Hong Kong – A Study in Juxtaposition


A short business trip to Hong Kong yielded unexpected results for my photography hobby. Firstly, I did the long awaited but not expected within such a short time upgrade to a DSLR. I bought a Nikon 5100D at an amazing price. HK is known for good camera prices anyway and I think it will become a place for me to return to (for the next upgrade). Paid almost $500 less for a Nikon 5100D compared to the price in Singapore. We bought our stuff from Hing Lee Camera Co at 25 Lynhurst Terrace just off Stanley Street. The owner has been in business for more than 30 years and is really helpful and nice – like a friendly uncle. His name is Mr Chan. We visited the highly rated camera shops like Tin Cheung and Wing Shing at Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei but his price is better. And he dispenses uncle-ly advice for the DSLR uninitiated like me. He speaks very good English so for those who has a language issue, this place has no problems. He has a mini camera museum in his shop. Ask him about it!

We stayed the Minden Hotel. It was pleasantly nice and bigger than expected although in HK big is never big.

This short business trip there  to attend a trade fair (2 days) allowed me candid shots as I went about the city on business. I was at Guangzhou for the historical Canton Fair and then the HKTDC.

Hong Kong – What struck me was the juxtaposition of the old and the new. HK is beautiful and full of character if you see beyond the concrete jungle to find the little ironies, contrasts and quirks that tell it’s interesting story of colonialism, capitalism and identity as a city on the fringe of historical change. In its race to modernize, it kept its architectural heritage.

My first thought as a Singaporean is why HK could keep its architectural past and blend it with its modern side while Singapore seems hellbent on destroying everything it could so that a new and then a newer building can be put on the site of its predecessor? Where is Singapore rushing to with its desire to create, re-create, re-recreate and re-re-recreate buildings? Maybe somebody’s KPI is measured on how much development he or she can ‘show’ happened under his/her watch. or maybe property development, and re-development, and re-redevelopment is the way to riches for some. Or maybe, just maybe we have got it all wrong in terms of understanding what is heritage.

The old can co-exist with the new. Identity can be preserved and memories shared. People can progress without forgetting.

This is what Hong Kong whispered into my soul as she shared her story with me.


All photos shot with the Panasonic FZ100. Click on the picture to see its full image.

Street Corner near Stanley Street
Flagstoned stairway cutting between streets at SOHO
Street Hawkers along side streets at Central
The cigarette seller at Central
Tsim Sha Tsui - The old and new in morning mist
Ferry Terminal - Beautifully retro
Boy at the harbour looking....

No visitor to HK will miss these two things: Food food food and people. They are everywhere. The next few pictures are dedicated to the human drama of HK and food. Often the two are linked because good food is served at interesting tea places – with people and a setting that seemed to be a blast from the past.

Delicious Cha Siew Bun
Our supper chef
Vegetable hawker
Cha Chan Teng - Tea house for supper
Another late night cook ensuring the city never goes hungry
Late night shoppers

My colleagues…

What are you staring at?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I love HK! I always thought the steps in SOHO were so “ancient” compared to what I think of SOHO of being, “modern”.

    1. jeremyhan says:

      Hi Frances, HK is nice isn’t it? I like the little contradictions and contrasts you can find in the city. It has got ‘soul’.

  2. andy wulur says:

    nice angles & great photo ideas (^_^)

  3. Passerby says:

    I understand where you’re coming from… but you seemed to have left out the bit about Hong Kong wiping out it’s pre-war architecture for the buildings you see in your pictures. In Singapore, on the other hand, we still have (well, relatively) intact districts of Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Little India, Katong & Joo Chiat, Tanjong Pagar, Duxton & Blair Plain.

    1. hanjeremy says:

      I work in Tg Pagar and I just love walking among the pre-war houses there along duxton, bukit pasoh etc etc. Just love those places, and wish someday I will own a home there 😛

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