Impressions of Hong Kong Island

My first day out in Hong Kong Island– sun shining, blue water, energetic bustle of people.  I remembered why on my first visit five years ago, I had boldly stated that I wanted to move to Hong Kong.  Hasn’t happened yet, but maybe one day…

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175 thoughts on “Impressions of Hong Kong Island

  1. cavepainter says:

    Very good photos. When I went to hong kong a few years ago I went to a vegetarian Indian restaurant in kowloon that was very good. I’m pretty sure it was in kowloon, since that was where my hotel was and I remember walking there. 🙂

    • Risa Roe says:

      Thank you~ I would have loved to get some Indian while I was there (also staying in Kowloon) but alas, no time!

  2. I went to HK few years back for 4 days. I’m yearning to comeback to HK asap!

  3. I have always thought Hong Kong was such a visually stunning city. Loved your images.

  4. WOW! Such incredible movement in your photos — there’s something entirely captivating about your perspective.

    Good luck on making the move … someday! 🙂

  5. I worked in Hong Kong for a temporary job for 3 months when I was 18. But I cannot understand why you would go to HK to eat Indian when there is a world of fresh amazing chinese food on every corner, outside noodle bars, restaurants on ‘junks’ and incredible seafood on the outlying islands. If you want indian surely go to India??!

    • psychanaut says:

      Wrong. Best food in HK is the Indian, Thai, Malaysian..

      • I wasn’t suggesting that Chinese food was the best, but that when travelling on short stop-overs, the action of immersing yourself in the indigenous culture is the most honest and representative form of travel!

    • rAj says:

      Indian food is available everywhere.
      Just like Chinese, Italian, South American
      Why even suggest that one should go to India?

      • Because this post was meant to be an insight of Hong Kong – and for anyone spending a short-stay in HongKong, and for anyone not having visited there, it would be FAR more interesting to be given a view of local indigenous food, and not a flippin Indian take-away which is not truly representational of the indigenous culture of the country. One can download images of Hong Kong easily on the internet, so what is this post saying that tells me about the true local culture of Hong Kong. Nothing! Go to India to learn about indian culture or be an armchair Indian take-away eater and never visit the country. Get a life and travel properly!

    • politicalgraffiti says:

      If you want true Hong Kong food you must go to Toronto. Lots of Indians live and work in Hong Kong, thus part of the current culture.

      • Everyone has missed the point. I am not talking about where one can get the ‘best’ of any particular cuisine. Lots of Indians live in Paris and are part of the culture too but it doesn’t mean that If I were writing a post about Paris I would make such a big deal about the Indian food there. I can get excellent French cuisine in London, maybe I should skip Paris for the french experience and go to the UK instead. I recommend you all try Bradford UK – I bet that knocks spots off the HK indian food. There are more indians and Pakistanis per capita than any other nationality and there it will be truly authentic ….and of course totally representative of British culture as a whole.

  6. eLearning says:

    This is a great blog! Would you mind if I used some of the pics for my own?

  7. Jon Becker says:

    I love HK…went there the last two summers. I love the view of the island from The Peak!

  8. McKenna says:

    I have interned in Hong Kong for the past few summers and I will be there for 8 weeks this summer as well! I so look forward to my stay and your photos made me that much more excited to go in a few months. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your post today!

  9. Snapshooter says:

    The second one? Absolutely stunning! The way those gorgeous buildings fade back into that ethereal misty fog, with the sharply contrasted ship in the foreground? Just brilliant!

  10. Raaj Trambadia says:

    Gr8 pics !! I never knew about those Red Cabs in Hong Kong !! To be honest, I never knew much about Hong Kong anyways 😛

    Nice post anyways …!! Cheers

    And please check out my latest post –

    And even my new PhotoBlog –

  11. Carlie Chew says:

    Great pictures! I love the photo of everyone downtown standing at the crosswalk.

  12. Good shots.I find photographing cities with lots of tall buildings awkward at the best of times but you did a good job here.

