Hong Kong’s most photogenic places
Besides mouthwatering bites, Hong Kong is the Asian “concrete jungle where dreams are made of”, where urban photographers can definitely get their fill of towering flats packed tightly together and quaint streets winding up and down the Hong Kong hills. Here are my top 10 picks for ‘Gram-worthy spots in Hong Kong and how to get there with your Octopus card.
Getting around with your Octopus Card
The Hong Kongers use their Octopus card for everything, from public transport to paying for meals. Getting mine via Klook was so convenient – just cart out whenever (you can do it anytime, even right before redemption) and pull out the QR code from your Klook app when you’re ready to redeem. Collection at the Hong Kong International Airport was seamless, the booth staff spoke English so don’t worry about mangling your Cantonese!
1. The Peak
For the proverbial bird’s eye view of the city, the Victoria Peak is a must-see. The historical tram is currently under maintenance till July, but we got up via minibus and the journey was comfortable and convenient.
We booked tickets via Klook and it allowed us to enter via a fast track line! We met up with the guide at the pickup point, showed her our QR code and she brought us right up. They also directed us to a great lookout point, which wasn’t overly crowded when we were there at 6pm.
There’s an easy way to get down the mountain by taking the public bus 15, just tap your Octopus card to pay the HKD12 fare.
Address: The Peak, Hong Kong Island
Opening hours: 7am-12am 27 & 28 July 11am – 11pm
How to get there: (to the pick-up point) Walk 7 minutes from Central MTR station towards the Central Public Pier
2. Observation Wheel
A ride on the Observation Wheel gives you a view of mainland Hong Kong on one side, and the Hong Kong Island (where you are) on the other.
This comes complimentary when you book The Peak tickets on Klook! Talk about value-for-money. Otherwise, you can also book this on its own if you’re not going to The Peak.
Address: 33 Man Kwong St, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 11am-11pm
How to get there: Walk 7 minutes from Central MTR station towards the Central Public Pier
3. Choi Hung Estate
This cute location is VERY popular among Instagrammers. Expect to have people hijacking your shot so turn the camera angle upwards to avoid that. The place to shoot from is on the roof-top of the multi-storey car-park, where the basketball courts are.
Remember to book your SIM cards via Klook (collect at the airport) so that you can show-off your location on Instagram Stories!
Address: 2 Tse Wai Ave, Ngau Chi Wan, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 5.30am-10.30pm
How to get there: Walk 3 minutes from Choi Hung MTR station
4. Yik Cheong “Monster” Building
I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of this behemoth making its rounds on Instagram. Again, a popular Instagram spot but the space for a photo-op is much, much smaller than the roof at Choi Hung. Thankfully, everyone’s really polite and would queue up to have a go.
Please do take note that this is ultimately a residential space (there are banners discouraging photography, videography and the climbing/jumping poses that come with these shoots) so be cautious and respect the people living there by not being rowdy and try to be as discreet and quiet as possible! Wouldn’t want them to cordon off the area in future!
Address: Yik Cheong Building, King’s Rd, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
How to get there: Walk 6 minutes from Tai Koo MTR station
5. Blue House
This striking blue reminded me of my trip to Chefchaouen, Morocco, where all the houses are painted a bright blue to ward off mosquitoes (alleged by my informal street guide). Also, it’s just cute! The stark blue shade on this Blue House is offset by the bright yellow and orange of its neighbors’ walls, making for such a fun, bright picture.
Psst, this building has also been honored by UNESCO with an Award of Excellence (aka the BEST) for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Address: 2-74A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10am-6pm
How to get there: Walk 7 minutes from Wan Chai MTR station
6. TramORamic tour
This has been one of my favorite things to have done in Hong Kong! The heritage tram we ride in is the 3rd version of the cabled vehicle that services Hong Kong (there have been 7 models over the years). The audio tour (earphones provided) was very informative and interesting. I absolutely loved the tram driver, who offers to take photos for everyone. No fear if you’re taking the tour alone!
The locals affectionately call the tram “ding ding” because of the bells that are used to warn pedestrians in the way of the tram. The tour takes about 1-1.5 hours and is basically a trigger-happy session for me. We really got to see many different buildings, from colonial to contemporary.
If you can’t get enough of the ding ding, the TramORamic tour on Klook also includes a GOLDEN TICKET that gives you free tram rides for that day and the next. Ride until you shiok!
Opening hours: Rides from Western Market Termimus: 10:30am, 2:00pm, 4:25pm
Rides from Causeway Bay Termimus: 11:40am, 3:10pm, 5:40pm
How to get there: Western Market Terminus pickup point – Walk 2 minutes from Sheung Wan MTR station
Causeway Bay pickup point – Walk 4 minutes from Central MTR station
Another way to see the city (for cheap) is to hop on the upper deck of their public buses. The air-conditioned comfort was such a welcome respite from walking the crowded streets of Mongkok. Seeing the neon signs (at Nathan Road) at dusk was so much more peaceful this way.
How to get there: Take bus 112 from Nathan Road, which is a 2 minutes’ walk from Mongkok MTR station.
I’d been walking the whole day in 34-degree heat, so retreating into this (air-conditioned!!) herbal tea shop was a welcome treat. I went for almond paste (my favourite) and a detox tea (really nasty but it’s good for health). They also serve authentic herbal jelly but I was too full to try it. Next time, for sure.
Taihe Tang Liang Tea 泰和堂涼茶館
Address: 105 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10am-1am
How to get there: Walk 9 minutes from Mong Kok MTR station
8. 268 Queens Road Central
This building is MAJOR adorable. Besides the obvious millennial pink façade that’s a perfect photo-spot, I really love the way diagonal lines interplay here. Walk up the stairs on the left for more views and walls to take your OOTDs at.
How to get there: Walk 5 minutes from Sheung Wan MTR station.
9. Central Mid-Level Escalators
Extending across more than 800m of Hong Kong’s hilly streets, the Central Mid-Levels Escalator is the longest outdoor covered escalator walkway system in the world. Pop off at regular intervals in the stretch to explore surrounding streets of Central.
Address: Jubilee St, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10.15am-12am
How to get there: Walk 7 minutes from Central MTR station
10. Chung Wui Mansion
This is an absolute gem I stumbled upon when walking to a cha chaan teng (tea room/bistro) near my hotel. How is it not more popular on Instagram?? (A quick hashtag check shows 43 posts, the geotag has a miserly 6)
This building is almost like a Wes Anderson version of NYC’s Flat Iron. The pastels are gorgeous. Wait for a shot where a ding ding can bumble along from the right side. You saw it here first.
Address: 176A-176D Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How to get there: Walk 5 minutes from Wan Chai MTR station.