When people ask me "What's your favourite thing about Hong Kong", its an easy question to answer. Just being part of the frantic activity of everyday life is what I enjoy most.
If I had to choose my favorite building then that would be easy too, as its no secret that I always feel warm and fuzzy everytime I pick out the mesmorising Bank of China Tower on the Hong Kong Island skyline. I could gaze at this beautiful building all day and night and it gets my vote hands down as the most striking skyscraper in Hong Kong. The design is supposed to imitate bamboo, demonstrating to the world that the Bank of China is very strong and dependable.
I have read that the BOC tower is one of the only buildings in Hong Kong to be built without consulting the principles of good feng shui. I know very little about the importance or otherwise of feng shui in Chinese architecture, but from my own perspective I think that the Bank of China Tower exerts positive rather than negative feng shui.
I just enjoy looking at this building. To see Bank of China Tower up close head towards the lower Peak tram terminus in Garden Road. There is a public viewing deck on the 43rd floor. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm.
When sky is blue, you could actually see the tips of these elegant towers, the skyscrapers. If it's fog, then you cannot see half of it - but the feel is more dramatic, somehow.
Fondest memory: We spent some amount of time walking and exploring the skyscraper architectures for which HK Island is famous for. Both in bad and nice weather. I cannot decide when I liked it more (the atmosphere). Was it because of fog that these constructions appeared mysterious when its upper elevations were hidden - so how about view from upmost floors then?
Then on a bright day when air was crisp ... you had to make position of your neck into very uncomfortable position when you stand that close - if you want to look up. But hey, that's the real effect of those building. You are standing there on the floor, small like ant. Hundreds of meters above you someone else will have full view through the cityscape. How often do you wish to see it by yourself, that way... of course, that's the privilege most often beyond our limits, unless you have been invitied there or you go there for work. Yes, that's how it is. Off the limits.
Here, the central part of photo belongs to Bank Of China. That building appears more interesting than others. It is both elegant and has interesting shape. It looks more like the rock. Don't know how to say, really. For example, the IFC skyscraper (now highest in HK) in that district reminds me to shaving machine. They higher, the better they say... I wouldn't always agree with that, haha.
Well, at least viewing them from the bottom up doesn't cost a thing.
Hong Kong happens to have one of the most beautiful skylines I have seen. The best part is that there are so many great locations to stop top view this amazing skyline. Take a ride up Victoria Peak and get a bird's eye view, or pay a visit to Avenue of the stars in TST where you can wander among your favorite stars while taking in the spectacular view. Have a drink at the Intercontinental where all the windows are so huge that you can enjoy a drink while enjoying the view. During the evening, stoll along the promenade and take in the spectacular night show which starts daily around 8:00 pm. The whole harbour is a light.
Wherever you decide to stop and take in the panoramice beauty you will not be dissapointed with Hong Kong's skyline.
If skyscrapers are your thing, Hong Kong is the place for you. Where ever you look you will see loads and loads of skyscrapers.
The best views are from Kowloon side at the harbour with Hong Kong Island to the front of you, the views are breathtaking.
Fondest memory: Even when walking down the street you get a great buzz. The atmosphere, the markets the hustle and bustle is just fantastic.
Favorite thing: The Central Plaza building is located in the Wan Chai District and is the second tallest building in Hong Kong standing over 1241ft high (78 storeys). It was completed in 1992, and cost over $143 Million USD to build. The building is home to finacial giants like, Exxon Mobile, Cheveron and Sun Microsystems.
The HSBC Building (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) was once headquarters of the banking giant, until it's new headquarters was built in London. The building was opened in 1985, and stands over 590 ft tall (47storeys).
* The building uses ocean water for it's toilets
* It's rumored that the building was designed to be easily disassembled and reassembled at another location, incase things got bad in China.
* The building was used in Spy Games, starring Brad Pitt, as the US Embassy.
