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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?