What to do during an 8 hour layover in Hong Kong?

By Chinabound | Feb 05, 2019, 06:54 PM
Hi, I have an 8 hour layover in HK next month (CX Syd to HK arriving around 4pm then AY to Helsinki departing at Midnight) in Business class and wondered if anyone had suggestions for a quick side trip out of the airport ? I will have access to either the CX or QF lounge however 8 hours seems a bit too long in a lounge.
Many thanks for any suggestions.

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By SimonFrost | Feb 05, 2019, 07:36 PM
Easy one - Airport Express train into the City. If you get your skates on you can get up to The Peak, see the sunset over Hong Kong, head back down to Central, catch the Star Ferry across the Harbour, grab something to eat, then head back to the Airport.
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By patrickk | Feb 05, 2019, 08:28 PM
I just had 8 hours from an early morning arrival, and the CX lounges aren’t shabby by any means.
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By patrickk | Feb 05, 2019, 08:29 PM
You can also get the ferry to Langtou for some very nice seafood.
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By Chinabound | Feb 05, 2019, 09:51 PM
Great suggestions, many thanks

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By qticaw | Feb 05, 2019, 10:35 PM
Very short taxi ride to glass bottom gondala upto Big Buddha and return would fill 2-3 hours. Enjoy the various lounges in HKG for the remainder. Could even get a room at the airport hotel for some Zzzz if you needed. From memory they charge by the hour for this purpose.
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By David | Feb 06, 2019, 09:36 AM
Some great suggestions here, and good that you included the arrival and departure times because that informs the 'what to do' responses. Hong Kong is great of an evening, and March is a nice time of year. A few general considerations: remember that you have eight hours between flights, so allowing for time to get through immigration and then allowing plenty of time to be back at the airport ahead of your midnight Finnair flight (so you can relax, have a shower etc) you will have more like six hours to be out and about. That becomes five hours when you allow for the train to the city and back.

So, set your expectations accordingly, and leave yourself ample time to get back so you're not rushing. If you often travel to HKG, I would also consider getting your passport stamped for e-visitor access (see https://www.ausbt.com.au/how-to-skip-the-queues-at-hong-kong-airport-passport-control).

Now, with those hours you have left: you might get sunset at Victoria Peak, even of an evening though it's very pretty. Maybe visit one of the night markets for the experience. The ferry ride mentioned here is also a very HK thing to do. There's a riot of restaurants and dumpling joints, but the variety can be bewildering if you're not adventurous! If you want to pick up some tech accessories visit the Mongkok or Kowloon computer centres.

Either way, I'd agree with you that with eight hours on the ground that's way too much to spend in the airport, hell, it's way too much to spend even in the Qantas first class lounge, when one of the world's great cities is just a quick train ride away!
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By dm12 | Feb 06, 2019, 02:26 PM
I usually check into the Regal airport hotel, have a nap and/or swim, use the gym and have a massage. Room service or pretty good restaurants there. I've been to HKG a hundred times though, so by all means disregard what I say and get the train to the city.
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By ChrisInMelb | Feb 06, 2019, 03:55 PM
On an 8 hour layover a few years ago, arriving at 07:30am - caught the Airport Express train to Kowloon; coffee in the Peninsula Hotel; Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island; dodged a 20 minute rainstorm; caught a bus up to The Peak (you get a view right around both sides of the island on the way up); lunch at The Peak; cable car it down; time around Central Station shops; then Airport Express back out to the airport.
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By Zac | Feb 06, 2019, 04:43 PM
What a great stopover - agree with David you should plan to be in City for about 5 hours max on a 8 hour layover. My itinerary would be something like this:

- train to Central and then a taxi up to the Peak for the sunset (the Peak Tram is great but given the short time, I'd just take a taxi directly up from Central station)
- taxi back down the hill for a pre-dinner cocktail in Central - e.g. at Foxglove (hidden speakeasy bar on Duddell St. - can combine with a quick look at the Duddell St steps and gas lamps)
- short walk to somewhere for dinner in Central e.g. Yung Kee (history goes back to 1938 - famous for roast goose)
- walk or taxi to the Star ferry pier and get the ferry over to Kowloon
- if I've run out of time, take the airport express from Kowloon station back to the airport (if any time is left for a lounge, I'd spend it in Cathay's Wing or Pier - whichever is closer to the gate)
- or time permitting, taxi up to the Temple St night market which is a great experience, then back to Kowloon station and to the airport

Have a great stop in HK - awesome city
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By Ian_from_HKG | Feb 06, 2019, 05:02 PM
All good suggestions but bear in mind that in the evenings the queue to get down the Peak on the Peak Tram is horrendous. Plan to go by bus (because even taxis can be in short supply) and plan your timing accordingly, and then if the queue is short you can take the Tram as a bonus, without worrying about missing your connection
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By Blake | Feb 06, 2019, 06:48 PM
For a great cultural experience go to ChunKing Mansions (in the city), and go for an elevator ride up and down. All up that should kill several hours.


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By Morgan27 | Feb 06, 2019, 07:29 PM
As other have said HKG is an amazing city! The peak is definitely a must the big buddha is also very good though you might need more time (and light) for that. Though a great thing to do is just walk around on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon
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By akronflyer | Feb 07, 2019, 10:36 AM
To save time and money download Klook App
Gives you discounts world wide
I’ve used it to buy a ticket for the Airport Express train at a discounted fare , just swipe the App and you are straight on the train
The other way is to get the Airport Bus into Kowloon and get the train back
Worth joining an organisation like the Royal Overseas League for visiting reciprocal clubs around the world
In NSW it costs $50 to join
Definitely go on the Ferry
It’s worthwhile getting a SIM card at the airport for about $12 for navigation pur

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By 747sp | Feb 07, 2019, 04:06 PM
If it is not too late I found Symphony of Lights around Hong Kong harbour to be enjoyable. The Show is every night at 8:00 p.m. The best viewing places are Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the promenade at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wanchai, or the ferries in the Harbour. Best part is it is free
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By jch | Feb 18, 2019, 07:33 PM
Is Pizza Express still open airside? Last time I was there they said they were closing soon... Nice spicy pizza with refrshing NZ beer!
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