I have booked a flight to the Philippines and I have a layover of 3h 30m in Hong Kong Airport (arrival an departure in Terminal 1). So I looked at the shops in that terminal to see if I can buy a GoPro camera there (it looks they are cheaper in Hong Kong), but I got confused with the map of the terminal.

So far I found the shops that sells eletrical equipment and also a PDF with all the shops in the map.

But I don't know what does it mean those restricted/non-restricted areas. Are those "non-restricted areas" outside the passport control? I don't need to go through the passport control, since I'm not staying in Hong kong and the layover is not too long. In case that's the non-restricted, can I still go there to have a look or do I have to stay in the "restricted area"?

  • 1
    You could add your personal experience as an answer and have it accepted -- because this is what really happened to you, not the speculation of other people. Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


Looks like the restricted area is restricted for the passengers only, so you will be in this area basically.

The non-restricted are is where anyone can come from the city, and which is before border control and security checks (from the perspective of people arriving from the city). You can assume that you will not get to this area (unless you want to go through the Hong-Kong passport control).

  • In case I want to have a look at the shops in the "non-restricted area" can I do it (Spanish passport) or is it mandatory to stay in the restricted area?
    – SERPRO
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 11:21
  • 3
    You can do it, yes. You will just get a stamp in your passport. You just need to reserve enough time to get back through security.
    – Grzenio
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 14:10

'Restricted area' are the shops near the departure gates, and if you stay within that area then you don't need to go through passport control. However, if you want to go into the non-restricted area then you will have to go through passport control. Hong Kong has fairly open rules for most nationalities and your get the visa as a stamp on-arrival (if you choose to go through passport control).

It really depends on how long your layover is. HK International Airports restricted area shops are mostly duty-free ones and there's a much larger variety of shops in the non-restricted area. If you have a few hours, then you can definitely exit and enter again; security checks don't take too long usually - I haven't had to wait more than half an hour, ever.

  • Meh. I just realised how many times I've used the words 'passport control' there. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 15:03

I did the trip and I can confirm that with 2 hours you don't have time to go out of the restricted area (with the time I had, 3h 30m it's possible but not recommended). I arrived at Gate 2 and my departure was from Gate 47, it's a long walk and you need to pass another security check. More or less you spend 1h 30m to do so. If you get out and you need to do all the security checks.

By the way, there were no GoPro in the airport.. I checked a lot of the stores I looked before in the website.

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