With economy cabins on long haul planes becoming increasingly congested, arriving at your destination feeling refreshed and relaxed can be a challenge.
That’s why the international stop-over has become so popular, especially for budget conscious travellers who value the holiday experience over the more expensive upgrade fares, in-flight perks and airfare add-ons.
The perfect antidote to those long international journeys, breaking your trip not only helps with jet-lag and the discomfort that comes with flying but it adds an exciting new destination to the holiday mix.
For Aussies, the ideal place to stop over is Hong Kong. With its distinctive culture, world class food, exciting shopping options and landmark attractions that include everything from museums, harbour cruises, Hong Kong Disneyland and the Ngong Ping 360, staying there en-route to your next location is a holiday unto itself.
Of course, a quick break to catch your breath doesn’t have to be all go-go-go. For many of us, one of the great indulgences of breaking a long-haul journey is enjoying the amenities of a luxury hotel.
What better way to overcome the effects of jet lag than with a comfy bed, some fine dining and the relaxing treatments at a day spa?
With over 200 hotel options, Hong Kong offers a wide range of accommodation where international travellers can rest their weary heads.
High on the list of requirements for a convenient stop-over is of course public transport. Hong Kong offers convenient rail and taxi services from the airport to the city – consider an Airport Express Travel Pass; a return airport to city rail ticket, plus unlimited travel on buses, trains, trams and ferries.
Hong Kong makes it easy to find a good place to eat too. The Hong Kong Tourism Board established a restaurant rating for tourists, providing select restaurants with a ‘QTS’ accreditation. Standing for ‘Quality Tourism Services,’ the sign denotes hygienic facilities and quality food.
In a place borne of multicultural influences like Hong Kong, it stands to reason there are many must-eat treats. And Chinese barbecue is a stand-out favourite. Either roast duck or goose, the meat is seasoned and cooked to perfection before being hung in the window for passers-by and potential diners to admire.
Dim sum are tasty little parcels enjoyed morning, noon and night. Meaning ‘touch your heart,’ dim sum are Chinese staples that can take the shape of a dumpling, roll or bun. Ingredients can range from chicken, beef or pork, to prawn, tofu or veggies.
If you prefer a savoury bite, seek out the locals’ favourite snack – fish balls. Made with freshly ground fish and hand beaten until light and fluffy, fish balls are usually served on a stick with spicy curry dipping sauce.
For a quick sweet snack, don’t go passed the popular egg tarts, a baked egg custard in a warm crunchy pastry or a pineapple bun. Funnily enough, traditionally, pineapple buns contain no pineapple but are named for their chequered top pineapple resemblance.
When it comes to getting around and seeing all the sights of Hong Kong, the Airport Express Travel Pass is the most efficient way to go about it for visitors. From Kowloon, you can take the ferry across the famous Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. Once you’re there, Old Town Central is just steps away.
This historic district has something for everyone. Filled with groovy rooftop bars, trendy restaurants, shops and galleries, as well as historic landmarks, you can spend much of your day exploring this popular neighbourhood.
The best way to experience Old Town Central is to set out on foot on one of five self-guided walking tours, each showcasing a unique aspect of this cultural and entertainment district.
Possession Point is where British colonisation began in 1841 and nearby Tai Ping Shan offers an authentic look back in time where you can stroll the old cobblestone streets where Chinese settlers converged in the 1840s.
A must-do is Pottinger Street. Walk the steps here for a sense of life in the nineteenth century when merchants once crowded the streets with market stalls.
With so much to see and do in Hong Kong, it’s easy to appreciate why it’s one of the best stopover destinations for travellers. Whether it’s for a quick 24-hour rest stop or a more in-depth experience, Hong Kong has it all.
Download the My Hong Kong Guide App for information ahead of your Hong Kong stopover with great tips for getting around, things to do and much more.
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