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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2021, 5:42 AM
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A Bird's Eye View Above Hong Kong

With COVID keeping borders shut and putting our travel plans on indefinite hold, I turned to exploring my home, something I couldn't always do during normal times when I'm regularly flying around the region. Drones have gotten a lot more affordable these days and with such a diverse array of urban and natural landscapes around the city, I returned to the districts I used to see on foot for a new perspective.

1. Admiralty district's 5-star hotels have been popular with locals taking advantage of cheap staycation deals, many of which include generous meal credits and harbour-view room upgrades. USD$250 would already score a very decent package.



2. Winter skies have gotten progressively clearer in recent years as factories in the Pearl River Delta move to cheaper locales further away.



3. Wanchai is an older residential area that has seen some redevelopments into luxury housing. Nevertheless, there are still many unique small restaurants along its side streets. An added bonus is its close proximity to Central, which is walkable during the cooler months.



4. The cigarette-looking Hopewell Centre was the city's tallest building at 64 storeys when it opened in 1980, and it was able to hold onto that title until 1989 when the Bank of China Tower was completed. To maintain good feng shui, the cigarette had to be extinguished to prevent a fire, so a pool was added to the top.





6. Central Plaza was once the city's tallest building at 374m until Two IFC was completed in 2003.



7. Just half an hour by bus from the train station, Clearwater Bay is a popular beach getaway with beautiful and clean tropical waters.







10. Behind the hills is the urban jungle.



11. Sai Kung district has many island getaways, hiking trails, and water sports opportunities. Greenery is everywhere and skyscrapers are not common.



12. Hong Kong still has a sprinkle of fishing villages that have withstood the test of time. Po Toi O has 2 seafood restaurants and sits in a sheltered bay. Above it is a golf course for the elite.









16. I'm not a big golf fan although the views out of here are quite stunning.



17. Sham Shui Po and Cheung Sha Wan are associated with older run-down residences, poverty, and industrial buildings. In the 1970s, the district was home to a vibrant garment industry, then once the factories moved to cheaper locations up north, an office district for exporters and merchandising companies. The waterfront has since been extended and luxury residences are now mixed with the otherwise industrial remnants.





19. Tseung Kwan O is a more recent new town built around a bay in the eastern part of the city. It is wall-to-wall housing although the coastal buildings are somewhat shorter so not to block each other out.











24. LOHAS Park is a giant development still under construction over 10 years since its first residents have moved in. While connected by the MTR with only 1 in several trains along the Tseung Kwan O line reaching the station, the development has been quite isolated with no major shopping mall of its own until 2020, and a regular stench blown from the nearby landfill plaguing residents.



25. Located along Deep Bay, Lau Fau Shan is famous for its oysters, which have been harvested here for 700 years. In fact, the cultivated species is named after the city - Crassostrea hongkongensis. However, its heyday are long gone, as pollution and an aging workforce have taken a toll. The water quality has improved in recent years, but it will take a much longer time to rebuild the Lau Fau Shan oyster's reputation.







28. A small piece of artificial turf now allows visitors to more comfortably photograph the sunset against the bridge crossing to Shenzhen.



29. The village has a long pedestrian market street beneath these buildings with lots of dried and fresh seafood for sale.



30. Many public housing estates line along Kowloon East's hillsides. Interestingly, a good number of them command harbour views and these uphill streets are quiet and more serene. The downside is access as residents need to take multiple elevators or escalators from estate to estate or connect via bus or minibus down to the train stations.







More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2021, 11:54 AM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is online now
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Fantastic tour! Thanks for the detailed descriptions. Although I like density, Hong Kong understandably takes it to another level. It’s nice to see that Hong Kong still has some villages and nature areas to balance out the high-rise mega-developments. Definitely a city I’d like to visit!
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2021, 12:00 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Wow.

Regarding pictures in (19), how is life like living in one of those mega apartment buildings? Are there like amenities (stores, salons, restaurants) within the buildings?
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2021, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
Wow.

Regarding pictures in (19), how is life like living in one of those mega apartment buildings? Are there like amenities (stores, salons, restaurants) within the buildings?
The best (most expensive) estates are directly connected to a mall and train station downstairs so they don't even need to go outside at all between home and shopping/office.

Otherwise, pedestrian bridges connect to neighboring estates and it is typical that shops are within easy walking distance even if you don't live above a big mall. The urban planning is structured such that there is no need to drive or even own a car.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2021, 5:23 AM
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Nice tour, amazing looking city from above.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2021, 2:18 PM
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I cannot wait to get back to HK and explore more of the region.

Fantastic tour, thanks.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2021, 9:39 AM
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33. Only 20 minutes away from Central by bus costing less than USD $1, Repulse Bay has long been a popular sunbathing destination for locals, although most wouldn't be able to afford homes in this part of the city. The long beach in a protected bay has shower facilities, lifeguard service, and shark prevention nets.









37. Most people won't be able to afford a home here with beach and sea view.







40. However, poor folks can also enjoy view of the same sea but in a different location. Wah Fu Estate was built in the 1960s. At the time, it revolutionized the lower classes' standard of living when people lived in dilapidated buildings and squatter camps. Units had their own independent kitchens and bathrooms, and with 9100 flats, the estate was a miniature self-contained town of its own.







43. The holes allow hallways to be well-ventilated and let some sunlight seep through.





45. In 1999, the government announced they wanted to build a technology facility to diversify the economy away from finance. Cyberport became known as a luxury property development with posh residences even though their sea views are exactly the same as Wah Fu next door.







48. Continuing uphill, Pok Fu Lam was first mentioned in writing in 1819 as one of 2 villages on Hong Kong Island. Dairy farmers came in 1886 and their historic relics are still visible today.





