Super crowded city, looks sometimes already like Chinese but feels still different, unexpectedly beautiful nature, one of my favorites...
Best Time: Sunrise
Remarks: One of the most awesome spots on earth. If I'm in Hong Kong, I'm coming here, always! Normaly, I utilize my jetlag, get up at 4 AM, get dressed, and order a taxi. Unfortunatly, at that time, there is no public transportation. Get out of the taxi straight at the Peak Tower (also still closed). To the left of the tower, there is a small road called Lugard Rd.. There is also a hiking sign, as the road is mainly used by runners. Follow the road for about 20-30min. Finally, the panorama will open up and you have the view of your lifetime. The biggest challenge for that shot is the weather. Hong Kong is super humid. So you have always kind of fog, clouds, smog around. Seeing the sun, like in this shot is very rare. Don't get frustrated if the view is not that clear. I tried my luck at least 10 times before I could see that far. I have another shot in my portfolio from that spot without the sun and I like it as much as this one.
GPS Location: 22°16'41.6"N 114°08'48.1"E
Best Time: Sunset to blue hour
Remarks: One of the most impressive buildings is the International Finance Centre. As Hong Kong has a lot of big roads, making walking around not that easy, I use Google Maps to find interesting perspectives. This makes it much faster and you can plan even before your trip. The bridge from where I was shooting from, I found by this method. I was just virtually driving around figuring out how to shoot the skyscraper and getting a kind of interesting foreground. The bridge is accessible via one of the one million malls next to Hong Kong station. As it is a super wide-angle sunset shot, a tripod is required. Luckily, the bridge is wide enough to accommodate me with a tripod and the Hong Kong rush hour. If shooting would be so easy everywhere, I would love it. The spot is marked in the map so check it out or even better find an even better one close by...
GPS Location: 22°17'08.9"N 114°09'20.3"E
Best Time: Very early or super late
Remarks: One of my oldest shots from Hong Kong and still in my current portfolio. At that time Google Maps was not arround and I just found it because I got lost on the way to my favorite tea shop (Ming Cha - they moved, so they are not in that area anymore). I still remember laying at my back trying to get the perfect symmetry. The smell was, let's say interesting and the people were all looking at me. A crazy but unforgettable memory. I visited last year again, and I have to say that this place changed a lot. It got much nicer but also much much more crowded. Since the Transformers Movie was shot here, the Insta community loves this place. As the Insta Shot is different, you shouldn't have to worry about enough space. However, some of my photography friends told me that security is approaching you if you set up professional gear. So be aware that this shot might not be possible during business hours.
GPS Location: 22°17'02.7"N 114°12'43.7"E
Best Time: All day (within the opening hours)
Remarks: Serene Garden is one of my must-see places when I'm in Hong Kong. I have to highlight, there is no entrance fee. The garden is just amazing and I never experienced it very crowded. It is just a nice quiet place with an awesome contrast between the garden and the skyscraper in the background. Just go and enjoy yourself and take some pics.
GPS Location: 22°20'20.8"N 114°12'15.1"E
Best Time: Mid-day
Remarks: The Man Mo Temple is in the middle of Soho. The area has everything for the modern world-traveling photo hipster ;). Get a coffee and walk around. The Temple is a tiny bit off the beaten path but the 5min detour is worth the effort. The Temple is known for the spiral incense cones. Watch out for falling ash! Tripods are allowed. The best time is around 1-3 PM when the Sun is high enough to shine through the windows causing these beautiful light trails. During this time the temple can get super crowded as many Chinese photo tours come around. I'm still not happy with my shot but there is to be a reason to come back over and over again.
GPS Location: 22°17'01.9"N 114°09'00.7"E