pgm
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:32 am

Spotting at Hong Kong

Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:52 pm

Hi,

Could anyone give me some advice for plane spotting (not photography) during a day’s connection at Hong Kong Airport?

I arrive at 7am and have a connecting flight at midnight. Would it be best to stay airside and find a good spot to see arrivals and departures in one of the departure lounges or gates, or go through customs and spend the day on the observation deck?

Thanks

Andrew
 
mdavies06
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:22 am

when runway 25L and 25R are in use, which is less common (say 1/4 of the time), observation deck is by far the best for landing.
for departure, apart from observation deck and the new north-south satellite finger concourse (airside) both of which give a partial view, there are a few vantage points 1. along the northern coastline on Lantau Island along countryside footpaths and 2. along the roads running parallel to the runway near the cargo terminals area i.e. to the south of the runway. I don't know their exact GPS locations / coordinates. There are public buses that take you halfway there with the rest made up by walking.

otherwise, if runway 07L (landing) and 07R (departure) are in use, then it becomes more difficult to spot. It is not possible to spot 07L (landing) I think. for 07R (departure), the same vantage points as 25L applies.
 
pgm
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:32 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:01 pm

Thanks for your reply.

As it's my first visit I don't want to venture outside the airport so it will be either airside or the observation deck.

What's the best option ? Do runways change during the day ?
 
mdavies06
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:20 am

Some area in the new north-south satellite finger concourse (airside) should be a good spotting point for the southern runway. The observation deck is good for an overview of the airport whichever runway config are in use, and in particular 25R (landing).

The runway use is only dependent on wind direction, not time of the day.

The observation desk ticket cost HK$15 and you can buy one from the cinema ticket office (entrance to the deck is further on from the airport cinema entrance)

To add:
http://hketransport.gov.hk/index.php?golang=EN
The above link shows a bus route S52 that serves a road called S Perimeter Rd that runs the west and south perimeter side of the airport. I have never used that bus but according to Google map it goes up to HAECO area on the west of the airport. Coupled with some walking it should give access to locations close to 07L (landing).

A good comprehensive guide:
http://www.spotterguide.net/planespotti ... -hkg-vhhh/
 
mdavies06
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:40 am

Just to add a note on the airside, as every passenger gate in HKG on the airside are linked up, you can visit whichever gate at whatever time you need. If there is a specific aircraft or type or airline you need to see, you will need to schedule your time between airside and landside, as obviously once you re-enter the airside you are generally not allowed to leave by going back to the landside again. The observation deck is on landside of T2.

Since you have a whole day, I would definitely spend plenty of time both airside and landside. If you are solely interested in watching the aircrafts stationed at their gates - in this case then yes stay airside as nothing in landside will get you close to any gate.

Finally, note sometimes the deck is closed due to maintenance or during thunderstorm. If you visit it during the summer, do bring an umbrella or sun protection.
 
pgm
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:32 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:13 pm

Thanks for the additional info.

Cheers
 
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ojjunior
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:31 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:54 pm

On the way up to the giant Buddha you gonna have an unprecedent overview of HKG.
You have plenty of time, just do it.
And don't miss the 8PM buildings lighting show at Victoria Harbour.
 
mdavies06
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:23 am

Don't worry about having to station yourself at just one part of the airside terminal. The terminal exterior are made of clear glass with minimal obstructions for viewing the aircrafts and the apron, so just freely move about anywhere airside to get the vantage point required. As the terminal is so huge there is no single location that will allow you to see all planes at once. All the gates in HKG airside (perhaps except gate number series 5xx) are open to other airside passengers to visit even if he/she is not due to depart from that gate.

Gate series number 5xx are exceptional in that they are all situated in a northern satellite which is isolated - I believe you cannot reach it unless you have a boarding pass for gate 5xx, and if you are departing from that satellite once you get there you cannot get back to the main terminal again.

Lastly, if you need a nap, there are no first class style reclining chairs in the public area in HKG in landside or airside. You will have to make do with the general benches across the terminal.
 
hkore
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:20 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:26 am

I visited the SkyDeck in July 2018. Went up the skydeck at 6.30 pm. Below is the video and photos.

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDLrAeU92Bk

Entrance

Image

Timing

Image
 
FriscoHeavy
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:31 pm

pgm wrote:
Hi,

Could anyone give me some advice for plane spotting (not photography) during a day’s connection at Hong Kong Airport?

I arrive at 7am and have a connecting flight at midnight. Would it be best to stay airside and find a good spot to see arrivals and departures in one of the departure lounges or gates, or go through customs and spend the day on the observation deck?

Thanks

Andrew



Bro, that's 17 hours. Go into Hong Kong for 7 or 8 hours and wonder around. Go get a custom made suit, take a walking food tour, etc. It's a fabulous city. I went in February and loved it. You can do some of that and still have time to dilly dally at the airport. It would be a complete waste to go there for that long and not leave the airport.
Whatever
 
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3776
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:21 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Bro, that's 17 hours. Go into Hong Kong for 7 or 8 hours and wonder around. Go get a custom made suit, take a walking food tour, etc. It's a fabulous city. I went in February and loved it. You can do some of that and still have time to dilly dally at the airport. It would be a complete waste to go there for that long and not leave the airport.


17hrs is a bit ambitious for a decent custom suit. You'd generally want enough time for at least two visits, one for measurements and another to try on the finished product.

But yes, otherwise I agree with you, with 17hrs head into the city. Hong Kong is an amazing city, one of my top 3. I had my fourth visit last week and it never gets old. You can get into the city on the Airport Express cheaply and quickly and fit a really good amount in on that day.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
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aeromoe
Posts: 640
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:34 am

Re: Spotting at Hong Kong

Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:16 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:

Bro, that's 17 hours. Go into Hong Kong for 7 or 8 hours and wonder around. Go get a custom made suit, take a walking food tour, etc. It's a fabulous city. I went in February and loved it. You can do some of that and still have time to dilly dally at the airport. It would be a complete waste to go there for that long and not leave the airport.


Some people, myself included, don't care to visit a city. Airplanes are what we like. What would be a complete waste to you is gold to plane spotters.

pgm - you do what makes YOU happy. Don't succumb to "peer pressure" on a forum. In the end it is your experience, your time, your money, and your memories. I personally have spent two separate weeks in Hong Kong in 1996 before Kai Tak eventually closed. It IS a great city. But just because you choose not to visit it on your first trip doesn't make you a bad person or mean your trip will be "a complete waste." Again - do what makes you happy.
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