  13. Great pictures of Hong Kong! Love your picture of the Lippo Centre koalas! I think I remember exactly where you are standing by the taxi line in front of Citibank Tower. I used to get cabs there on the way home every night after work! 🙂

  14. Momina Mela says:

    I lived in Kowloon for a year and a half as a child and I absolutely loved looking at these pictures especially the red cabs and crisp looking buildings.

  15. Nice, clean shots! Congrats on being freshly published!

  16. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos. Connie

  17. Janice Heck says:

    Great photos. I lived in Hong Kong for seven years and worked at Hong Kong International School. My favorite downtown sight was the red and yellow double happiness trolleys. They always made me chuckle. I love the double happiness symbol.

  18. neverending1 says:

    The third photo could pass as Florida.

  19. Great photographs-they give me amazing insight into how a visit to Hong Kong would be. By looking at your photographs-I get the feeling that Hong Kong is a city that has a mix of bustling, wonderful city life along with some serenity in a unique way. The architecture is very clean, straight and has a certain edge to it. In the future, I would love to visit Hong Kong and many other amazing places in the World-there is an abundance of beauty, History and culture in various places.

  20. Almost like Sao Paulo Brasil

  21. Yes, first impressions always best in terms of casting a fresh eye. I arrived in Hong Kong 1997 just before the handover and wrote a series of articles about my (cinematic, social and personal) impressions of the place for the Dutch film journal Skrien. Originally in Dutch, I’ve just posted English language versions here. Seeing the man with the face mask in your photo also reminded me of living through the SARS (Severe Atypical Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in Hong Kong in 2003; then everybody wore masks – very scary! Now, I think many people there wear them against the pollution.

  22. LAURIKA says:

    Went to HK twice last 2008 and last November 2011, and still wanna come back! Awesome place and can’t forget about the food in Cafe Coral!

  23. roberto88264 says:

    Fantastic photos. Great blog. I’ve never been, but now you’re inspiring me to want to go. Thanks for sharing. Greetings from Italy.

  24. joanierobi says:

    Great pics! i love HK – some of the best food I’ve ever had. For me the best part was that (as opposed to Europe) when you go to Asia things feel different enough to make you feel like you’re realllly travelling – you know? Anyway, congrats on being FPd! Nice post 🙂

  25. I went to Hong Kong in 2007 for a college study of urban China. I loved it. There was a lot of noise among the cultural aspects (street vendors, mainly), but I learned about community activism and social issues. I want to return there in the next couple of years.

  26. Barneysday says:

    First of about 50 trips to Hong Kong was long before the island was taken over by the Chinese, when it was still under British rule. Very interesting dynamics then. The old airport was still the only way to fly in, and the arriving airliners actually flew between buildings on final approach. As a passenger, you could look out your window directly into people’s apartments or factories.

    Used to be an old chinese term, “Qualo” that was a derogatory name for the british. At the time, Hong Kong harbor was the busiest in the world, with over 600 arrivals and departures every day. Worked in Lai Chi Kok, toured kowloon and the island, shopped in Stanley, and visited Victorias Peak for cooling off on hot days. Stayed in Tsim Shau Tsui. Great place to visit.

    Thanks for sharing

  27. PepperBento says:

    Some lovely shots here Risa, I love how you’ve managed to capture the buildings and their height.


  28. gemmafottles says:

    Love these pictures. I was in Hong Kong a couple of years ago for a few days. Loved it, but was a bit overwhelmed – it was the last few days of a two month backpacking trip, funds were low, and my due to the 24756294867th pair of sunglasses of the trip being lost yet again, was constantly blinded. But would love to go back and do it properly. With my 24756294868th pair of sunglasses.

  29. Food Porn-er says:

    I was there a week ago! And already I am longing to go back!

  30. pnwauthor says:

    So that’s what a high density city looks like. Beautiful city, but too vertical for my taste. Your photographs are amazing.

  31. Risa Roe says:

    Thanks everyone for looking! Just got off the night train in Guilin, China to see I had 115 emails… was a bit surprised. Glad to see so many people have fond memories of Hong Kong.

