Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vertical (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

According to Emporis, there are 7,650 skyscrapers in Hong Kong, putting the city at the top of world rankings. ...36 of the world's 100 tallest residential buildings [are located] in Hong Kong, and more people [live] or [work] above the 14th floor than anywhere else on Earth, making it the world's most vertical city. (From the Architecture section of Wikipedia's Hong Kong entry)

It's not often that I begin any blog entry with a quote -- and from Wikipedia, no less! -- but the above words go a long way towards explaining why my choice of subject for this week's Photo Hunt was a no-brainer and contextualizing the matter of urban Hong Kong's verticality.

Some of you might find the views to be breathtaking, others scary and ugly -- and then get to thinking that high density Hong Kong must be an awful place to live. To the latter especially, I just want to point out that the first photo was taken while out hiking in the Quarry Bay Extension of Tai Tam Country Park (a natural section of the Big Lychee that is as physically attractive as it is surprisingly close to the city) while the second was taken from the top of a bus. (Among the attractions of high density living in Hong Kong is the convenience of it all -- with such as public transportation, grocery and other stores, and pretty much everything you need often being just a stone's throw away.)


Maya said...

Wow, I had no idea that there are that many skyscrapers in Hong Kong. I am amazed that you have so many natural areas/parks so close to such a high density area.

Carver said...

That's amazing how may sky scrapers there are. I like the photographs a lot. There are a lot of conveniences to living in a large city. One of my sisters has lived in Manhattan over 30 years and she's never needed a car where it would be hard to get by without a car where I live. I think there are a lot of advantages to cities.

luna miranda said...

perfect for the theme! i was quite amazed at the skyscrapers when i first visited HK. i especially love the view from Victoria Peak.:p

EastCoastLife said...

The skyscrapers in HK are so close to one another. I feel cramped and crowded in such an environment. :P

Photo Cache said...

Oh why didn't I thought of this idea. Fabulous route to the theme.

ipanema said...

no other way to build in this every busy cosmo city.

nice choices!

Randi said...

What incredible captures of a city I love. I always stay a couple of days there before I continue into China and when I return. HK is completely different to my own environment, but I enjoy every minute I spend there.
Happy weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi Maya --

A lot of people think that Hong Kong is nothing but skyscrapers. Guess you had the opposite impression! :D

The thing with Hong Kong is that there's lots of high density urban areas and country parks/natural areas with almost nothing in between -- i.e., there are few, if any, places like the suburbs that are normal in the US.

Hi Carver --

I don't have a car in Hong Kong and love that this is so. (I'm not a confident nor happy driver...)

Hi luna miranda --

Hope you got good clear views when you visited the Peak. Today, it's been really misty. So much so that I haven't been able to see the Peak from down where I am! :O

Hi EastCoastLife --

Different strokes for different folks. Things closer together = more interesting things to see, etc. for/to me!

Hi Photo Cache --

I'm glad you didn't think of this idea -- not least since I like what I saw of your submission when I visited your blog! ;b

Hi ipanema --

Actually... I live in a building and work in another that are less than six stories high. I know I am and they are execeptions but... ;b

Hi Randi --

I'm so glad that you've enjoyed whatever time that you've spent in Hong Kong. :)

Colin Campbell said...

Always enjoyed my trips to Hong Kong. I was lucky enough to see some of the remote areas as well.

Greyscale Territory said...

I am amazed how closely crammed these skyscrapers appear to be! They almost seem to be competing against one another for space - including vertical space!!

Gattina said...

I think there is not a lot of choice if you have such a population density other then using the sky and build high. The highest building I have ever been was the Empire State building I guess. In Belgium there are no buildings such high, it goes maybe to 15 floors not more.

julie said...

vertical homes is the way to go to make use of the land properly :)

Sandra said...

I guess I had no idea that there were that many sky scrapers in Hong Kong, I knew there were a lot, but not that many. I would have a problem, with living above the 14th floor, with my fear of heights. eeek, Very nice photos, and perfect for this weeks theme! Happy week end

Sreisaat Adventures said...

Amazing structures, perfect for this week's theme. I've seen some of these skyscrapers when I went to HK years ago.

Mar said...

Coming from an earthquake region of the world, I look at skyscrapers with a lot of respect!!
Beautiful vertical shots.
Happy weekend!


Sue St Clair said...

To me it is both breathtaking, and kinda scary at the same time. Not certain I would want to live so high up. Great pic, and thank for the added information on Hong Kong. I love learning new things when I'm visiting the other photo hunters!

