The kids and I have been in and out of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) countless times.
Usually, it’s a quick transit but sometimes, I get 2-3 hours of shopping time, which is great but one fine day, we were actually stuck there for 10-12 hours!
No, we were not late for the flight – instead, our flight had been delayed. We were given Starbucks gift cards and told to go the “lounge” at Level 6 to “rest”.
I think that they give out the gift cards depending on whether you’re Asian/Caucasian or English-speaking/Chinese-speaking because the Chinese passengers got food vouchers to the Hong Kong-style restaurants. The older Chinese refused the Starbucks gift cards.
Since it’s quite a distance where we had to walk from the arrival hall to the transit counter, the kids and I were looking forward to use our gift cards from Starbucks!
Here’s what we did before we ended up at the airport lounge:
Restaurants at Terminal 1
This is the list of restaurants available at HKIA Terminal 1.
B1 – Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant
GF – Deli Viet Vietnamese Restaurant, Haagen-Dazs, Starbucks, Starz Wine Bar and the Spaghetti House
L1 – Golden Shanghai Cuisine, McDonald’s & McCafe
L2 – Federal Palace, Foodrepublic, Moccato, Pacific Coffee Company, McD’s, Wimpy’s, Hong Kong restaurant, Korean restaurant.
NOTE: This list was probably taken in 2013 because I think more restaurants are available on L2.
Mom and baby room at HKIA
Here’s a glimpse of the baby room, which I’d taken the kids for breastfeeding and a nappy change.
The room is clean but beware that it could stink of poo especially when another Mom has been in there for a nappy change – I once used the baby stroller to keep the door ajar.
When you’re in the toilet with a preschooler and a baby, you need something to keep their minds and hands busy, right?
Baby and child-friendly toilet at HKIA
The baby and kid-friendly toilets in HKIA are the best!:)
My baby could sit and stare at this cheery mural while my preschooler would count the clouds, point at the sun and teach his little sister,
“Sun! See the yellow sun? Do you know how to spell “sun”?”
Or, he will take her to ride the airplane on an imaginary flight and other nonsense he can think of to entertain his baby sister ^_^
The information counter
We love Starbucks
I have 2 fussy eaters but the Christmas theme at Starbucks made them happy and I got the preschooler to look at the selection of juices while I queued up at the counter/cashier.
Here’s what we got for our Starbucks gift cards: 2 juices, 1 coffee/latte, 1 ham & cheese croissant sandwich (yum! He ate it all), 1 pack of 3 sandwiches (tuna+ham+???) and 1 chicken wrap for the toddler.
Starbucks Christmas theme mugs and Starbucks Hong Kong mugs and tumblers were available for collectors.
Starbucks was a good choice then coz the kids happily ate up everything and I could eat my sandwich, sip my hot latte and enjoy some peace and quiet…
Airport Lounge and Business Center
After all the above, we still had 6-8 hours at HKIA!!!
We went to the airport “lounge” but it was more of a business traveler type of lounge with glass tables, bar stools and finger foods or salty snacks like nuts.
We were there for barely 15 minutes and the kids were gonna tear the place apart…the counter staff could NOT see the pandemonium because they were conveniently seated at the front, with a backdrop shielding them from the action.
Finally, I went there and asked the one of them to check out the scene and told them there is no chance in hell the kids and I are going to survive at the Business Center for the next 5-6 hours.
Fortunately, one of them had common sense (God bless him!!!) and made a quick decision – we were shown to the resting lounges.
May God bless this beautiful soul because the kids and I had been up since 5.00 am and we only needed to get to our departure gate at 7.00 pm+.
After a quick shower, the kids and I squeezed onto a tiny bed and knocked off. I set the alarm and also asked the counter staff for a wake-up call.
In the end, my mobile phone alarm was more dependable >_<
Here’s my son’s report of the long day we had:
Thank you, HKIA, for a memorable transit.