  32. Amazing photos. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  33. Haven’t seen Tongluowan (Causeway Bay) that empty in quite a while. Curious, from the looks of the photos, did you take the ferry to Wan Chai, and then walk from Causeway Bay to Central? Was “IMG_0930” taken in Wan Chai?

    • Risa Roe says:

      Hah, yeah that is about what I did. I’m not sure where that image was taken, I was a bit lost that day just wandering around for hours getting lost in my thoughts… I’m not sure, but it might have been taken around Hong Kong Park?

    • IMG_930 is taken in Causewaybay. That is the Time Square Building in the background.

  34. fkellerboyle says:

    I’m on my first visit to Hong Kong. It’s a great city with tons to do. In just a few days I’ve been able to see a world-class stage production, visit historical sights, and attend a fashion show for local designers. Thanks for sharing the great pictures!

  35. Amy says:

    Those are some great photos! I too have made the bold statement that I’ll one day move to Hong Kong. What a dream. 🙂 I miss this place so much!

  36. csquaredetc says:

    These are fantastic photos, but when were they taken? I’ve been in HK for a month now (albeit in the New Territories) and I haven’t seen the sun outside for several weeks! :/

  37. mabukach says:

    Excellent pics, Risa. Very nice work.

  38. jvlivs says:

    Reminds me of Toronto back in the 80s. Tho I haven’t been since then, I’ve heard that it’s skyrocketed since then-unlike my town (Detroit).

    I love these pics of HK. It’s everything a metropolis should be!

    • Risa Roe says:

      I totally agree with that– HK is so compact, yet at the same time seems so livable. Great mix of nationalities, cheap public transportation, lots to see and do.

  39. I fell in love with HK the first time I came here in 1999. I visited with my husband in 2010 & 2011 and he fell in love with HK as well.

    We moved here in Aug 2011 and it has been the best adventure since. It has offered me a new perspective of the world and made me appreciate life that much more. It was also my motivation to start a blog(I just posted my 100th entry) and I am currently working on a book.

  40. Collin Myers says:

    Intense! Some really great photos as well…

  41. Ashley says:

    I love this set of photos! You captured my home city very nicely 🙂 I’m feeling a bit homesick right now!

    If you’re still staying in Hong Kong for a while, don’t forget to check out Sai Kung for great seafood. The Tai Po area has some delicious and cheap food too. Let me know if you want some more details, I would love to help you with that! Have fun for your remaining time in Hong Kong 😀

    – Ashley

    • Risa Roe says:

      Thank you! I’m not in HK anymore, but I did visit Sai Kung, and also Lamma Island. And still there’s so much to see!

  42. This place looks amazing..I would love to visit there one day!!

  43. Hong Kong.. Phooey! those are good!

  44. go eat spicy crab under the bridge!!

  45. Sarah Harris says:

    These are awesome! I visited Hong Kong in 1986 and have wanted to see it now that it “changed hands” but haven’t been able to go. A lot has changed! But I loved the combo of the very old and very modern!

  46. Ricky Leong says:

    Thanks for sharing these pix. I will have to visit one day.

  47. signature103 says:

    Great snaps of HK. I can almost smell the place … aaaahhh … the smell of …. Hong Kong.

  48. Andrew says:

    I moved here in 1997 just before the great chinese takeaway. Its a fabulous place but there is so much more than the island and Kowloon – well worth exploring the New Territories. We live in Sai Kung and its a lovely town, known as HK’s back garden. Your pictures are excellent.

  49. Wow! You’re photos make a lot of “impact” – really great job.

  50. specpro says:

    You’ve captured our city wonderfully

  51. Sum says:

    Beautifully captured photos.

  52. Nice pictures!!! I have been to Hong Kong once.That was 1 year ago.We had visited the Victoria Harbour & Avenue of Stars,it was so beautiful there!but we just stay the for a daytime.I Must visit all of the city next time !!!

  53. Lovely Photos. I’ve never been, one day hopefully!

  54. Love love love HK! one of my favorite cities. The energy and sophistication is unmatched anywhere in Asia, in my opinion.

