Whenever I visit a new city, I would love to see it from a vantage point, and make a time lapse video when I sit there watching the sunset. As I researched for the best locations in Hong Kong to view the whole city, I learned from several posts from the locals that the Lion Rock Mountain (狮子山) was a must-see. We decided to spend an entire afternoon finding the location, hiking up to the peak, and it was well worth the effort. This could be the best Hong Kong skyline photography location.
The Lion Rock Peak lies in the northern part of Kowloon City, with an altitude of ~500m. Unlike popular vantage points in Hong Kong, such as the Victoria Peak, the mountain peak is only accessible by foot, and it requires 1~3 hours of hiking/climbing depending on your fitness level. The top part of the trail is not well maintained so be prepared to use your hands while climbing, especially when reaching for the peak plateau.
To get to the trailhead, we took the MTR to the Wong Tai Sin Station (黄大仙站) and then found our way to the Lion Rock Park using Google Maps and with help from the locals we met on the way. The GPS location of the park entrance is 22°20’41.4″N 114°11’04.0″E in case you need it. From the park entrance, we just walked straight ahead to the BBQ place and there was a clear sign showing the way to the Lion Rock. There were clear signs along the trail pointing to the mountain peak so navigation was no problem.
At halfway to the mountaintop, we stopped at a lookout for a rest, with a nice view of the city skyline.
We were certainly not alone in this wonderful place as the indigenous residents came to see the visitors.
A group of monkeys followed the hikers in front of us, probably because of the food they carried.
I have to admit that most of the hike up to the peak was nothing exciting as the view of the city was blocked by plants along the trail. But getting some exercise, fresh air and sunlight was always better than staying at home.
The Lion Mountain peak was only 495m above sea level, so reaching the top wasn’t much of a challenge for most people. We spent ~one hour and a half before we arrived at this premium viewpoint of Hong Kong.
You will immediately realize that this is an ideal location to shoot sunset photos or time lapse videos. The sun sets at the right corner in front of you, which creates nice shadows across the city skyline. You will have the choice of including or excluding the sun in the frame for different compositions. In this shot, I decided to put the sun just outside of the frame, to achieve the effect of sunlight coming into the scene without showing the sun itself. It almost always feels cool to incorporate some motion into a scene like this. Long exposure comes in handy in this situation.
At this point, even when you are coming with a cellphone, you will be rewarded with memorable photos.
And as always, some portraits within the beautiful sceneries.
I guess most people visiting this place wouldn’t spend as much time there as we did. But I enjoyed watching the sunset, staying with my cameras taking a time lapse shot, and then photographing the night scene.
As you might have noticed, I haven’t shown any time lapse shots from Hong Kong yet. That would be my next Hong Kong blog. Thanks for reading.