6 Ways to Photograph the Hong Kong Skyline

6 WAYS TO PHOTOGRAPH the Hong Kong SKYLINE

 

It’s no secret that Hong Kong has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. Still, I didn’t expect to be wowed by it quite like I was.

 

Victoria Harbor Sunset Hong Kong Skyline

 

Towering skyscrapers, their reflection shimmering on Victoria Harbor, appeared to engulf us on all sides. By day the lofty buildings were a reminder of how many people cram into Hong Kong’s dense living spaces. By night the cosmopolitan city came alive, and its sparkling silhouette provided the most romantic of backgrounds for an evening stroll—a perfect way to celebrate our two year anniversary. It was a bit overwhelming to choose accommodation in such a large and bustling city, especially as we were celebrating our anniversary. We wanted somewhere romantic and affordable, that would still serve as a convenient base to explore the city. In the end, we saved our hotel budget for a splurge in Macau and opted to stay with friends instead, but there are many fantastic Hong Kong hotels to choose from that cater to any kind of tourist, anniversary or not. While exploring, we found ourselves stopping in our tracks again and again in an effort to absorb just a little more of the man-made beauty surrounding us. Each vantage point offered a different perspective of the city, mixing old and new, history and progress. Add to that the boats slowly cruising by or the majestic Peak providing a natural contrast to the concrete, and it’s no wonder we were happy to spend hours wandering, cruising, hiking and dining with the view. Of course, taking it all in over a bottle of wine was also a must.

 

Wine and Cheese Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

 

With such an inspiring backdrop, we just had to take about 1000 pictures along the way. (By we I mean Dan. I probably took a whopping three.) We tried to narrow down the photos to include only our favorites, but still ended up with 29 photos. Don’t worry-we then went through one more time to put together the best of the best. You’ll notice that the photos we chose are not exclusive to Hong Kong’s signature skyline viewed from the harbor on Kowloon (although those are certainly included). Rather, we chose to include our pick of images that display multiple perspectives of the cityscape. Even better, each vantage point can be enjoyed in unique ways.

 

So here you have it. Our six favorite places to photograph Hong Kong’s skyline.

 

International Commerce Center

Home to the tallest observation deck –Sky 100– in Hong Kong, the ICC offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula.  We chose to skip Sky 100 and headed straight for the luxurious restaurants on the 102nd floor. If you happen to be with friends who are inquiring about it for a potential wedding venue *cough-us-cough* you can avoid the high prices on the menu. Alternatively, tea time offers a good value for the location.

 

Restaurant ICC View Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop. ICC Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop.

International Finance Center

Located on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island, visiting the IFC provides stunning views of Kowloon. Head to the fourth floor-here you’ll find an outdoor area open to the public. For free. Adjacent to the ridiculously priced bar with not-as-good-views. Score. Remember to bring a bottle of wine and watch as day turns to night. Conveniently there is a CitySuper located in the basement. *Note: There is a bit of construction going on in front of the IFC. The better views are actually obtained by sitting farther back. Hopefully they aren’t building an obstruction to this view…

 

Public Seating IFC Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

 

West Kowloon Promenade

Once home to a dockyard, this area is now a popular spot for runners. From here you can see more of the western side of Hong Kong Island’s renowned skyline. Even better, no one comes here, so enjoy the view without flocks of tourists. If we had the time we definitely would have returned here for an evening jog. You just don’t get this kinda view in Hsinchu.

 

Victoria Harbor West Kowloon Promenade Hong Kong skyline

West Kowloon Promenade Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop.

Avenue of Stars

Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, this is Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While you may or may not have an interest in Asian celebrities, the promenade still warrants a walk for its location alongside Victoria Harbor, leading up to the Ferry Terminal. Upon the end of the strip you’ll come to the observation deck for viewing Hong Kong’s nightly light show, A Symphony of Lights. It’s quite amazing how the entire skyline lights up in accordance to the song of the night; however, it is a brief show for the crowds it draws. Get there early to make sure you grab a spot up front.

 

A Cruising Couple Tsim Sha Tsui Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

Symphony of the Stars Tsim Sha Tsui Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop.

Star Ferry

The Star Ferry is an iconic Hong Kong tourist attraction, but also a mode of public transportation for millions of passengers crossing Victoria Harbor every year. Riding the Star Ferry is as inexpensive as it gets (HK $3.00) and provides a unique perspective of both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.  Operating since 1888, riding the Star Ferry also offers a distinctly historical and cultural experience.

 

Star Ferry Sunset Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop. A Cruising Couple Victoria Harbor Star Ferry Hong Kong Skyline

 

Victoria Peak

Unfortunately we choose to summit Victoria Peak on the foggiest day we had in Hong Kong. Ordinarily the Peak is known for it’s magnificent panorama of Hong Kong, with China stretching off in the distance. Judging from our glimpse within the fog, we’ll believe it. Victoria Peak also has many walking paths, as well as a famous tram shuttling tourists to the top of the Peak.

 

Victoria Peak Victoria Harbor Hong Kong Skyline

To purchase this photo visit the photo shop.

This is just the first of many Hong Kong posts to come. We loved the city so much more than we could have anticipated; it was definitely an amazing spot for our two year anniversary. Of course, now that we’re back, we can’t help but start thinking about year number 3. We’re thinking Thailand, but with these cheap flights to Bangkok I’m not sure we can wait a whole year!

What’s your favorite skyline? Have you been blown away by any cityscapes?

 

Further Reading

~ The No-Nonsense Guide to Hong Kong: Our travel tips to get you started in this energetic, unique and chaotic city.