  55. i.Loooove these pics! Looks just like NYC but with red cabs!

  56. Incredible composition in those photos, really impressive!

  57. Like you, I vowed to move there one day when I first went in 2007. Not happened yet, but I did manage to get back there last year for my honeymoon. Such variety – I love the outlying islands.

  58. Katie Miao Yuanyuan says:

    Welcome to Hong Kong!

  59. Jessica Hill says:

    Gorgeous photos! I’m going there in May so I’m even more excited after seeing what I have to look forward to.

  60. Great, it is like being there ………..

  61. Paulo Loreto says:

    Those photos are wonderful. I’d like to visit HK one day. Hopefully, sooner than later!

  62. Great photos, capture the heart of the place. My mum is going there tonight 🙂

  63. Michele LMS says:

    Impressive images! You have a great eye! . . . I felt the same about Hong Kong when I visited years ago: an “energetic bustle of people.”

  64. Wonderful “pitchures”, get it? haha :), nvm… I would really like to visit HK but I’ll do it when my living conditions are better (look at my blog to know more :P), anyways that’s basically my thoughts revolving this post, good writing though and I hope you get to visit HK again! 🙂

  65. goji berry says:

    Beautiful photos, Risa Roe. It brings back such fond memories as the husband and I lived there for 8 and 6 years respectively, about 15 years ago. We won’t forget the ferries, the daily sweat in the MTR during spring and summer, the screechy buses, the fantastic array of food, the noise, and how fast everyone walks. Would love to return someday with the family.

  66. ShaneWozEre says:

    God, it’s been almost 2 1/2 years since I visited Hong Kong – – seems like only yesterday.

  67. queeniemak1 says:

    Reblogged this on queeniemak1 and commented:
    i am a hong kong people who currently stayed in uk for studies. I really love your pics and i do think that u hv captured the gist of hong kong spirit and brings back the aura out from your camera! longing to cmore of your post.

  68. queeniemak1 says:

    Reblogged this on queeniemak1 and commented:
    i am a hong kong people who currently stayed in uk for studies. I really love your pics and i do think that u hv captured the gist of hong kong spirit and brings back the aura out from your camera! longing to cmore of your post.

  69. lidipiri says:

    Will be there March 19th.
    Hoping there will be visibility on Victoria Peak!

  70. robpacker says:

    Great photos! It really make me kind of homesick for the place

  71. knudsens says:

    Great photos from a great place!

  72. Ged says:

    Great set of photos! I am going to Hong Kong in June. I can’t wait! 🙂

  73. The Meandering Matriarch says:

    Lovely photos! I’ve just had my first day in Hong Kong, and it was splendid. My head runneth over… MM

  74. Beautiful photos – such vibrant colors.

  75. ualeem says:

    Beautiful photos!

  76. Roda says:

    When your wish to move to HongKong becomes a burning desire and you will not settle for anything less .. then it will surely happen as night follows day .. for you need to make it happen.

  77. Gorgeous photos. I can’t wait to visit Hong Kong. Just have to wait until my kids are a bit older….

  78. wundiverse says:

    Fantastic photos. I’m heading to HK in April and really looking forward to it!

  79. Dad says:

    Work towards your dream…you’ll get there.

  80. maryfollowsthelamb says:

    I absolutely love it when people share their pictures of places I probably will never be able to see in person. I enjoyed my mini-tour of Hong Kong on your site. Thank you.

  81. FCE says:

    Great photos Risa!

  82. EZ Swimmer says:

    Hong Kong is a wonderful place. One of the few places in the world where I very much desire to return.

  83. very nice photos. Impressive.

  84. Lily in the Nova says:

    Amazing photos! Everything looks so bright and vibrant. I would love to explore Hong Kong one day.

  85. mixingupblog says:

    Your photo reminds me of Tokyo. I miss that place!!

  86. Dianda says:

    My boyfriend is from Hong Kong, but I never got to visit Hong Kong, so I didn’t know what to expect from it. Beautiful photo’s!

