Eight-level Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) off Lantau Island was the world’s largest civil engineering project when it opened in 1998. The complex has since expanded — there are now two terminals with more than 60 gates, 280 retail shops and 80 dining outlets. Here’s how you can easily kill three hours in this futuristic passenger terminal:
Satisfy your hunger
Foodies can choose from an extensive range of cuisines at HKIA. The airport is home to Western and Asian restaurants, dessert shops, bakeries, fast food outlets and more. But to enjoy a taste of local fare, go for well-known Chinese restaurants and Hong Kong-style coffee shops, some of which boast Michelin Guide honors.
Hung’s Delicacies (Level 3, Terminal 2, non-restricted area) is a branch of a famed Chinese restaurant on Hong Kong Island that has been awarded a Michelin star for five straight years. Offering authentic Chinese dishes at reasonable prices, Hung’s Delicacies serves up a mouth-watering array of offerings ranging from “vegetarian goose” and mixed noodles to sesame-flavored chicken leg and vegetables with red marinated tofu sauce.
A “Bib Gourmand” Michelin awardee, Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop (Level 7, Terminal 1, restricted area) is famous for its shrimp wonton noodles. It also dishes out a range of Cantonese favourites such as fried beef noodles, shrimp rice rolls and crispy wonton. Service is quick and your lunch bill is unlikely to top HK$100 (PHP570).
Catch a movie
If you’re in the mood for an immersive movie experience, HKIA’s Terminal 2 houses Hong Kong’s largest IMAX screen in a theatre that can accommodate up to 350 filmgoers. Located in the non-restricted area on Level 6, the UA IMAX Theatre is designed to maximise each cinemagoer’s field of view, with crystal-clear imaging matched with a laser-aligned digital sound system.
Bond with the kids
If you’re traveling with children, newly opened Dream Come True Education Park (Terminal 2, Level 6, non-restricted area) offers the chance for kids to role-play their dream job. The activity-based park lets children choose a career while simulating the “real world” for the length of the session. There are a host of exciting jobs on offer, from pilot and doctor to actor and firefighter. Entry fees for the morning (9.30am-2pm) or afternoon (3-7pm) sessions are HK$320 for children aged 3 to 16. It’s free for kids under 2. Check out the Aviation Discovery Centre, too. It’s home to aviation-themed exhibits and graphics, including a cockpit model.
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Smile magazine.