Forget high-rises. The greatest place to take in Hong Kong’s skyline is not at the top of one of its 1,300 skyscrapers but in the hills north of town, at Lion Rock mountain. Located five miles from the city’s downtown center, the mountain, at 1,624 feet, is far shorter than Hong Kong’s 3,140-foot Tai Mo Shan or the 3,064-foot Lantau Peak. But Lion Rock’s proximity to and sweeping views of town have made it a favorite climbing spot, as photographer Kwong Man Chak can attest. He has scaled the mountain at least a dozen times, but one ascent last January was unlike the rest.
Kwong, who specializes in cityscape photography, usually gets to the mountaintop at nightfall, to snap photos after dark. But after a two-hour climb that day, he reached the top earlier than usual, and there happened to be a climber right in front of him on the rock.
Though he seldom includes people in his work, “I just thought it was very beautiful, and I liked the background, so I just went for it.” The image would go on to win Kwong acclaim in the international photo community. He attributes the shot to luck; nonetheless, “it’s an honor to show the world how beautiful Hong Kong can be,” he says.