(SPOT.ph) When you travel, your usual first and last impressions of any destination are the ports of entry and exit, which, more often or not, are airports. Back in the day, these terminals were just a means to an end, a way to get the adventure started, but nowadays, airports are becoming attractions of their own. A case in point is Hong Kong International Airport which took the time during the pandemic to do some much-needed renovations and upgrades. Seeing as major COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and about 30,000 Filipinos can win free tickets to the region this year, we rounded up some of the major changes you can expect to see at this airline hub.
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Check out the upgrades to your Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) experience:
HKIA's Terminal 1 gets a fresher, more vibrant look
Hong Kong's airport gets a fresh and modern new look. Passengers arriving and departing from Terminal 1 will immediately notice the new massive LED walls, soothing digital landscaping that provides an immersive experience, and tons of new themed zones that will provide travelers with relaxing areas to wait for their flight or their city transport.
More recreational facilities like gardens and playgrounds for kids and adults alike
If you've ever traveled with kids, you would know just how hard it is to keep them entertained while on a layover or waiting to board. The new and improved HKIA now features a two-story children's play area with games and playground equipment, an interactive entertainment zone, and a green, open-air garden to breathe in the fresh air.
See more of the airport with the newly-opened Sky Bridge
A new 200-meter long, 28-meter-high Sky Bridge now links Terminal 1 and the T1 Satellite Concourse. Aside from being a convenient path from one area of the airport to another, travelers can also enjoy a front-row seat to the bustling airport life as they sample trendy and delectable eats along the Bridgeway.
Start your journey hassle-free with an efficient and personalized airport experience
Would you believe it can take you less than 15 minutes to go through security to your boarding gate at HKIA? With efficiency at its core, this airport introduces new facial biometric tokens and touchless technologies to provide passengers with a more seamless and faster airport experience.
Shop 'til you drop at the over 40 luxury brands at the East Hall Luxury Shopping Zone and at the over 800 shops at 11 SKIES
If shopping is your vice, then Airport City is your perfect destination. Shop without leaving your terminal at the East Hall Luxury Shopping Zone. The newly renovated shopping area now features over 40 luxury retail and dining brands, including gigantic outlets of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes.
If you've got more time to burn, you might want to consider making the short walk to 11 Skies, a.k.a. Hong Kong's largest integrated retail, dining, and entertainment destination with over 800 shops.
Feast on international flavors while waiting for your next flight
While airplane food may be a dining experience in itself, you may want to consider eating at the airport while waiting for your flight or transport. HKIA has reinvented and renovated its lineup of food stalls by including international delicacies and cuisines as well as some Michelin-recommended brands that are bound to impress even the toughest of critics.
Attend concerts, exhibitions, and other entertainment events at Hong Kong's largest indoor arena
While technically not a new development, the AsiaWorld Expo is all set for an expansion by adding a second phase to the already prime venue for conventions, exhibitions, and other entertainment events. This addition will transform AsiaWorld Expo from just another indoor venue to Hong Kong's largest indoor multipurpose entertainment arena, with state-of-the-art event facilities perfect for world-class concerts, sporting activities, and many other entertainment spectacles.
Catching an early morning flight? Stay near the airport at these new hotels
What was a 30-minute to one-hour trip from your city-center accommodations to the airport can now be reduced to a five to 10-minute walk in the Airport City thanks to the opening of a combined total of 3,000 rooms in the area. Three hotels, namely the Hong Kong Sky City Mariott Hotel, Regal Airport Hotel, and the Regala Skycity Hotel, will be operational on the airport island and will offer a wide range of accommodation options perfect for luxury staycations or quick overnight stays to catch early or late-night flights.
Enjoy a relaxing stroll by the seaside
A new Airport City cove featuring a pier and berthing facilities will rise near the airport. Visitors may now get a taste of the seaside life right in the center of the airport island. Aside from the pier, a seafront promenade with park benches and a walking path will also cater to visitors looking to stroll along and enjoy the sea view.
Surf the web while waiting to board with HKIA's 5G high-speed Internet
Say you don't have a lot of time to explore, or you just want to plop down somewhere and wait quietly for your flight. Well, just because you aren't exploring that doesn't mean you have to be bored, entertain yourself the 21st century way by connecting to HKIA's high-speed free internet. Yup, a 5G service plan is said to cover the entire airport providing low-latency, high-bandwidth network connectivity. Say goodbye to boredom, as you can surf and stream easily while waiting around.
For more information, visit Hong Kong International Airport's website.
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