As a photographer, every trip I take has, for a rather substantial part unfortunately, time reserved for photography reasons. Whether it’s for food photography or travel and landscape photography, I love a good hunt for the best spots wherever I am. As I’ve been to Hong Kong quite a few times already and I am familiar with the places, I thought I’d take you with my on a little photography trip this time.
I partnered up with Cathay Pacific recently and went searching for my top photography spots in Hong Kong (where you’re guaranteed a money shot). Even if you’re not a photographer, taking these shots will make you a winner in your circles. Now, when photographing in Hong Kong, you’re going to want to take a wide angle lens with you. With the high-rises and old architecture, you want the streets to fill your frame! My Canon 17-40mm f4.0 L lens always goes into my travel bag and this lens has proven to be unmissable when photographing Hong Kong. There’s a lot of places I could have included, but I’ve tried to narrow down the list to a couple of top photography spots that you may have seen before here or there and have always wondered where they were taken. Mind you, these spots are so popular, that they’re often crowded by photographers or Instagrammers. Just make sure you go early in the morning to avoid the crowds!
1./ Yick Fat Building in Quarry Bay
This is an iconic shot of a residential building Yick Fat in Quarry Bay. On Google Maps you’ll find another building of the same name in Kowloon but you want to have the one on Hong Kong Island. Take the MTR to Quarry Bay and walk along King’s Road until you have reached number 1048 (here on maps). It’s a little secluded in a very residential area. Walk into one of the corridors leading to the courtyard, where you’ll see the U-shaped building from the center. Take the photo with your wide angle lens and try to capture as much of the building as you can – all the tiny details of laundry hanging, the open windows, the ac’s! I’ve been meaning to go back to this place at night to capture a night shot at this exact location. I may save that for my next trip!
2./ Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill
This is perhaps far less crowded and less popular but the contrast between the old and new and bustling and serene is nowhere as visible in Hong Kong as in this park. You’ll find Nan Lian Garden here on Google Maps. I visited the park for the first time back in November and thought it was one of the most beautiful parks I’ve seen so far. It’s a garden built in the Tang dynasty style (lots of ornaments, golds and reds) that may be the most peaceful part of Hong Kong you can find. It may not be as familiar to the crowd as the other spots in this post (still very much crowded with photographers though), but I’ve been asked about this place so much, I knew I had to include it here.
3./ Choi Hung Estate in Wong Tai Sin
The Choi Hung Estate is one of the oldest public housing estates in Hong Kong and wildly popular among Instagrammers especially. Can you blame them? The vibrant exterior, in a rainbow of colors, attracts many photographers, both young and old. Of all the spots, this is where I had to queue up to take a photograph. You can come here by MTR but I took an Uber to find this place (it was rainy that day and thought taking an Uber would be less of a hassle with all the camera gear I was packing). You can find it here on Google Maps. The spot is located above the car park so walk up a few stairs to find this place (but it’s definitely a money shot!).
4./ Cultural Centre corridors
Also a favorite among photographers is the outside corridors at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (here on Google Maps). The place may be as normal as ever to regular folk, but to photographers, the corridors create a stunning V-shape when you catch the right angle. I love a good black & white photo and this shot is perfect in high contrast. It’s very minimal, so this is one for the abstract lovers out there!
5./ Vertical horizons in Mid-Levels
The other photos above have been captured a gazillion times by photographers already. We’re capturing what has already been found. But this is one tip where I’m going to ask you to go out and capture your own photo. Hong Kong has a number of suspended bridges where you can take stunning long shots of the narrow streets and high-rises framing them. I still have a couple of bridges on my list I have to visit. Don’t care about finding a bridge? Head up to the Mid-Levels Escalators (here on Google Maps) and shoot your vertical horizons there. I have collected quite a few of these photos over the years and every time I find the photos as stunning as the old long-shots I’ve captured.
6./ China Hong Kong City Building in Tsim Sha Tsui
The China Hong Kong City building with its beautiful golden towers. This is one that was a little bit harder to find but don’t worry, I’m going to tell you exactly where to go (here on Google Maps)! This is also one of those iconic shots you’ve seen and you’ve probably found its location, but when you arrive there, it’s not the way you have seen it in photos. The golden towers aren’t opposing each other when you’re on the ground level. What you want to do is go up to the upper levels and walk out to find the golden towers. If your Cantonese is as bad as mine, don’t bother asking for the upper levels (it’s a maze inside the mall) but instead ask for the Royal Pacific Hotel, walk up to the lobby and there, walk out the door. Look up, and there’s your shot. The day I went it was raining like hell. I waited a good hour for the sky to clear up to take my shots. Walk around the towers to find your best angle! The shot is even better when you go at golden hour (but you can expect more photographers there then).
7./ Innovation Tower in Hung Hom
I’m a big fan of Zaha Hadid. If only we had a building by Zaha’s design in the Netherlands (I know I would spend hours exploring). Hong Kong has the Zaha Hadid Jockey Club Innovation Tower located in Hung Hom (here on Google Maps). The day I went it was raining cats and dogs so I wasn’t able to take a good exterior shot. But walk inside the building and you’ll find lots of beautiful angles as well. Below are just some of the amazing shapes within the building. Iconic photos as well as this is a popular shot among photographers as well. It is a university but don’t be afraid to sneak in and take a photo or two. I’m sure they’re used to it by now!
Alright that concludes my top photography spots Hong Kong post! Which one of these is your favorite? Have you visited these places already? And what would you like me to visit next time? Let me know in the comments down below!