 5:53 PM
2If you do not want to leave the airport, and if you already have a boarding pass for your flight the next day, there are airport lounges (check current prices) including massage parlours where you may spend the night in relative safety. There are many high-end boutiques at the Hong Kong Airport -- Gucci, Prada, Armani, Salvatore Farragama, Hugo Boss, Hermes, Piaget, Valentino, Versace, Tiffany, Chanel, Cartier, Ferrari, Tonino Lamborghini, and David Yurman. Also electronics shops. My friend, who works in the fashion industry, was very impressed with the choices when he had a layover in HK last week and said that the prices are comparable to the USA, but without additional taxes. It would be difficult to find a mall with all of this (authentic, not counterfeit) selection in the city during your short layover. Of course, that is if you enjoy shopping!
If you do not already have a boarding pass for your onward flight after your layover, but have the e-ticket/printout from your computer, you can go to the airline ticket counter of the airlines on which you flew into Hong Kong and request a temporary permit to stay inside the Hong Kong Airport's departures (secure) section overnight. They will have you go through security, and then request that you return by 8 a.m. the next morning to get your real boarding pass, then re-enter security and go to your Gate. To save the $100 USD, I chose to find a somewhat secure place in the Departures area near other onward travellers who were all stretched out on the benches and I dozed there. There are many free wi-fi computers at the Hong Kong Airport. The food vendor selection is just so-so.
May 9, 2013 6:04 PM
3I think your issue isn't going to be so much whether or not to go in and take a look at the lights of HK (Which are worth seeing; although I'm not sure I'd bother going all the way to the peak in the middle of the night to see them) but how tired you are going to be after a long-haul flight and whether or not you'll need to actually get some sleep. I'm sure Drumbrake is right and that all hotels near HK International airport are expensive and the bus idea does sound like a good one. But, remember, you'll have to take additional time to pass through immigration, get your bags (Unless they are checked through), etc into consideration. Also, you'll have to be back at the airport by 8am(ish) the next day. IMO, the bus trip and a feed is about all you'll have time for if you intend to sleep at all that night.
May 9, 2013 6:31 PM
4Good points above. It really depends on how you feel after your flight, how much you want to spend on accommodation, and how much you want to do during the few hours you are in the city.
Another option would be to stay in a hotel near the airport, then catch the A21bus to Tsim Sha Tsui. Ride on the star ferry. Then return to the airport / airport hotels using the Airport Express train. That way you have a slightly more relaxing morning.
May 10, 2013 4:18 AM
5HK is a great place for a fun stop, one the best international cities in the world, its a gorgeous skyline and a dynamic city, find the energy to enjoy a nice meal, a boat ride across the harbor and stroll, you even have time to up Victoria Peak...
The Four Seasons there is one the swankiest places in Asia. Have a drink by the pool.
May 10, 2013 8:12 AM
May 10, 2013 1:48 PM
7Let me know how it goes Liz! I am doing the exact same thing in July. And, do you need a visa to leave the airport and stay in HK for the night? I am also looking for a good hotel too - one that can give us a quick taste of Hong Kong for the brief time we are there? Any recommendations that aren't westernized?
NOTE: my friend raves about Din Tai Fung (home of xiao long bao- aka dumplings) in Causeway Bay - supposively the most amazing soup dumplings so we plan to hit that up as soon as we get there!
May 10, 2013 2:05 PM
May 10, 2013 2:21 PM
9Note that if you pass through immigration control and leave on the next day's flight you'll be subject to the HK$120 airport tax. If you don't pass through immigration and spend the night airside you can get a refund of the tax, if it was already included in your ticket.
May 10, 2013 5:22 PM
10Airport Tax -- I had about $400 USD of taxes included on my roundtrip flight SFO via HK to Kunming -- I did not leave the airport during my 2 layovers -- does that mean that I can request a refund of the HK Airport Tax for each time that I had the layover at the HK Airport?
RE: Visa for HK -- the airline will give you a slip of paper to fill out just before landing in HK with your passport number and other information as a temporary visa to explore HK during your short layover.
May 10, 2013 10:27 PM
May 11, 2013 5:42 AM
May 11, 2013 6:03 AM
13Yes, if you do it by mail you'll get paid with a HK$ check, and that'll cost you some US$ to cash in the US. (And you have to apply within four weeks of your flight.)
But as to OP, there's an office in the airport where you can also apply for a refund and get paid HK$ cash, which you can change into US$ there.
May 11, 2013 1:50 PM
14No such thing as a "visa on arrival" in Hong Kong. Either you need a visa or entry permit to enter HK or you don't. Passport holders of most nationalities can enter and stay for periods from up to 7 days to up to 180 days without a visa. See Part II (12) for visa-free periods by nationality;
If visa is required it must be obtained before arrival in HK.
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