22.3964° N, 114.1095° E
(Braemar Hill, blue hour)
Many if you ask me how to get to the locations I’ve shot in Hong Kong, here I’m sharing 16 instagram worthy spots which are less TYPICAL and less CROWDED than your average tourist spot for you to get a shot with yourself in. What’s best is – they’re all free to enter!
Hong Kong is a small city but it’s packed with so many beautiful photo-worthy spots. Being small and compact also means you can get around much easier than in bigger countries. It’s a city where you can find tropical sunsets and city skyscrapers together. I am constantly updating this for more locations and when places get closed down, so come back for more soon ! 😀
1. Braemar Hill 寶馬山 22.1733°N 114.1217°E
This is one the easiest hikes and most asked locations, 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.
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!
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. Garden Hill, Sham Shui Po 22.3348° N, 114.1641° E
Where concrete meets jungle, a hidden little garden where you can look over the city, only a small flight of stairs away.
How to get there: Exit D2 at Sham Shui Po MTR Station, walk towards Pak Tin Estate, turn left to find Berwick street, and to find Mei Ho House. You will see a sign pointing towards stairs for Garden Hill on Mei Ho House grounds. Walk up the stairs for another 10 minutes to reach an empty shot to shoot! At night you will find many photographers trying to get some good night city shots.
3. The Air - The One, Tsim Sha Tsui 22.2998° N, 114.1726° E
If you watch TVB, you may recognise this place in many of their dramas. Situated half way inside well known The One mall, you can sit here for as long as you want to watch sunset or spend time with someone special.
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Location: Via MTR, get off at TST Exit B1 for The One, take the lift to level 16 inside the mall, as soon as you leave the lift you will step out into this view!
Reminds me of the Burj Khalifa windows right?
4. Chung Wui Mansion, Wan Chai's Flat Iron 2°16′30″N 114°10′11″E
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Can you believe there are proposals for demolishing the trams on Hong Kong island?! 🚎 When @molllified first said she wanted to shoot here.. My first reaction was – WE ARE GOING TO DIE – but she was a VERY good photographer so it was super quick and safe, no one even honked! 👗@kissablebella 📸 @molllified
Wan Chai’s multi-coloured ‘flat iron’ will definitely add some colour to your feed!
Location: This was taken on the intersection of Johnston Road and Wan Chai Road, the ‘flat iron’ building is called the Chung Wui Mansion. Please note: watch out for all cars and trams!
5. Montane Mansion (Monster Building), Quarry Bay 22.2842° N, 114.2120° E
Details: Most people recall this scene from Transformers, and have named it ‘Monster Building’. 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. Since this is a residential area, remember to respect their homes and lower the noise as it echoes very high up! The beauty of Hong Kong to me really lies in these older housing estates where you can really see tight complex homes and standards of living.
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.
6.Tamar Park 22.2816° N, 114.1658° E
One of the cutest and EASIEST places to reach for sunset, no hiking or stairs required to reach this spot – yet not many people shoot here! An open area right next to AIA, where you can also watch dogs run and join yoga classes.
7. Kowloon Peak/ Fei Ngo Shan, Suicide Peak 22.3333° N, 114.2167° E
My favourite hike of all time – Kowloon Peak or Fei Ngor Shan or Fei Ngo Shan standing 602m (1,975 ft) second highest mountain in Hong Kong.
Above shots taken October 2018, clear day
The most photogenic city view hike in my opinion, with alot of climbing over large rocks and even a helicopter pad! 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 BUT it’s not easy to get up, in the summer it can be pretty difficult! 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 – 5 hours. There is climbing involved, you’re hair wont stay curly and you’re gel nails will probably get ruined. There are roads to the top so you can drive up to certain spots, 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.
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 of the helipad.
8. West Kowloon Park 22.3010°N 114.1550°E
I’ve always wandered why it’s so quiet here, considering the views this place offers. This is one of my favourite places to have a picnic or chill with a view. West Kowloon Park is a very peaceful park with a great view of the Harbour and Hong Kong island. To me, the view is much better than IG pier. After renovation this year and re-opening there are no more scaffoldings, so you can enjoy the clean view of the Harbour!
How to get there: Take the MTR to Kowloon Station, and walk across the footbridge to reach West Kowloon Park.
9. Banyan Tree Roots – Kennedy Town 22°16′52″N 114°07′43″E
Trees that have been growing since the Second World War on Forbes Street, just look at them roots! Are you here to find your roots like me?
Location: When you come out of the Forbes Street exit A of Kennedy Town MTR station, simply turn left, then you arrive at the beginning of a whole street of wall trees!
10. Hopewell centre (lift), Wan Chai 22.2746° N, 114.1718° E
Hopewell Centre, this 64 floor first circular skyscraper in Hong Kong, Wan Chai is situated at 183 Queen’s Road East.
Details: Simply, the lift is magical! If you stay inside the clear glass lift from the top 64th floor you will see this view. There are lifts in pretty much every building across this sky-scraping country, but this is my favourite lift in Hong Kong!
How to get there: 10 mins walk from Exit A3 Wan Chai Station, with signs to Hopewell Centre, you should also be able to see the tall building from miles away. 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 rides.
11. Temple Street View - Yau Ma Tei Carpark . 22.3091° N, 114.1704° E
Have you been to eat on Temple Street? Famous mostly for the market and seafood stalls, or maybe to see a famous tarot on the tarot street (right in-front of this carpark) about love, wealth and health? Temple Street is much more livelier at night.
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: After getting off at Jordan MTR station, follow the signs to Temple Street. Look up to one side and you will see a 7 floor story carpark, if you don’t, it is probably on the other end of Temple Street!
12. 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 is hidden under the Tsing Ma bridge, you may have seen Noah’s Ark Boat when passing on the bridge before. The bridge is the 11th longest span suspension bridge in the world, stretching from Tsing Yi to Ma Wan / Lantau Island, and most looks beautiful at night.
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.
13. 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:
14. Victoria Peak 22.2759° N, 114.1455° E
One of the main attractions for Hong Kong, and an every tourist-must, is the famous Victoria Peak. There are restaurants and shops at the top, the Peak Tram is actually an attraction so I would recommend it if it’s your first time!
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
15.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!
16. 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 then go swimming, whilst girls are also taking some photoshoots. Although now it has become quite touristy there are still times when it is less busy, such as sunrise hours. 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 both old and new buildings. 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, this is now blocked and being prepared to be knocked down!
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