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Is there any way to leave HKIA by foot?

I have a 4 hour stopover, so I would like to shortly visit the neighbouring city of Tung Chung (home to 200-year-old forts and temples), but I want to avoid the hassle of withdrawing the few Hong Kong dollars needed to go by bus. I also like the challenge of leaving airports by foot without using any money.

HKIA Tung Chung map

Tung Chung 東涌 东涌 Lantau

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great question! also, had never heard of tung chung –  Joe Blow Aug 18 at 11:14
    
have you tried google maps? there's a smaller bridge to the south of the main highway bridge (as seen on your photo) - and according to google streetview it does have a sidewalk.. beware though, google suggests its nearly an hours walk along the airport perimeter and then across the bridge.. –  greyshade Aug 18 at 11:34
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It would be nice if you came back after your trip and updated us with an answer you yourself write. –  CGCampbell Aug 18 at 14:34
    
According to this website, there is a footpath on Chep Lap Kok South Road, so it should be possible. –  Qantas 94 Heavy Aug 19 at 11:04

6 Answers 6

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Walking directions for Google maps says yes, it's possible: https://goo.gl/maps/MVoPY

57 min, 4.6 km from Airport station to the center of Tung Chung.

Now I haven't tried this myself, and walking directions remain officially in beta... but a random Street View sampling indicates that the suggested route does have pedestrian walkways of some kind, including on the bridge.

I'd still exchange a few HKD if I were you: it'd be a shame to visit Hong Kong without eating anything, and you can take bus S1 back to the airport.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I work on maps at Google.)

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+1 Indeed! Wikivoyage lists walking as an option for going to Lantau from the airport: en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Hong_Kong/Lantau#Get_in –  nic Aug 18 at 11:58

Hong Kong airport is on an island. There is nothing else on that islands except an exhibition center and related activities (ferry terminal, hotel, …). In order to go anywhere interesting, you need to cross to the neighboring island of Lantau, Tung Chung being the first neighborhood when going from the airport to anywhere overland. While I think there is a pedestrian walkway along the western road bridge, I doubt that it's a pleasant walk (though a Wikivoyage contributor describes it as “nice” — I'm guessing this refers to the view rather than the ambiance), and it's a minimum of 4km from the airport terminal to the town (more like 5km to get anywhere interesting). You can check Google Maps (complete with Street View).

With only two hours' layover, taking account the time to go through security, you do not have time to walk. If the two hours are rounded down, you may have time, but walking isn't the best use of your time.

There are frequent buses between the airport and the Tung Chung MTR station, but they are not especially fast. If you take a bus, note that you can you can only pay by Octopus card or exact change. You can buy an Octopus card at the airport, but I don't remember if you can pay with a foreign credit card, and it has a HK$150 minimum value (you can redeem the unused portion afterwards minus a small charge; in comparison the return bus fare is HK$7).

The fastest way to get across to Tung Chung is a taxi. You'll need cash for that.

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So the bottom line is, someone on wikivoyage asserts that it can be done - fantastic! –  Joe Blow Aug 18 at 14:15
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Thanks! "you can you can only pay by Octopus card or exact change" ← Actually you can also buy a ticket at the counter on the left, they always have change. –  nic Aug 19 at 2:55
    
@JoeBlow 4 hour stopover, 2 hours to walk back and forth (more if you're not a fast walker), 2 hours for security clearing total, half an hour to find your gate, that's more than 4 hours, and you still haven't seen anything except that bridge... –  jwenting Aug 19 at 9:28
    
Hi JW - sure, for the 4 hr stopover it's not relevant. I meant that in general, it's really cool! For example, there are actually a couple hotels connected to T1 right? (I've never stayed at them.) For example, if you were overnighting there, it would be a fantastic 'urban-jog' - in fact it's a 10k. Nice! –  Joe Blow Aug 19 at 9:43

Nothing to add to Gilles informative answer - it's fantastic information that there is a footbridge (but for the OP's question, a four hour stopover does appear to be too short).

However, if you're staying at one of the the two airport hotels, such as the SkyCity Marriott, here's what would be a terrific "urban jog" which is a 10k, making the Novotel on the other side your destination. Enjoy.

enter image description here

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A great answer which would help future readers of the question. –  CGCampbell Aug 20 at 14:33
    
Yes they did - you can see your approvals here. –  Mark Mayo Aug 20 at 14:51
    
Huh, i've never seen a delay before! cheers.. –  Joe Blow Aug 20 at 14:51

I have a 4 hour stopover

Which is not enough time to do much outside any major airport, especially on foot.

Assuming the 4 hours is arrival to departure time, consider the following:

  • get off airplane
  • walk to immigration, wait in line
  • walk to airport door. We are now at 30 minutes, more likely 60
  • leave airport property

You have already checked in for the departure, but you need to deal with security (5-30 min) and walking to the gate (5-15 min). And you need to be on board at least 15 minutes before the actual departure time. So that's another hour used up.

In total, there is an hour at each end needed for airport mechanics, and as others have calculated, it will take an hour to go anywhere (and the same back). So you have used up all your layover time and seen nothing - the area near the airport is all new-construction hotels and residences for airport (and hotel) staff.

Back when Kai Tak was open it was quite different - you could easily walk from the terminal to most places in Kowloon and be back in 4 hours. Security was much faster then too.

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Call me weird but for me, walking in a Chinese all new-construction area (even if I barely make it to Tung Chung before heading back) is more interesting than browsing the duty-free shops for 4 hours :-) The 1 hour walk is along the seaside with a view on the mountains, so it might actually be quite enjoyable. –  nic Aug 21 at 2:56
    
@nic : I hate the duty-free as well, but not as much as spending the next leg in a sweaty shirt 'cause I tromped around the urban jungle in subtropical summer. Go to AsiaWorld Expo area (northeast of the terminal) and watch the planes come and go for an hour (also much more interesting at Kai Tak). –  Paul Aug 21 at 10:36

Bear in mind, current (August) daytime temperatures in Hong Kong are about 28-30C (~82-86F) with humidity approaching 100%. You can walk, but it will get uncomfortable fast and it's usually quite a dusty hot road to Tung Chung.

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What a great point. indeed, jogging (or just walking) in HK is a sweaty experience!!! –  Joe Blow Aug 20 at 14:35
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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. –  Vince Aug 20 at 14:40

It won't be possible. The roads near the airport are very complex and there are plenty of junctions. It's very hard to navigate between them. There is a sidewalk at Chek Lap Kok South Road but no one uses it because it is too far away. it takes more than 1.5 hours to walk from CLK to Tung Chung. Taking a bus only takes around 10-15 minutes.

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