  87. Kellie V. says:

    Hopeful that i will visit Hong Kong one day! How long were you there for?

  88. Stargaze says:

    This makes me want to come to Hong Kong! I’d love to visit China. 🙂

  89. Joanna says:

    Reminds me a bit of New York but I cannot wait to check out Hong Kong for myself this summer!

  90. missvaleriem says:

    That is absolutely amazing! I have this strong will to go there sometimes. It is the unknown, and the unknown is always interesting to be discovered.

  91. millayt says:

    Love your photos and love Hong Kong too…also want to get back there again! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  92. zorgor says:

    Ah the Lippo Center! My favorite buildings! I love Hong Kong too, and have also considered living there…

  93. wagneribeiro says:

    Reblogged this on wagneribeiro and commented:
    vamo ser feliz da melho forma

  94. Gold fish says:

    Nice journey and nice captures

  95. I got your great pict to me ,
    Ho, I love city with tall building there.
    Wonderful and amazing place to visit there…..

  96. brings back great memories!

  97. moodybluebird says:

    ♥ this.

    I lived in Hong Kong when I was younger and its great to see photos of how it is now. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos 🙂

  98. Oahieweel says:

    The Taxis are just like the same in those HK Drama I seen! Nice!

  99. bwbears says:

    lovely photos! you have captured the life of Hong Kong.

  100. rp71 says:

    Lovely shots…I am actually right now in an airport lounge waiting to get onto a plane to Hong Kong…

  101. goldineagle says:

    wow!!! this is so amazing!! makes me wanna take a trip some day!

  102. Dreamy images! Thank you, as I will never visit Hong Kong in person…cannot take the long flights!

    Is this city as immaculate as it appears in these images? The modern architecture is stunning as well.

  103. thecoastallivingmom says:

    Great photos! Nice way to view your world.

  104. rebelsprite says:

    Simply, wow. I almost feel like I’m there! Lucky you for being able to be there and take such wonderful photos 🙂

  105. fotoeins says:

    Great shots! I’ll be back this June for a few weeks to visit family; I’m looking forward to taking my time in Hong Kong this time around!

  106. Gem says:

    Ahh Hong Kong… I can tell that many people commenting feel the same. I visit it quite often to see my family there. The food is amazing, and the warmer climate is better suited to me. 🙂 I really do miss it right now, and your photos are fantastic.

  107. andreachoi says:

    great pictures! I am a student from Hong Kong, now studying in Wisconsin 🙂 your pictures make me homesick lol. and we have the same blog layout!

  108. Those Lippo buildings are insane. Wow. Nice shots.

  109. BABETTE Blog says:

    Reblogged this on babetteblog and commented:
    I enjoyed a lot in hongkong.

  110. These pictures are amazing! This brings back memories when I was over there visiting family recently 🙂

  111. Love your photos! I live in Hong Kong, and I appreciate how much of Hong Kong’s spirit you’ve managed to capture. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been too good this past week…

  112. vedenl says:

    such an awesome place..!!

  113. The pictures are unbelievable. The place is wonderful.

  114. Peñarazzi says:

    Very nice pictures! I immediately remembered my own stay in Hong Kong last year. I know I was not able to see most of its must-sees. Hey, that’s the reason we go back!:)

  115. Nia says:

    nice photos ! 🙂

  116. HK was my first Asia journey and it inspired to see the rest :-). Great post and photos

  117. charitychic says:

    I have been going to Hong Kong for the best part of 23 years and have never been able to capture shots as beautiful as these. Love them! You’ve made me want to go back very soon. x

  118. omnigaltite says:

    Wonderful photographs! There’s some very interesting architecture in some of them.

  119. Awesome
    Well, where we do not have (с)
    I want to go here

  120. tcadrianlam says:

    awesome set of photos from the streets of Hong Kong, thanks for sharing!

  121. These are great photos..really great!

  122. Karen says:

    Looks a lot like NYC! Sharp…nice pics!

