- 1881 Heritage
1881 Heritage is formerly the Marine Police Headquarters Compound that stands in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the city’s busiest districts. This site which boasts a 120-year history has been transformed into a cultural and shopping landmark. It now houses luxury shops, restaurants, a hotel, and even bars; all while preserving its classic and colonial-style architecture. Every time I pass by 1881 Heritage, its unique design is surely able to make me stop and whisper “I must take a photo!”
Address: 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
(Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Statio Exit E)
Tel: 2926 8000
- Victoria Harbor
Hong Kong’s skyline makes it one of the most sought-after photographed cities there is. Looking to join in the ranks? Snap those photos at Victoria Harbor. The best view can be seen from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront that overlooks Central and Wan Chai. The famous symphony of lights dubbed as the “largest permanent lights and sound show” is a colorful and exciting display of lights and sounds that can be observed every night at 8PM. Other visible sights are varieties of vessels that roam the harbor that give a breathtaking scenery. After all, Hong Kong directly translates to Fragrant Harbor in English. I always make sure to drop by Victoria Harbor for a breath of fresh air that’s sure to take my stress away!
Address: Tsim Sha Tsui Exit E
(Around 5-10 minutes walk from there, it’s also near 1881 Heritage)
- Night Market
Want to see the night life in Hong Kong come alive? Night Market is the place to be. There are specific markets like Ladies Market and Temple Street Night Market as this outdoor market spans from Jordan, Yau Ma Tei, and Mong Kok. From traditional Chinese souvenirs, to clothing and food, this place is the perfect visit to capture the daily hustle and bustle of the city. From bargaining buyers to eager-looking shopkeepers, the Mong Kok area also has live performers and buskers, showing that the place not only has a vibrant nightlife but also talented people of the city waiting for your lens to capture them. I tend to visit Mong Kok for the wide variety of cheap treats but its liveliness also seduces you to explore its streets.
Address: Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
(Mong Kok MTR Station Exit E2)
Photo credit: Johara Shaneene
Just like Mong Kok Night Market, Stanley Market is also a must-photographed place but with a touch of its own. Move away from the city life and capture the traditional life in the quaint village of Stanley, also home to Stanley Beach. Indulge yourself in crisp and relaxing villas and houses that are rare sights in the main area. Located in Hong Kong Island’s south coast, Stanley is a scenic escape and offers a spectacular tour of local life and vast mountains.
Address: Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong Island
(MTR Causeway Bay Station, Exit B. Walk to Tang Lung Street and then take minibus 40)
Photo credit: Johara Shaneene
- Lantau Island
The largest of the city’s island is home to Hong Kong Disneyland and the airport. But it is also where the Tian Tan Buddha statue (which took 12 years to complete) takes it throne in the Po Lin Monastery, that’s hidden in a lush mountain scenery. The statue standing (or sitting rather) 43 meters high with its right hand raised is delivering a blessing to all who visit. Climbing 268 steps takes you closer to the top not only rewarding you a spectacular close-up view of the Buddha but also a magnificent view of the mountain and sea that will leave your camera lens drooling. Plus, you too can reach the top and have your a la Jack-Dawson-King-of-the-World moment while Buddha photobombs from behind.
Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands
(1. MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, take Ngong Ping Cable Car. 10 minutes walk to the Monastery. 2. MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, take New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, which takes around 45 minutes. Walk for eight minutes.)
Tel: 2985 5248
- The Peak
The highest point on Hong Kong Island is a place that every camera lens and every instagram feed would love to have. Compared to the minimal view seen in Victoria Harbor, The Peak offers a much more vast bird’s eye view of the cityscape. With fresh air, exclusive neighborhood, and an all-access a la live-show ride on the Peak tram, The Peak is a panoramic sight reincarnating the city’s lights. There are shops, dining outlets, and the Madame Tussauds to visit as well. How’s that? You got to see your favorite celebrities, artists and politicians. Isn’t that Instagram-worthy?
Address: Mid-Levels (Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road
(reachable by taking bus 15C outside the Central Pier or walk from MTR Central Station, Exit J2.)
Tel: 2849 0668
- Sai Wan Swimming Shed
Probably every Hong Kong-based blogger has this on their instagram feed with the likes of Zoe Suen and Bryant Lee, and with good reasons. Sai wan Swimming Shed is a wooden pier built for the residents to take a “dip” in the harbor. This hideaway can remind you of absolute serendipity that looks like a scene out of a romantic comedy movie or your typical tear-jerker teen drama where you can feel the splashes of water or watch the sunset. Or really just take photographs.
Address: Victoria Road, Kennedy Town
(Take Cityroute 5C in Central or Causeway Bay and get off at the last station)
- Hollywood Road
Hollywood Road is a vast street stretching from Central to Sheung Wan and the city’s oldest commercial street. That’s why it’s the ideal place for photoshoots. With staggering graffiti and street art as backdrops, antiques that are symbols of the city’s history to vintage, as well as hipster goods and thrift shops around the corner, this street makes it an anthem to Hong Kong’s creative and artist scene. (It’s also just a few blocks away from Lan Kwai Fong…if you’re in for some late-night drinks and chill and selfies.)
Address: Hollywood Road
(MTR Central Station, Exit D2. Turn right onto Theatre Lane and walk along Queen’s Road Central towards The Center. Then take the Central Mid – Levels Escalator to Hollywood Road)
- Cheung Chau
Hong Kong’s second famous outlying island (next to Lamma Island) is a total weekend gateaway. Only an hour ferry ride away from the main island, Cheung Chau is a balance between the past and present of the city. With traditional fishing boats to cycling paths and pirate caves (who knows what you’ll find there?) it’s a more eccentric alternative to Tai O that reflects the simple village life, away from the vibrant, crowded, and building-filled area. With your mango mochi, shaved rainbow ice, and a breathtaking beach, it’s a tranquil place of peace and calmness. It’s also where the annual Bun festival is held (where players climb a tall stick getting as much buns as they can). If you’re lucky, you would love to photograph the hidden gems of street art that’s right outside people’s houses! I once saw a Math formula…pulling me back to reality. But an escape from reality? You bet Cheung Chau it is.
Address: Central MTR Station
(IFC Exit and walk towards Central Ferry Pier 5)
- Instagram Pier
It’s dubbed as “Instagram Pier” by the locals for a reason. As a former trading port during colonial times, Hong Kong still uses most of the many shipping docks to this day. While there isn’t anything special about the pier itself, it goes offer a breath-taking view of the sea and is worthy of a time-lapse picture or video of the spectacular sunset. When it rains, it creates a puddle, making another swoon-worthy photograph.
Address: 8 Fung Mat Road Hong Kong Island, Kennedy Town, Sai Wan