Happy photo hunting and thank you for visiting mine.

Bengbeng said...

i would feel claustrophobic among such skyscrapers.. need at least a few weeks to get used to it

EG Wow said...

Very vertical! I guess that's the way to go when there's not much land but tons of people!

CRIZ LAI said...

Hong Kong sure have a lot of this verticals.. :P

Sandy said...

great pics..
Mine's up, too...

Scott said...

Very vertical indeed. Nice pics and I like your “angle” on the vertical theme.

Annie said...

Very interesting. I didn't know that it was the world's most vertical city. While I'm not a city dweller, I do love the vertical lines of the architecture of those sky scrapers.

Happy weekend!

jmb said...

Well going vertical is the only way to house so many people in such a small space as Hong Kong.

Love the first photo. Amazing.

Happpy weekend YTSL.

YTSL said...

Hi Colin --

Glad to hear that you went beyond the beaten (tourist) path when you visited Hong Kong -- and sounds like you are too! :)

Hi Greyscale Territory --

That's partly why I included the second photo in the entry -- from nearer and the bottom, you can discern more space than from far away and above!

Hi Gattina --

Wow, I didn't realize that Belgium doesn't have really tall buildings. I know it's one of the low lands but thought that just meant that it doesn't have any mountains! :O

Hi Julie --

I agree! :)

Hi Sandra --

I lived on the American 17th floor when in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But, strangely enough, the highest I've lived in Hong Kong has actually "only" been the 7th... ;b

Hi Sreisaat Adventures --

Skyscrapers are hard to miss in Hong Kong. ;b

Hi Mar --

You'd think that skyscrapers and earthquake regions don't mesh but yet there are quite a few in Tokyo...

Hi Sue --

To be honest, I don't really want to live past the 10th floor myself. But I'm definitely in the minority here in Hong Kong in terms of where I like to live... ;)

Hi Bengbeng --

But when you visited Hong Kong, bet you stayed in a high rise hotel, right? ;b

Hi EG Wow --

...*and* when a large percentage of the land (up to 60% by some estimates) is designated country park land!

Hi Criz Lai --

Yes, indeedy!

Hi Sandy --


Hi Scott --

Thanks! :)

Hi Annie --

Yeah, I'm one of those who (also) thinks that it all makes for an impressive sight. :)

Hi jmb --

I love that photo too -- but probably for a different reason from you -- in that I love the blue skies in the picture and clear air that day that allowed me to take such a clear photo of it all. :)

Marta said...

Wow - That is a very dense. I didn't realize it either even from other photos. Your photo really shows it. Perfect for this week's theme.

ancient one said...

Perfect for the theme.. and with so many living up high.. I guess you don't get to use many weed whackers... thanks for coming by to see me..

YTSL said...

Hi Marta --

Not *all* of Hong Kong is like that... remember, there are the country parks and still some areas with older, lower buildings too. ;b

Hi ancient one --

No, no weed whackers and no weeds and grass for most people here -- at least not private ones! ;b

Life Ramblings said...

i didn't know that HK has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. but now i do. thanks for the info.:)

jams o donnell said...

I knew that Hong Kong was densely populated but looking at the sea of towers brings it home. Great photos

Sara Katt said...

Yes, I confess that the verticality of Hong Kong does scare me a bit. But I must admire the people of Hong Kong for making it work! If given the opportunity, I would gladly visit Hong Kong. There must be lots of interesting things to discover there, even if the first sight of it i very V E R T I C A L !!
Happy Sunday!
I'm very late. But if you have the time you can take a look at my smaller-scale vertical-post.
Sara Cat

Lui said...

hong kong is definitely a vertical city! I often wondered how would it be like to live in one of those tall buildings with another building right next to you.. I'm thinking it'll be weird..

Great photo hunt entry.. here's mine.

YTSL said...

Hi Life Ramblings --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi jams --

OTOH, today, I went hiking in an area of Hong Kong where hardly a skyscraper was in sight! So yeah, there actually are some parts of the Big Lychee with few tall buildings... and more trees than people!! :)

Hi Sara Katt --

There are plenty of cat lovers in Hong Kong. So I think you'd like it here and have few problems making friends. :)

Hi Lui --

Most people get used to it. They have to! :DDD

Race said...

i don't find it scary, actually i love the view of the beautifu buildings and you're right it's convenient! but sometimes you'll yearn for the countryside! goo dtake on the theme, here's mine