Friday, May 25, 2012


If there is one airport terminal anyone wouldn’t mind being stuck in for awhile, it would be Hong Kong International Airport. It is the 10th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, and in my opinion, one of the best transit stops for shopping, dining and relaxing before your next connecting flight around Asia or to Europe.

I recently found myself once again on a three hour layover before my next connecting flight back to China after a really nice visit back home in the Philippines, and just like many times before, the hours just seemed to pass me by.

One of the things I love about Hong Kong airport is
that it is surrounded by blue skies, mountains and the sea.
The view of the mountains is usually so clear that
you can see the green grass on them. 
Getting from gate to gate can be less tiring on the
convenient horizontal escalators (also called walkalators).  

Here are three big tips I’ve learned in surviving and navigating an airport as big and fantastic as Hong Kong International which I believe is essential for every traveler:

  • Make sure you check the gate of your next flight right away (this is the first thing I do) and estimate how long you have to just wander around and how long it’s going take you to get there on foot. Running last minute from Gate 3 to Gate 98 is no fun! Trust me!
  • If you have more than an hour to wait, eat a snack at any of the many restaurants/cafes before shopping at Hong Kong terminal, which resembles that of two very large shopping malls (one on each side). You’ll need some energy as you navigate the array of goods available from perfumes, cosmetics, make-up, clothing, bookstores, electronics, pharmacies and spas…whew!
  • BE AWARE OF THE TIME, at all times. It is so easy to get lost in a shopping trance at Hong Kong terminal. The fact that all the cosmetic products, creams and perfumes have testers doesn’t help! You’re free to try anything you want as many times as you want without the sales girls glaring at you. It’s truly great! But not so much if you miss your flight while putting Crème de la Mer on your hands. I’m guilty of doing this! But thankfully, didn’t miss my flight.
Aside from the huge duty-free shopping area, before every gate,
you'll find more shops, cafes and convenience stores.
You can take your pick from the airport's many restaurants.
Here's my view while having a snack at Pizza Express.
    My favorite stores are definitely the bookstores where you
    can browse for hours and grab a magazine while waiting.


When I saw Charlize Theron on the cover of InStyle’s June issue, I grabbed it right away. She’s one of my favorite actresses and is starring in two big summer movies this year: Snow White and the Huntsman and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Can’t wait!

Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation Oil (5ml.) (US$2)
Since I was already in Hong Kong airport, I ran to the pharmacy and just had to get myself a tiny bottle of one of Hong Kong’s most renowned brands, Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation Oil. This oil is a really, really great product. It has been around for years and is fantastic in relieving colds, flu, headaches, minor aches and pains, bruises and sprains, muscular aches, motion sickness, insect bites etc. It can also be used as an antiseptic. Ingredients consist of wintergreen oil, menthol, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil and camphor. It’s a great product to have in your home cabinet.

DKNY Women Eau de Toilette (50ml.) (US$50)
I sprayed DKNY Women Eau de Toilette on my wrist in the perfume section early on and for the next hour; I couldn’t stop smelling myself or putting my wrist repeatedly on my face while walking around. I’m hoping nobody thought I was crazy. It smelled so good that I ran back and bought a 50ml. bottle of the eau de toilette. Top notes are citrus mandarin oranges, chilled vodka and violet leaf with middle notes of narcissus, lotus and orchid; base notes of woods and white birch. Other notes are tomato leaves, water lily, yellow daffodils and tulip tree bark. I’d describe the scent as perfect for summer…light, fresh, modern and intoxicating. Great for everyday!

Milka Mix Chocolates (380grams)

I love Milka chocolates and this is the perfect bag to buy for sharing with loved ones. This bag holds 82 individually wrapped pieces of Milka chocolates in three flavors: Alpine Milk, Crunchy Caramel and Strawberry. All are simply delicious! So happy I found it as the mix bags are not usually as available as the chocolate bars.

View from my window upon landing back in Hefei, China

All in all, I had a great trip back home even for a short two-week visit. It was great seeing my parents, siblings, in-laws and friends. But it’s back to my home for now in Hefei, and as for Hong Kong airport, till we meet again!

Lantau, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2181 8888