Header image courtesy of Rosamond Chung
As the centre of business and commerce in our fair city, Hong Kong Island is filled with constant movement. Naturally, there are also plenty of opportunities to take pictures in this restless urban jungle. The amount of greenery mixed with the pure density of high-rises makes for spectacular contrast and, in turn, beautiful photographs. Join us as we explore the most Instagrammable spots on Hong Kong Island; grab your camera, head into the city, visit these 10 amazing spots, and get ready to have all the likes flow in!
Covering over eight hectares of area, Hong Kong park offers a variety of places to take great Instagram photos. Inside the park, there are many photo-taking opportunities like the Tai Chi Garden, Aviary, and Gardens. At the centre of the park is a beautiful artificial lake and waterfall; not only does it incorporate a number of waterfalls and rock pools but when you snap off a photo, you will also have a sky filled with skyscrapers and views of Victoria Peak.
Hong Kong Park, 9 Cotton Tree Drive, Central
Sai Wan is a popular spot for photographers to snap classic harbour-view vistas. Many would consider the Western District Public Cargo Working Area—aka “Instagram Pier”—to be one of the best spots for pictures due to the density of amazing shooting locations. In fact, the container terminal and cargo dock have become extremely well-known to Instagrammers of all kinds, with some even claiming this dock for wedding photos! It has since been closed to the public due to Covid-19 health concerns, but you can still see the site from afar.
However, while many would bemoan the closure of Instagram Pier, we would suggest stopping at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Park instead, which is about 10 to 15 minutes from the Western District Public Cargo Working Area. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Park is a great alternative to going to Instagram Pier if you want the same vibes but fewer people; I suggest posing in front of the pillars with the Hong Kong skyline in the background.
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Park, 16 Eastern Street North, Sai Ying Pun
Western District Public Cargo Working Area, at the junction of Hill Road at Connaught Road West, Sai Wan
As one of the easiest hikes and lesser-known locations for skyline photos, Braemar Hill Lookout is a great spot to capture amazing sunset or golden hour pictures. With a hike that clocks in at around two hours, the views are worth every second of the climb. Braemar Hill Lookout is also unique compared to other spots due to its unique vantage points of both harbours (Hong Kong Island and Kowloon). While you’re there, you can also check out either the Braemar Hill Viewpoint or Red Incense Burner Summit for equally amazing photo ops.
Braemar Hill Lookout, Braemar Hill Road, North Point
Personally, one of my favourite photography locations on Hong Kong Island is Wan Chai because of its famous and stunning neon lights. Compared to its neon buddies in Mong Kok, Wan Chai is less condensed and more low-key. One spot that is perfect for amazing Instagram snaps is the overpass leading up to Wan Chai MTR station, which offers an excellent spot for capturing the neon lights of Lockhart Road.
If you want to take some cool portraits with neon, check out the Woo Cheong Pawn Shop in Wan Chai, where you can pose next to the shop signs and create chic reflections and colours on your face.
Woo Cheong Pawn Shop, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
Sai Wan Swimming Shed is extremely popular as a photography spot for both sunrise and sunset photos. Offering stunning panoramas from Kennedy Town to Kowloon to Tsing Yi, the location’s versatility is definitely a huge draw for Instagrammers to flock to this tiny swimming shed. My personal favourite is the vantage point on the top of the stairs leading out to the water, where you can catch a view of the trees, the shed, and—if you are lucky—boats!
Sai Wan Swimming Shed, Victoria Road, Mount Davis
Being one of Hong Kong’s oldest religious structures and now a declared historical monument, Man Mo Temple is one of the most famous sites of worship in Hong Kong. From the sea of red lanterns and incense coils hanging from the roof to the smoky and ethereal interiors, this is not only a great photo spot, but also a great place to immerse yourself in a spiritual atmosphere and the powerful beliefs surrounding local deities.
Take note when sunlight shines through the roof; it is a beautiful chance to capture fleeting moments and play around with different lighting and angles. Also, if you visit at the right season, you can catch the blooming of the cherry blossom tree at the entrance! Just remember that Man Mo Temple is a place of worship first and foremost, so please remember to be respectful while snapping your pics.
Man Mo Temple, Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
As one of Hong Kong’s main cultural centres, Tai Kwun provides ample opportunity for visitors to discover the arts, heritage, and culture of the city. Not only does Tai Kwun allow you to learn about the past and explore contemporary exhibitions and gallery shows featuring local and international artists, but you also have many opportunities to take photos with the former Central Police Station as a backdrop. Well-known spots around Tai Kwun include the flowing spiral staircase of the JC Contemporary building and the expansive courtyard.
Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central
A perfect getaway destination for Hong Kong Island dwellers, Stanley is the perfect spot to explore with friends. Wander through Ma Hang Park and head to Blake Pier and finish up with a hike to Rhino Rock. Ma Hang Park is a great place to stroll through; when here, visit the Pak Tai Temple, where you will be treated to a beautiful view of the sea. It also leads to rocks along the shore (another great spot for pictures).
After walking through the park, head to Blake Pier and capture classic shots in front of the glistening waters and maybe even the beautiful, sloping architecture of the roof. However, if you are looking for an adventurous photoshoot location, hike up to the Rhino Rock and get a beautiful view of Hong Kong’s southside.
Ma Hang Park, 57 Stanley Main Street, Ma Hang
Rhino Rock, Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley
This Baroque-style building is the oldest structure on the HKU main campus. It is popular amongst many university students as a backdrop for graduation pictures because of its singular architecture, contrasted by 30-feet-tall trees for a romantic touch. With four courtyards and a historical clock tower, there are plenty of opportunities to snap great photos against the European façade, and if you are lucky, the sun will cast astounding shadows across the building.
HKU Main Building, Bonham Road, Lung Fu Shan, Pok Fu Lam
Last but not least, the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter is one of the more underrated photography spots on Hong Kong Island. Due to the landscape of high-rises on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui in the background, this spot is perfect for a quiet sunset photoshoot.
Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter was the first of its kind in Hong Kong and was purpose-built for fishing boats to dock during storms, but it has since become a popular tourist spot for dining on seafood featuring authentic fishermen’s recipes. For the best photos, make sure to catch the intricate maze of fishing boats floating on the water.
Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, Victoria Harbour, Causeway Bay