If you’re going to Nepal from North America, there’s a good chance you will have at least one long layover somewhere in the Middle East or Asia. I’ve heard that Singapore is the best airport for a long layover, but I want to share our amazing experience in Hong Kong International airport. We spent a 14 hour layover there on the way to Nepal, and almost 36 hours there on the way back!
Regal Airport Hotel
This is the biggest reason to choose Hong Kong in my opinion. For $150-200 per night (or dayroom) you’ll be able to exit customs (check your country’s visa requirements for Hong Kong, US citizens do not need a visa for just a few days stay) and walk right into this hotel without ever leaving the airport. Nothing is better after a 14 hour flight or nearly 24 hours of travel time than a clean fresh bed and a hot shower! Wifi, a huge breakfast buffet, an outdoor and heated indoor pool, and a children’s playroom are all included!
The Airport Itself
The family bathrooms have child-size toilets and sinks, which M truly appreciated. There are a few play areas in the terminals, we had one reasonably close to our gate both times, which was a lifesaver. There were other children there and M must’ve played for two hours straight while we waited to board! There are 7/11s with low-cost snacks and food to take on the plane, and familiar places like Subway if your kids just want something familiar. The airport itself is easy to navigate, signs are also in English, and there are information desks throughout to answer any questions.
Top Floor Entertainment
Finally, if you really want to entertain yourselves or the kids, you can make your way up to the top floor of Terminal 2 where there is an IMax theater, a children’s play park, and a space museum. These places are open to the general public, so you must see them before passing through security. We chose the child’s park, Dreams Come True, but unfortunately only one other child was there at the time. It’s not open to free play, however, so you have to sign your kids up for sessions. You choose which career path the children want to experience (firefighter, astronaut, pilot, news reporter, nurse, surgeon, etc) and then when the session begins the children are outfitted and put through some training, and then a simulation of the job itself. At the end they earn pretend money, but it doesn’t buy much. There’s a morning and afternoon session, so if you arrive part way through you’ll still have to pay for the whole session but get fewer experiences. We only had time for two, and M boycotted one of them because she was upset that there was no “Be a Tooth Fairy” experience. The only one she participated in was the pilot session.
It killed a few hours of time, though, and she really enjoyed “flying” the plane! It would’ve been a lot more fun if we’d come at the beginning of the whole session and if there were more children. Live and learn!