When flying into and out of Hong Kong HKG and as a general rule, is it better to book a window seat at the right or left side of the plane? (I understand that actual weather situations, etc., may always bring about changes relative to such a general rule.) I'd like to have a nice view of the city and its surrounding coastline, if that's possible and as opposed to a view of the open sea (presumably in the East) only. I'll be on Cathay Pacific flights directly from and to Europe.
Just answering for the "into HKG" part of the question.
Assuming this is a direct flight from Europe (all bets are off if you connect somewhere else, obviously) and that the flight path is similar to that for LHR-HKG, probably left for a closer look at the city. It appears that the most common approach passes by the city and then loops back.
However, at least some of the time the approach is more direct, in which case you may be able to see more looking forward out of the right side of the plane.
I fly weekly out of HKG and back. I used to live in Tung Chung, near the airport, so I have good geographical reference points.
There's no way to predict where to sit for the best views. The planes land and take off in either direction, depending on the winds and traffic. It's not like the old days of Kai Tak, where the airport landings were scary and always in the same direction.
Some days you land from the west, some days from the east, regardless of the direction you're coming from. So it's a crapshoot. I don't have real data about the split, but to my untrained, frequent-traveler, eyes, it seems close to 50/50.