What to know about Hong Kong
Cheap last minute business class flights to Hong Kong. Save thousands on last minute Business Class tickets. Best deals on Business Class. Special fares on Business Class tickets. Discounted Business Class airline tickets. Business Class travel deals. Hong Kong (香港 Heūng góng in Cantonese, meaning fragrant harbour) is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. Today, the former British colony is a major tourism destination for China’s increasingly affluent mainland population. It is also an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world’s cities. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from places as diverse as Vietnam and Vancouver and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia’s World City.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China is much more than a harbour city. The traveller weary of its crowded streets may be tempted to describe it as Hong Kongcrete. Yet, this territory with its cloudy mountains and rocky islands is mostly a rural landscape. Much of the countryside is classified as Country Park and, although 7 million people are never far away, it is possible to find pockets of wilderness that will reward the more intrepid tourist.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with at least one season to match your comfort zone. Boasting one of the world’s best airports, it is the ideal stopover for those who wish to travel deeper into the Orient.
While legally part of China, Hong Kong is secluded from mainland China as a dependency with a high degree of autonomy. Within the PRC, the former colony has its own constitution which lays out its own laws, separate immigration controls, financial system and is officially bi-lingual (Cantonese and English). It also enjoys western-style freedoms unheard of on the Chinese mainland. The democratic system and ideals of a free and open society are firmly rooted here.
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG) which is also known as Chek Lap Kok 赤鱲角 (named after the small island it was built over), is the main port for visitors to Hong Kong by air. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, this modern and efficient building opened in July 1998 and has since been named “World’s Best Airport” by Skytrax in annual ratings five times. Passengers on all arriving international flights (even to immediately take a connecting international flight) must go through an additional security “gate” check shortly after deplaning. Similar to U.S. and European personal security checks, this “gate” check will however confiscate any sharp objects regardless of size or purpose. Through-checked baggage also often receive additional scanning. There are many direct flights to Hong Kong from every continent in the world. Most major cities in Oceania, Europe and North America are all served with at least one daily flight, and flights between Hong Kong and other major Asian cities are also frequent. Cathay Pacific operates one of the longest air routes in the world, linking Hong Kong and New York (JFK). Pakistan International Airlines has flights from all major cities of Pakistan to and from Hong Kong. For destinations within China, it is often cheaper to fly from Shenzhen than from Hong Kong, as flights between the mainland and Hong Kong are considered to be international flights and priced accordingly. There are also flights between Hong Kong and several mid-Pacific islands and nations. Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary airline Dragonair are Hong Kong’s main carriers, with Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express providing some welcome competition. There are two terminals, creatively called T1 and T2. Signs on approach to the airport by car/taxi list the terminals and check-in zones. Once checked-in, you can clear security at either terminal with an underground shuttle bus outside the security area. There are more shopping opportunities before security at T2, but its shops close earlier. There are lots of shopping opportunities after security as well. Travelers will find an efficient post office in the airport, providing boxes, wrapping material, scissors and tape. It might be more economical to send your excess luggage via surface mail than paying fees to the airline. Terminal 2 is a check-in only facility, all flights depart from Terminal 1. There is a manned left luggage facility in the arrival hall, perfect for securely storing your luggage at the airport, for around $55-$80 per day (depending on duration): it opens from 6:00AM to 1:00AM. Overall, services at Chek Lap Kok are generally far better, or at least on par, with those at other major international airports. The Airport Express train is the quickest and most comfortable passenger transport from the airport to central Hong Kong, also stopping at Tsing Yi and Kowloon en route. As the only rail link to the airport, it has a frequency of a train every 12 minutes and takes 24 minutes to Hong Kong station. All stations have staff to help you get heavy bags on and off of the train; there is no need to tip them. Each way costs $60-$100, and a round trip $110-$180, depending on the distance travelled. A fare saver is thus to take the Airport Express to Tsing Yi, the first stop, and change to the parallel but stopping Tung Chung underground line, which costs in total $71.8 one-way or $133.6 return as opposed to $100 one-way and $180 return. If you buy your ticket from a machine you will have to pay the standard fare, however, if you travel with other people you can get a discount from the staff at the counter. If in doubt, ask the staff for advice before you hand over your money. After reaching your station, you can continue to your final destination by underground (MTR) or taxi. If you wish for a leisurely scenic ride from the airport, you should consider taking a bus. There are two companies which run the airport buses to the city, Citybus (‘CityFlyer’) and Long Win. They will offer lush views of Lantau Island and traverse over the Tsing Ma Bridge, the seventh longest suspension bridge in the world.
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When You Arrive to Hong Kong
Hong Kong has only one Hong Kong international airport, and it is as modern airport close to the city. When you book your hotel with the hotel with your flight, you get full information on how to find it, so you can take the fast and inexpensive Airport Express train into the main parts of Hong Kong and find your hotel easily once you get to the right station. You can also take the Airport-Hotelink, a convenient shuttle bus that stops at the main hotels in Hong Kong. Considering how much you will have saved by taking advantage of the sales and special prices that flightstohongkong offers on trips to Hong Kong, you may want to take a taxi right to your hotel. The Hong Kong airport taxis are safe, pleasant and waiting for you outside the arrivals terminal.
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