In Search of the Best Views in Rio de Janeiro: Our hunt for the most photogenic spots in Rio.

Natural Light: Explains the different qualities of natural light and how to use them to your advantage.

Composition: An introduction to the artistic side of creating an eye-catching photo.

Dan R Moore Photo Shop: Discover and purchase photos from around the world.

 

Meet: Dan Moore


Dan is the photographer, social media strategist and second half of the A Cruising Couple team. He has been living and traveling full-time in various countries since 2011. His award winning photography has been featured on National Geographic, CNN and New York Times Travel.

35 Comments

  1. This pictures are INCREDIBLE! Thank you for sharing your adventures!

    Reply
  2. I did not expect to find the HK skyline so mesmerizing either, but I feel for that beauty hard! Alas, we got sick half way through our time in HK, so we didn’t get to explore all these amazing ways to see the skyline in all its glory, but stuck to a ferry tour. It’s a place I really want to revisit one day, however, and when I do, I’m definitely going to check some of these out. I think my favorite are the shots you got from the International Commerce Center… I’m already married, but maybe I can talk to them about throwing an anniversary party… 😉
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Sunday Sketchup: Motorcycles in VietnamMy Profile

    Reply
    • Sorry you got sick. I hope you get the chance to have another go at it. The top of the ICC is full of class. Don’t be afraid to check out two or three restaurants so you don’t miss a thing :-p

      Reply
  3. Love the photos! I might be heading to HK as my best friend is teaching there for a year, the views look amazing. Although not a picture of the views, I particularly like the photo with the billboard (don’t think it’s the actual word for it) For clarification, it’s the seventh photo!
    Naomi recently posted…Why I love MedellinMy Profile

    Reply
    • If you have any excuse to get to HK I would take it! It is a truly unique city. Casey is super excited you like the billboard photo!! It was one of the three shots she took on the entire trip compared to my 1,584 :-p

      Reply
  4. I have to admit that these skylines are quite impressing. We haven’t been to HK yet so these tips on where to get the best views will definitely be useful once we get there. Thank you so much for sharing them with us 🙂
    Franca recently posted…Shanghai Mansion Boutique Hotel, BangkokMy Profile

    Reply
    • The city is quite the sight to take in. I hope you make it to HK soon, it is a unique experience for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Wow! Stumbled upon your blog! And I was glad! The skyline – both daytime and night shots are gorgeous! Particularly loved the night shot under Avenue of stars!

    Reply
    • We’re glad too 🙂 Thanks for the kind words. The daytime skyline is impressive but the city really comes alive at night. A Symphony of Lights knows how to show off the city in style.

      Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback! It’s always encouraging to hear. I’m glad you liked ’em!

      Reply
  6. I have never been to Hong Kong, but now I really ant to go and due to your tips I aso know where to put my camera at work. 🙂
    James recently posted…3 Travel Tips for BackpackersMy Profile

    Reply
    • I hope you get the chance to check it out! Just make sure you bring an extra memory card (or two) for all the photos :-p

      Reply
    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the pics. I like the idea of faded backgrounds for portraits as well. It’s not always about where you are, but who you’re with 😉

      Reply
  7. What fabulous photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong especially for the cityscapes but you’ve made me quite determined now. My favourite skyline and cityscape will always be Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Mandy recently posted…Falling in Love With MostarMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you! So happy to hear that. We’ve yet to visit South Africa, but we have a ton of South African friends who also live in Taiwan. We’re quite keen now to add South Africa to our destination list, although I’ve never thought about the skyline before! We’ll definitely remember that if we go to Johanneburg-thanks!

      Reply
    • Thank you so much! We didn’t expect Hong Kong to be so beautiful either, so we were quite impressed. Also, congrats on your first half marathon! We’re currently training for our second marathon, although this time around we’re lacking a bit in motivation. You’ve inspired us to go out and do our long run now 🙂

      Reply
    • Thank you so much! We were so grateful that the sun came out a bit so we could actually appreciate the view from up there. I imagine it is just amazing on a clear day! If we ever go back we definitely want to spend more time hiking in the area.

      Reply
  8. That’s the kind of skyline that just begs to be photographed. I’d have done the same thing too and taken a gazillion pics!
    jill recently posted…Canada Adventure: Ontario and QuebecMy Profile

    Reply
    • It really is hard to put the camera down. Gotta love a good skyline. Do you have a personal favorite?

      Reply
  9. Fabulous photos, i love it ! I might have the chance to visit Hong Kong later this year, I’m even more looking forward to that now after having seen these amazing photos.
    Freya recently posted…Inca Trail Day 2 – Dead Woman’s PassMy Profile

    Reply
    • I hope you get the opportunity to go! I’m glad we could get you excited. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
    • Thanks so much Ed. We’re quite honored to have your favorable opinion… I was just telling Casey earlier today that I can’t stop reading your e-book From the Camera to the Computer. It is pretty hard to beat the Hong Kong skyline.

      Reply
  10. what a wonderful trip~

    Reply
    • Thanks Mario! We were lucky to have about 3 seconds of view before the fog covered everything again :-p The Avenue of Stars offers amazing views across the harbor during the day and at night.

      Reply
  11. Great pictures! It’s funny because they are just manmade buildings at the end of the day, but they are so mesmerizing. Of course I want to go to Hong Kong for the culture and the food and the history, but that skyline is probably #1 on my list, and thanks for the ideas on how to shoot it!

    Reply
  12. Hey! I’ve used one of your photos – the ferry crossing one – obviously I’ve fully credited you, but let me know if you have any problems with me reposting it! BEAUTIFUL photos by the way! <3

    Reply

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