  123. hottabb says:

    gasp!!! amazing architecture in some of those buildings! looks like New York City…. I heard that being from Hong Kong is different that being from China in general 🙂

  124. nyanzor says:

    haha I live in Hong Kong and its really nice here! I find it’s a lot like Japan because it’s really nice to tour, but when you live there its seriously different. The photos you took are really nice tho, Where did you go during your stay? I can see Tsim Tsa Tsui and Central, (and the junks of course) but where else did you go?

    Do enjoy your stay(s) at Hong Kong, it is a really nice place provided you know Cantonese/Mandarin. Cheers!

  125. amelie88 says:

    I second the NYC comment! Minus the palm trees and all the Cantonese characters (at least I assume they are Cantonese but I truly have no idea). My mom is going to HK on a business trip in a few weeks and it’s her first time traveling to Asia. I might have to send her a link to this blog post to show her it’s not so different from the US. 🙂

  126. RenRen says:

    I love HK. I studied abroad there when I was in college and have been back several times since. I love the hustle and bustle of this city, with all it’s skyscrapers and great food. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  127. huizhang0326 says:

    Reblogged this on huizhang0326 and commented:
    My dream place. But miss it forever.

  128. culturelites says:

    Wonderful capture of the vertical city…It’s like being in one of Michaelangelo’s chapels, and constantly stretching the neck to see the frescoes on the celiling, this time to see the skyline! Would love to see more shots of the bylanes and people culture, if you visit again. Cheers!

  129. I was in HK for Chinese New Year in January. One of my favorite cities. Loved your pics, thanks for sharing!

  130. Yingying Xue says:

    it’s a beautiful place!

  131. nicesand says:

    Hong Kong is a amazing place, unique, imaginative. I will be there this summer.

  132. kat says:

    Hong Kong is so beautiful! I wish I had to chance to go visit and see where my family came from 🙂

  133. I grew up there… one of the best societies in the world. no corruption.

  134. bestweddingdressforyou says:

    my impression to H.K have 3 key words: hot weather, sweet food and fashional people!

  135. Hope Floats says:

    I love HK. The picture reminded me of my visit there a few years ago. Nostalgic. 🙂

  136. mydreamingbride says:

    if i have time, i really like to visit H.K this summer!

  137. Awww, this made me miss my old home. I lived there for 2 years teaching English and people who haven’t been there just don’t understand what an amazing multicultural country it is. Fast paced, cheap transport, amazing architecture, fun, beaches, partying, great restaurants, I could go on and on. Thanks for giving me nostalgia today!

    • Risa Roe says:

      I have been wondering what it’s like to teach in HK, and I can totally see how it would be a great lifestyle, and also horrible for my wallet 😉

  138. These are fantastic photos! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed as well!

  139. henrypenry says:

    Really great photos, you’re really good at picking the right time to shoot it seems. Waiting for more updates, hope to see some soon! 🙂

  140. dalewp says:

    My wife and I lived in Hong Kong in the early 80’s. We had a great flat on the sixteenth floor of Tregunter Towers about three quarters of the way up the Peak located on Tregunter path just off of May road. I traveled to the New World Center on the Kowloon side every day to work and it was always exciting to start my day with a ride on the Star Ferry. Hong Kong has changed so much since then it is almost unbelievable.
    Risa your pictures are really great, thanks for sharing them

    • Risa Roe says:

      Wow, that must have been a great view, nice! I walked up Victoria Peak instead of the tram, and stared jealously at some apartments with swimming pools that had views of the city. I also loved the Star Ferry, and admittedly found excuses to use it.

  141. fence hire says:

    Hong Kong looks amazing!

  142. Coincidentally I just saw this and I’ll be heading over to HKG for business trip tomorrow! Nice pictures you have there. If I get the chance and if I can take some good shots I’ll put them up somewhere too! Thanks for sharing anyway!

  143. cherryl says:

    Hongkong is my first travel alone and it was very memorable. And love your Photos.

  144. lixchiber says:

    Reblogged this on Un día tras otro día.

  145. annapos says:

    Being there, a wonderful experience? I live in solitude in the woods.

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