When I came across half a dozen slides from 1962 Hong Kong, it was like I’d hit the jackpot.
These slides from my mom’s first trip to Asia (a summer she spent in the Philippines, Japan, and Hong Kong) give me a glimpse into the typical tourist itinerary back then.
She took this shot standing near the old Kowloon railway station, which has been cleared and is now strewn with cultural institutions like the Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Cultural Centre.
And the skyline in this photo is barely recognizable today.
Where to start?
So much land has been reclaimed that the harbor has shrunk. The Star Ferry pier is now housed in a replica building. The old godowns (warehouses) lining the harbor front are long gone. They’ve been replaced by glossy skyscrapers. (Although I do remember shopping in some low-rise buildings in Sheung Wan, on the right of this photo, frequented by mainland Chinese in the 1990s back before Mandarin was spoken throughout the territory). And many of the brand advertisements have left that part of the skyline, but are still alive and well on the streets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
Then, as now, no trip to Hong Kong would be complete without viewing its beautiful skyline.