Hundreds of fans massed at the Chek Lap Kok airport yesterday to greet Korean star Kim Soohyun, with many skipping class or even work to catch a glimpse of their idol.
Some had waited up to 16 hours outside the airport in the hopes of getting close to the heartthrob, famed in the city for his role in the popular drama My Love from the Star.
Wing Tang, 19, said she left her Kwai Chung home at 5am and arrived at the airport about 6am even though Kim was not due to arrive until about 11pm. The higher-diploma student said she had skipped classes to make sure she got the best spot in the waiting area.
"I was afraid there would have been too many people there already if I came late," she said.
Airport security set up a special waiting area with barriers outside the arrivals terminal around noon yesterday for Kim's fans.
More than 100 security guards have been hired for Kim's three-day visit to Hong Kong after he was mobbed by fans in Taiwan and mainland China.
Mell Chu Ka-yin, a member of a local Kim fan club Hong Kong Side by Side, said she applied for three days' leave from her company so she could follow Kim's every step during his visit.
Linda Lee, a member of another fan club, Kmoon Hong Kong, also applied for leave to welcome Kim. She and other members had brought dolls and local snacks as gifts for him.
When Kim arrived, they planned to sing a song in Korean that he performed in one of his drama series. All wore club uniforms with "Kmoon" printed on them and they had set up a "command centre" outside the airport to monitor their idol's movements. The club name came from the star's surname and one of his popular drama series, Moon Embracing the Sun.
"We are his moon," said Lee. "We hope he can have a very nice memory of Hong Kong."
Today, Kim is expected to meet 220 competition winners at the Mira Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.
He spent three months living in Hong Kong while making the 2012 crime thriller The Thieves.
But it is the hit science-fiction series My Love from the Star that has made Asia swoon over his boyish smile.
This is his first visit to Hong Kong since the show's success. In it, Kim stars as Do Min-joon, an alien with supernatural powers who came to earth 400 years ago and falls for an arrogant superstar actress played by Jun Ji-hyun.
The show has never aired on television in Hong Kong, but attracted a huge following here thanks to online streaming.