* At the time it was built, it was the most expensive building ever built, costing $668 million USD
Favorite thing: Two International Finance Center is Hong Kongs tallest building, reaching a height of 1,364 feet tall. There are 88 stories (8 being a extremely lucky number to the Chinese culture becuase it sounds like the world "prosperity" in Cantonese) If measured by roof height, and not structual height, the Two IFC is the third highest building in the world. Taipei 101 and Sears Tower the only others being taller. I always thought buildings were cheating when they add a mast or a antenna uptop, and then claim "We now have the tallest building in the world".
The Bank of China Tower was completed in 1989, and at the time was the tallest building in Asia, and the first buidling outside the United States to stand over 1,000 ft tall. It is Headquarters to the Bank of China, and officailly measures 1,033 feet high. If you count to the top of it's 2 masts, it's over 1,209 feet. 70 stories of office space!
The buidling is now the 3rd tallest building in Hong Kong, behind the IFC Building (International Finance Center) and Central Plaza. One of the most impressive things about the BOC Tower, is it's external light show it puts on every night. Thousands of lights dance their way up and down the exterior of the buidling every night, making the BOC Tower easily stand out amongst the Hong Kong skyline.
My favorite thing about Hong Kong is the ferry ride from Kowloon side to Hong Kong island (Central).
The view of Hong Kong skyline at night was spectaculars because of the reflection of buildings, which were illuminated in different colours, glistering on the water. Right behind the skyscrapers raises up green mountains (when does a hill become a mountain?).
Anyway, the Bank of China Tower is worth mentioning because its architecture. It is 369 metres high and has 72 floors. It was designed by I.M. Pei & Partners. It can be seen from Kowloon side but do take a closer look at it as well.
If the link I provided above does not work, you may search for the building info on the Bank of China's homepage. Just do let me know if the links dont work so that I can correct them. Thanks.
Happy Valley Race Track was built on reclaimed marshland, and the first races were held here in 1846. They have been extremely popular ever since.
Today, the track is ultra-sophisticated with computerized betting and races broadcast live on gigantic screens.
Night racing was introduced at Happy Valley in 1973 and was an immediate success. The extra revenue raised was used to build Hong Kong's second racecourse at Sha Tin in the New Territories, which opened in 1978.
How to get there:
Take bus no.1, 5A outside Admiralty MTR Station (Exit C1) or take bus no. 19 at Yee Wo Street of Causeway Bay.
This headquarter of HSBC office tower
is probably the best known and widely publicized building of the decade, largely because it was claimed to have cost more money than any other building to erect. Using steel frame and glass, it remains a unique architectural achievement and a small wonder of the modern age.
Address: 1 Queen's Road, Central. 5 mins walk from Central MTR Station or from Star Ferry Pier.
I love the contrast between state-of-the art skyscrapers and modern buildings, run down working class accomodation and the mountaneous vegetation that forms the backdrop.
Fondest memory: The views from The Peak looking down over Central District and over to Kowloon, both during the day and at night will stay with me forever.
HK Island has one of the very most beautiful skyline in the world! The futuristic skyscrapers among many old establishment - strangely, everything blends well here.
Fondest memory: HK island is full of progress & vibrant energy. People are dynamic & very cosmopolitan. It feels very different from Tokyo or Shanghai for that matter. To me, Tokyo & Shanghai are more homogeneous society while Hong Kong is a melting pot of the world!
Just to clear the unclear, beasts are those two metal giants in the background! :-)
Fondest memory: One of the first things you'll be amazed by when walking down the streets of Hong Kong are its scyscrapers, so tall and yet, so thin and elegant! There are many arround, like you can see on this and above pic and on mostly all panoramic pics of Hong Kong you can see otherwise. The best view is from above of course, if the weather is nice but its quite impressive to look from below too! Also, architectors of Hong Kong have been trying to preserve the natural sanctuaries among this conqrete and metal world, as it is in this case, of the parks in the very business Central area, a palm tree and a lake just below the super modern building!
Fondest memory: After the older run down buildings come the newer huge sky scrapers like the Bank of China, shown on the left and another great building with crazy architecture which is downtown as well.