A flight to Hong Kong is no longer an expensive thing. If you book early enough, and book smart with an internet company the likes of DialAFlight you could actually end up with a return ticket from under £500. Bargain.
The unfortunate truth however is that most people only fly to Hong Kong to go elsewhere. I was recently told of a story of a woman on her way to Australia who had a 12 hour layover in HK International and didn’t leave the airport for the whole time. This is insanity. Hong Kong is arguably the coolest and most interesting city in the entire world.
It is also the perfect starting point for people looking to embark on Asian travels. It has plenty of the Asian mystique, bustle and insanity, but it has been tempered by its British colonial past. People queue, people speak English, people are polite; things that you will be hard pressed to find over the border in the PRC.
And it is one of the few world-class cities you can do on a budget. Unlike London and New York you can find a hostel right at the very heart of the city for less that $10 a night. It’ll be small sure, but it will feel amazing and you will find yourself right at the very heart of things.
You could wander up through Kowloon to the parks, into the maze of bazaars markets and streets that surround the hostel centre of Chungking mansions, you could take the metro out to Lantau island where you can cable-car up to one of the largest Buddha statues in the entire world.
Or you could do the complete opposite and go five-star. Hong Kong has the best hotels in the world, and with the harbour being slap bang in the middle of everything the views are simply breathtaking. There are very few cities in the world where you can watch eagles soaring between skyscrapers from above, and from the panoramic window that takes up the whole outside wall (honestly, try the Conrad hotel).
Hong Kong is also the busiest airport in Asia, and it will most likely be a stop off for any destination in the whole of the Orient so it is easy to either use it as a base from which to venture out to different countries, or simply as a quick day-trip on the way to the Antipodes. Just give it a go, you will kick yourself for missing out.
Flickr Photo: Michael McDonough