22.3964° N, 114.1095° E
(taken from Braemar Hill)
Many if you ask me how to get to some spots in Hong Kong , here are 10 instagram worthy spots I’m loving at the moment which are less TYPICAL and less CROWDED than the usual suggestions (in order from least crowded, to most crowded with people), whats best is – they’re free to enter! Hong Kong is a small city, it’s pretty much my home but it’s packed with photo-worthy spots in every corner. Being small and compact also means you can get around much easier than in bigger countries. You may notice that a some of these places below require a hike, but hey! Its good for you and your wallet! It’s also a very good experience to see some trees and nature inside a city of skyscrapers, and 7million less humans than in the city! I will be uploading more locations once I get a better shot of them myself (as I like to keep my website fully my own photography) so come back for more soon ! 😀
1. Braemar Hill 寶馬山 22.1733°N 114.1217°E
This is one the easiest hikes with the best views of Hong Kong, bottom of North Point on Hong Kong Island, uncrowded every time I’ve been. It can be done during summer as it’s not hard, but during sunset hours on the Braemar Hill itself, it can be busy unless you climb higher.
Braemar Hill Taken August 2018
Details: A 2/10 difficulty mini hike, from start to finish will take about 2 hours, unfortunately you can’t drive to the best photography spots. The views are totally worth the 2 hours exercise(or a stroll to some) and you get a view of the harbour of both Hong Kong and Kowloon. Both day and night shots look amazing!
(Me trying to figure out which side I want to face – but I wanted to show you the view of Kowloon to the right)
How to get there : At Admiralty MTR, take a minibus 24M from outside exit A. Get off at the terminus at the Mount Butler Estate, start your walk/hike! It should take less than 2 hours and doesn’t require much fitness at all realistically (unless you do it in summer, then it might feel like a sauna).
2. Kowloon Peak/ Fei Ngo Shan, Suicide Peak 22.3333° N, 114.2167° E
Kowloon Peak or Fei Ngor Shan or Fei Ngo Shan is a 602 m (1,975 ft) tall mountain (second highest in all of Hong Kong).
Above shots taken October 2018
Suicide Rock Taken March 2o18
One of the most photogenic city view hikes, definitely my favourite hike in HK! You won’t regret coming here whether day or night if you’re a city lover. There won’t be crowds here fighting the same spot as you as it’s not easy to get up! Make sure you go on a clear day though otherwise you will be inside clouds!
Details: Difficult hike, 7/10 during winter, 10/10 difficult during summer due to heat and humidity – personally don’t advise you coming here just for the photo in summer months unless you are very fit! 8km hike, duration 4 hours. There is a climbing involved, you’re hair wont stay curly and you’re gel nails will get ruined. There are roads to the top so you can drive up there but you’ll still need to hike to get the best spots – such as Suicide Peak. Generally if you hike from Choi Hung side there are many view points and rocks which are photo-worthy. There is a helipad at the peak too surrounded by nothing if you’ve never stepped on a helipad before.
How to get there : Choi Hung MTR Station Exit A2, ride a Minibus 1 to Fei Ngo Shan Road, then hike to the top until you see a helipad, head down via the stairs to the left.
3. Hopewell centre (lift), Wan Chai 22.2746° N, 114.1718° E
Hopewell centre the 64 floor first circular skyscraper in Hong Kong, Wan Chai, 183 Queen’s Road East.
Details : Simply, the lift is magical! A clear glass lift reaching from the top 64th floor you will see this view. There are lifts in pretty every building across this sky-scraping country, but this is my favourite lift in Hong Kong!
(Hair so messy from the summer humidity)
How to get there: By MTR from central it is a 5 mins ride and then 10 mins walk from Exit A3 Wan Chai Station. Go to the 17th floor via any lift that goes to 17th floor to take take the ‘observation lift’, *VIOLAA* the doors will open and take you on a breathtaking ride to the top… and back down if you stay in. Please note: security do come in and join you if you are inside for too many ups and downs.
4. Temple Street View - Yau Ma Tei Carpark . 22.3091° N, 114.1704° E
Have you been to eat on Temple Street famous for the market and seafood stalls? Or to see a famous tarot on the tarot street (right infront of this carpark) about love, wealth and health? Temple Street is much more livelier at night, but my theme for IG is day shots so.. you can come here for beautiful night photography! (ps. my shot was taken via a portrait lens, a regularly lens will capture the whole of Temple Street and its details very well.)
Details: This shot is taken from Yau Ma Tei Carpark Building, which is right at the end or beginning of temple street, depending which side you start. Whilst you’re here, why not eat a dinner and shop around, and ask the tarot lady about your future?
How to get there: Jordan Mtr, get off following the signs of temple street. Look up and you will see a 7 floor story carpark. There are security here but since it’s a live carpark provided you don’t look dodgy or holding a few DSLR’s you will blend in with all the other people who have parked here and are going to collect their car. Go inside the lift and head to either floor 3 for the best view!
5. Ma Wan 22.3501° N, 114.0592° E (Between Lantau Island and Tsing Yi Island, under Tsing Ma Bridge)
Have you seen the long bridge on the way from Hong Kong airport into the city?
Details : This little hidden island with a massive Noah’s Ark boat and a perfect view of Tsing Ma Bridge! The bridge is the 11th longest span suspension bridge in the world, stretching from Tsing Yi to Ma Wan / Lantau Island.
On this island, you can also enjoy a less crowded beach (Tung Wan Beach), Noah’s Ark resort, and explore the Ma Wan abandon village.
How to get there :
- Ferry from Central Pier (Hong Kong island) – ferry services operate to Park Island from Central Pier 2 on Hong Kong Island at approx 15/30 minutes frequency until about midnight. The journey time to Park Island takes about 25 minutes.