50. The Bethanie was completed in 1875 as a sanitorium for sick missionaries. It closed in 1974 and has been revitalized by the Academy for Performing Arts.




















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  #8  
Old Posted May 5, 2021, 8:03 PM
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Great photos! There is something fascinating about these mega complexes although I doubt I would want to live in one. They are just so brutal-looking and block out so much of each others views and sunlight. I even cannot make myself build them in Cities in Motion eventhough they look cool as heck.

Are all these suburbs safe to visit and do these complexes provide their residents with any option for parking? It is also so interesting to see some of them relying on transit by an infrequent bus connection which must make commuting a chore.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 6, 2021, 3:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klazu View Post
Great photos! There is something fascinating about these mega complexes although I doubt I would want to live in one. They are just so brutal-looking and block out so much of each others views and sunlight. I even cannot make myself build them in Cities in Motion eventhough they look cool as heck.

Are all these suburbs safe to visit and do these complexes provide their residents with any option for parking? It is also so interesting to see some of them relying on transit by an infrequent bus connection which must make commuting a chore.
Crime is not an issue in Hong Kong, even in public housing estates. These are safe areas to roam around in any hour. The irony is the less safe areas are in the older parts of the city with run-down lowrise tenements, not in these dense areas.

People typically don't drive in Hong Kong. The cost of having a car and paying for a parking spot are atrocious. These places all have good frequent transit connections.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 17, 2021, 12:48 PM
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53. Tuen Mun used to be an isolated far away suburb in the northwestern New Territories. In recent years, improvements to public transport such as the West Rail and the new tunnel to Tung Chung now make this an accessible part of town, no longer reliant on a single traffic-prone highway into the city.



54. Residents have easy access to a few beaches just outside the suburb, with a resort hotel and marina further down the coast.



















63. Buried within the housing estates are some interesting surprises. This colourful basketball court is located on top of a parking lot at On Ting Estate.





65. Construction on the 5km Tuen-Mun Chek Lap Kok Link tunnel started in 2013 and opened in December 2020, greatly reducing travel time to Tung Chung, and offering an alternative road access to the airport.











More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2021, 10:05 AM
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70. Before the new airport opened, Lantau was a quiet and empty island and the Mui Wo area was once home to 6 villages during the 19th century. Silver mining was the main activity here although only an abandoned and boarded-up cave remains today. Otherwise, this is a lovely quaint little town where you can enjoy living in a lowrise and the ferry to Central departs frequently.



























83. You can see the main skyline in the distance. It's only a 40 minute ferry ride away.



More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2021, 12:53 AM
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The thing is, with the situation worldwide, I don't see any complete open in ten years, now this is in the middle of second year, let's see...
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2021, 5:37 PM
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84. Hong Kong's container port was the world's busiest from 1992 to 2004. Volumes have declined in recent years while exports are increasingly being shipped out directly from nearby Chinese ports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. In 2020, the port handled 18 million TEUs, 80% of which came from the Kwai Chung facility's 9 terminals.



85. Due to the pandemic, the tourism industry has shut down. Tourist coaches have been idled on empty lots around the port.



















More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2021, 8:31 PM
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Yeah, well... If you want to witness any serious port activity these days, it's all in China and their (rebellious) satellites.

I can't even imagine what Marseille or Nantes Saint-Nazaire would say if they had that amount of containers stacked upon their docks.
I guess they would loudly boast about it like pricks as if they were the belly button (read the center) of the world, but I would like it anyway. You know, I'm only a Frenchman...

Hey, fantastic photos by the way. Keep going on your drone, HKskyline.
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Old Posted Jul 20, 2021, 3:22 PM
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Reminds me of brazil.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2021, 6:50 AM
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94. The government's initial foray to diversify the economy with a technology industry was to create Cyberport, and the Science Park formed part of that vision. The 22 hectare waterfront development opened in 2002 with the 2nd phase in 2007 and the 3rd phase in 2014.

Similar to the Cyberport, part of the development was for residential housing.































More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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Old Posted Sep 6, 2021, 1:34 PM
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109. Ma On Shan is a residential suburb with a 702m mountain looming in the background. Home to over 209,000 residents, the district stretches along the narrow piece of flat land along Tolo Harbour, offering decent waterfront views.

What many didn't know is this area was once a mining village. During its golden period in the 1950s and 60s, over 100,000 metric tons of iron were extracted every year, but the mine was abandoned due to cheaper sources in the 70s.















116. A short walk away, the density tapers off quickly and there is a beautiful bay in Nai Chung with a vast sea ahead.











More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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Old Posted Oct 23, 2021, 3:16 AM
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121. Today's Lok Fu Park was a major aviation checkpoint back when Kai Tak Airport was still in operation. Part of the hill was painted into a red and white checkerboard pattern to alert pilots to make their final turning for landing on runway 13. The paint has recently been refreshed while Kowloon City next door has seen plenty of new redevelopments since the airport closed.

















129. The checkerboard is situated on the side of a small hill that is now a park with a reservoir beneath.





131. From here, you can see the skyline in the distance.





More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2021, 4:55 PM
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133. I regularly visit the Kai Tak area to see how development is progressing. The area around the old terminal building looks well on the way by now. The shovels are still on the ground elsewhere with the stadium slowly rising. Along the old runway, 1 development is rising but with mainland Chinese developers in financial distress lately, I don't have much hope the plots they had paid too much for will see much real activity any time soon.





































More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/hk-droneflight.htm
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2022, 9:42 PM
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Fantastic views of Hong Kong, thanks!
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