Hong Kong International Airport, which is also known as Chek Lap Kok, is the main port for visitors to Hong Kong by air. Designed by architect 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.
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. 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. For elsewhere in Asia, consider transiting through Macau. Many discount airlines serve Macau because it has lower landing fees than Hong Kong. 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 – T1 and T2. Signs on approach to the airport by car/taxi list the terminals and check-in zones. The station is located between the two terminals, so follow the signs when you exit the station. Once checked-in, you can clear security at either terminal with an underground shuttle bus outside the security area. There are probably more shopping opportunities before security at T2, but its shops close earlier. There are lots of shopping opportunities after security as well. Travellers 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.
The Airport Express is a fast and environmentally friendly form of passenger transport to and from the airport to Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The clean, comfortable and efficient train departs every 12 minutes and takes approximately 24 minutes to reach 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. 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, free shuttle buses connect to major hotels in Kowloon and Hong Kong island, or you can continue onward by MTR or taxi. Around half of the trip will be underground and some of the "above-ground" travel is through "covered" tracks.
If you wish for a 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.
A taxi from the airport to the city (Central/Mid-levels) will cost you around HK$350 depending on your exact destination. If you have three or more people travelling together, it is generally cheaper to travel by taxi than by Airport Express, but you may have a problem fitting so many bags into the taxi. Use a red taxi for destinations to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, Green taxis are restricted to the New Territories and blue taxis are for Lantau Island.
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