- Bus routes serving Park Island from Tsing Yi MTR Station, Hong Kong International Airport, Tsuen Wan Bus Terminus Mong Kok MOKO and Kwai Fong
- Taxi – Approximate fares, from Central district HK$240, Hong Kong International Airport HK$130.
6. Ap Lei Chau/ Ap Lei Pai (hike) 22.2312° N, 114.1607° E
Begin at Ap Lei Chau (mountain), go up and over towards Ap Lei Pai (the smaller island). This hike is located at the South of Hong Kong island, you may have seen photos like these in Greece (Mykonos) and Bali (Nusa Penida Island). This hike is also well known for sunset photos!
Details : Yes again its a hike! People say 4/10, I found it pretty tricky as I went on a rainy day in summer, back then i found it a 6/10 as its very steep and very easy to slip (no stairs, all mud or rocks)! There were ropes along the hike as it can get slippery, especially if you try to reach the smaller island – which can be a fun scramble!
However this place is super convenient to access, and this hike gives you many things in one place: adventure, beach, island views, skyscraper shots, scrambling, rappelling, panoramic views, sunset views… Approx 3 hours loop hike, but stay for sunset if you can!
How to get there : Take the MTR to Lei Tung station, take exit B and walk to Lei Tung Estate Bus Terminal to begin the hike. Behind the wooden benches climb up and then jump over the fence, then take the stairs to the left. Climb up the mountain using the left trail with a rope, or the right trail without a rope – more challenging.
To get back down, go back the way you came! And you shall see this view:
7. Montane Mansion, Quarry Bay 22.2842° N, 114.2120° E
Details : This is a very typical one everyone goes to. Located on 1028 King’s Rd, Quarry Bay (Hong Kong Island) or the coordinates on google maps above will lead you to this hidden complex on main road, but there are many entrances to reach here. The beauty of Hong Kong to me really lies in these older housing estates where you can really see tight complex housing and local standards of living. There are many local shops and residents walking around, as well as living in these complexes so you do need to respect them.
I have tried taking both night and days shots, this area is a very photogenic place for photographers so you can also try both day and night! My shot above is taken on a raised floor where you won’t get other people in your shot!
How to get there : You can walk around 5 minutes either from Quarry Bay MTR station or Tai Koo MTR Station – around same distance from either, both stations are on the blue Hong Kong island line, approx half an hour on the MTR from Central.
8. Victoria Peak 22.2759° N, 114.1455° E
One of the main attractions for Hong Kong is always the famous Victoria Peak. There are restaurants and shops at the top, the Peak Tram is actually an attraction so some money can be spent on these for your day out! Despite the crowd, you can’t come to Hong Kong and not have visited Victoria Peak!
Details : You can get up here easily via taxi, tram or a bus if you don’t want to walk up the free way! It takes about 1 hour to walk up, with some scenic spots in-between. Very easy during the winter I’d say 2/10, slightly harder during summer due to heat and humidity. It’s pretty busy all year round but people come and go quickly so you can still get a good shot alone.
Please note the photo was taken on a hazy day :(! It would look much better on a clear day – for better pictures type Victoria Peak into Google images xD
How to get there:
- Walk up (2/10 difficulty) – start from exiting at J2 from MTR Central Station ( red line) , head towards the tram for the Peak, say bye to the queue and walk up following the main road. The walk is around 1.5hr, coming back down takes about 45 mins.
- From MTR Central Station Exit J2, take the Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road
- Bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus (near MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit D)
- Minibus 1 from the public transport interchange at MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit E
- Take a taxi
9.Choi Hung Estate 22.3355° N, 114.2038° E
One of the oldest estates in Hong Kong, the buildings were painted like a rainbow to uplift resident spirits. You will see residents around or playing basketball in the area as it is their homes – no loud music please!
How to get there: Take the MTR to Choi Hung station on the Kwun Tong line, then take the C3 or C4 exit. You will see about 11 estate buildings, with a large carpark in the middle. The famous basketball court is at the top of this carpark, walk up a few levels to the top and you will see many other people snapping away for their IG!
10. Sai Wan swimming shed, Mount Davis (Kennedy Town) 22.2773° N, 114.1227° E
Details: This is a real swimming shed.. you’ll see some locals bringing their dogs and jump off it and go swimming, whilst girls are always here taking photoshoots. I havn’t been here for a while since nowadays its very popular and gets very packed, but it was a perfect place to watch sunset for me once! The view is from Kennedy Town Hong Kong island, with a view of Kowloon stretching across to Tsing Yi.
How to get there: From Kennedy Town MTR station, take Exit A to the bus terminus, you’ll find green Minibus no. 58 that will get you there in under 30 minutes, the stop is on the middle of a road going up Victoria Road, you may need to use Google Maps to check when to stop to be precise. A single trip will cost 6.90HKD on the mini bus. You can also walk for about 15-20 mins from Kennedy Town.
BONUS HIDDEN SPOT. Shek Kip Mei Estates, Pak Tin Carpark 22.3338° N, 114.1674° E
Details: Currently the area is mix of new estates and some old. Some of the carpark rooftops (Pak Tin Carpark) will be knocked down and rebuilt this year so are less tight on security as the rest of HK may be. This location has been known to many as the ‘abandoned carpark in SSP’. You can see some history of the estates built from the 1960’s and some local life and estate parks at Nam Shan Estate just down the road from the MTR station. – August 2018 update, I’ve been told this is now blocked and being prepared to be knocked down!
How to get there: Take the bus 104 from Sheung Wan, Central, or Mong Kok to Pak Tin Estate, get off at its final stop Pak Tin Estate. You will see a carpark to its left, which looks half empty as the area is being knocked down. Walk or take lift to top, which is only 3 or 4 levels high, at the top you will see some breathtaking shooting angles.
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