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Hong Kong Island, Looking forward & back

[ 11 ] November 7, 2010 |

Bank of China Building

HongKong is a modern, cosmopolitan city that in the last 200 years has gone from being small fishing village to a british colony at the heart of the tea and opium trade to the modern, cutting edge city it is today.   Hong Kong is a loveable city that surely has many other asian cities green with envy!

What I love about Hong Kong is the seemingly effortless melding of the old and the new. Old colonial buidlings sit comfortably between the large, flashy new skyscrapers.  These old buildings aren’t torn down to make way for new contemproary buildings, oh no, they’re respected like the precious family photos lining the living room walls reminding Hong Kong of what it once was.

Chinese Red Lanterns

Sticking true to its Chinese routes, red lanterns are still displayed around the city outside of shops, homes and temples. It’s a reminder that although Hong Kong appears to be more western then eastern, like a large China town in any other western country, HongKong is still Canton and still Chinese.

Legislative Council Chambers, Hong Ko

The Legislative Council Chambers is one of the most well known colonial landmarks on Hong Kong island and is the cities symbol of Hong Kong’s colonial past.  Opened in 1912 it was formally the Supreme Court.

Hong Kong Trams

Trams affectionately called Ding Ding’s have been used to transport the people of Hong Kong island around for over a century. The Double Decker trams mirroring London’s famous Double Decker buses have been a common sight on the island since the design was first adopted in 1912.  Still a beloved form of transport on Hong Kong island, it is the worlds largest fleet of Double Decker trams still in service transporting on average 230 000 passengers a day.

Bamboo Scaffolding Hong Kong

Although a fast paced modern city Hong Kong is still very much in touch with its past traditions. Bamboo scaffolding still shrouds building constructions as they quickly reach for the sky.  Unlike it’s sister Mainland China who is embracing the western way of scaffolding, Hong Kong figures why fix what ain’t broke and surely bamboo looks much better anyway!

Old Police Station

Old Police Station

On Hollywood road lies Hong Kong’s former Central Police Station.  Built in 1864 the station was in use up until the second world war when it was substantially damaged from bombings.  After the second world war police headquarters were moved to a new building in Wan Chai.

Siberian Fur Store

Hong Kong is at the centre of Asia’s fur trade famous for trading some of the finest furs from Siberia. The Siberian Fur Store has played a huge part in the fur trade throughout Hong Kong’s history and was the go to place to find Hong Kong’s finest fur fashions. And in this city of affluence with a somewhat show off attitude, despite it’s tropical climate and only mild winter’s you will still see women draped in the finest furs like they did back in the 1930s.

Hong Kong Taxi's

Despite Hong Kong being a modern city, its taxi’s could be mistaken as anything but!  On first glance these decade old taxi’s look like they’re ready for retirement, that is until you hail one down and realise that the doors automatically open!  Sliding into the long black leather seat at the back you almost feel as if your someone important getting chauffeured around in the past.

St John's Cathedral

Shadowed by the magnificent Bank Of China Building, a symbol of Hong Kong’s present and future, St John’s Cathedral is a link to Hong Kong’s colonial Anglican past.  The first Anglican church is the region, St John’s historically was very important to Hong Kong and spiritually to the thousands of Anglican’s remains one of the most important historical buildings in Hong Kong.

Western Market

The Western Market in Sheung Wan was originally built as the Harbour Office in 1906 but was later more famously converted into a food market.  Now days this market houses small boutique’s specialising in selling arts, crafts and fabrics.

Hong Kong Modern Architecture

Despite Hong Kong’s pride over it’s history the city is steaming towards an even more impressive and affluent future.  With construction going on all over the city, new, interesting and unique contemporary sky scrapers are popping up on every free block of space. The question is will Hong Kong continue to value it’s past or follow in the footsteps of it’s mainland sister forgetting the past in hopes of a more prosperous future.  However I think out of these two siblings, Hong Kong has too much of a level head to let everything good about its past be destroyed.

Each week there will be a photographic Glimpse into a new place.  Too make things interesting I’m looking for contributors to share there own Glimpse into a destination.  If you have a Glimpse you want to share send me an email using the contact form with an overview of the Glimpse and a link to your blog or flickr photostream.

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Category: Hong Kong

About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

Comments (11)

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  1. That first pictures is AWESOME! I heart Hong Kong and that is my fav building (the white zig zag one)

  2. Adam Axon

    Some great photos again Sash! Whenever I’ve thought of Hong Kong in the past it’s all been high rise, high rise, high rise!

    Those older style buildings have a great charm and the double decker trams have the potential to make me re-consider my anti tram stance!

    A weekly glimpse series sounds like a great timing setup, so keep up the great work!
    .-= Adam Axon´s last blog ..New Zealand Great Success! =-.

  3. Sasha says:

    I love Hong Kong to, the Bank of China building (zig zag) has got to be some of the most impressive modern architecture in that city, it’s so cool! :)

  4. Sasha says:

    Thanks Adam, certainly coming into Hong Kong you could easily be mistaken into thinking that there are only high rises for sure! It’s nice to find the historical buildings poked in between, a nice surprise strolling along the streets. :) Curious why the anti tram stance, blame Melbourne?

  5. Adam Axon

    Absolutely blame Melbourne! Having said that I’m one of the only people I know in Melbourne who doesn’t like trams. I just don’t see the point of a public transport system that has to stop for traffic lights! :P
    .-= Adam Axon´s last blog ..New Zealand Great Success! =-.

  6. Sasha says:

    Hahaha good point

  7. Andi

    Love, love, love HK!!!
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Cuba- Day 3 Part 1 =-.

  8. Oh I miss Hong Kong, the view from the Peak Tower was amazing.
    .-= Chris – The Aussie Nomad´s last blog ..Featured Photo- Prague Castle At Night =-.

  9. Justin Morris

    Love the juxtaposition you’ve got going on here between the colonial and modern buildings on HK island. I love how much the entire city contrasts itself – especially comparing Kowloon to the island.
    It’s amazing how from afar Central looks like a massive forest of skyscrapers but once you get into the thick of it all these small laneways open up, little food shops and the British influence becomes way more apparent.
    .-= Justin Morris´s last blog ..48 hours in Bruges and Ghent =-.

  10. Sasha says:

    Thanks Justin, Hong Kong really does have such a unique look and unique charm that’s why I love going back time after time! There’s always something to discover and always things to contrast and compare. Such a great city!

  11. Sasha says:

    Yeah Chris I totally get that miss Hong Kong feeling, crazy how that city can do that to a person!!! But it’s Hong Kong and it is amazing!!!

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