It’s official. Hong Kong’s a part of China.

Filed in Hong Kong, Photo of the Day

While driving on the expressway to Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣 to make some arrangements for my trip to Indonesia next week, I couldn't help but notice that the sky was very unattractive. It looked pretty much like the skies you'd see in big China cities like Guangzhou 廣州. I really wanted to stop on the expressway and take a few photos but the policemen wouldn't have liked that.

Later on, on my way home, I couldn't resist the urge to try to get a few photographs. I surmised that the North Point ferry pier 北角碼頭 might allow me to get far enough out into the harbour to be able to see Central 中環 around the expressway. I was wrong but the view wasn't too bad anyway and I came away with a few reasonable shots. Since I published 'blue-sky' shots yesterday, I thought I'd share these with you asap so that you can see the contrast.

Orange Tsimshatsui

The business district of Tsimshatsui 尖沙咀 never looked so bleak.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

During my eighteen years here in Hong Kong, I have observed the skies becoming more and more polluted. I remember in the early years that we lived out in Tai Po 大埔, driving in to work in the mornings, I used to be able to see Lion Rock Mountain 獅子山 very clearly. In the latter years, Lion Rock Mountain was simply not visible at all. The same thing is now happening all over Hong Kong and I fear that blue skies will become a true rarity.

Orange harbour

That's Hung Hom 紅磡 district on the left and Kowloon City 九龍城 on the right with multiple cranes working hard on top of a new development at the Kowloon City Pier 九龍城碼頭.

For a 750x500 version, click here.

I guess Hong Kong is now officially a part of China.

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20 Responses to “It’s official. Hong Kong’s a part of China.”
  1. sapphire says:

    What a huge difference in these photos! This kind of weather conditions could trigger my bronchitis very often when I was in HK. Did you take these photos at noon time? It’s not easy for me to tell from the smoggy sky.

  2. Karen says:

    "I guess Hong Kong is now officially a part of China." -> I love this statement~~ Hahaha~~

    I still remember the pollution was bad when I was in HK and every morning I used up whole pack of tissue paper for my running nose (due to allergy to dusty air). :p

    Anyway, wish you enjoy ur trip to Indonesia~

  3. 河國榮 says:

    Sapphire, the pics were taken around 3.30 to 4.30pm.

  4. jO^c^ says:

    i think NYC is worse though..... i totally hated it, hope HK wont be like that anytime soon!

  5. John says:

    The sad thing is HK is pretty much helpless in terms of doing anything to prevent/reduce such pollution levels. I guess there's greater chance of getting George W. Bush to admit his errors than to get China to reduce their pollution levels. Shame how my home has been turned to this...

  6. yinyin says:

    wa, this is exciting, i never realized that the distance between someone who i may only see in the tv and i.
    What the.... Okay may i tell you a long story?
    Okay, tonight around 8:30pm in sydney( Yes, im living in the kangeroo island) watching healing Hands three. I was quite bore during the show because the story line is quite boring and i was reading my school certificate notes( a test to test year 10 students) but some how i was attracted by a song which touched my heart. I run out of words to describe my feeling, it is like a big hit or something. (sorry, i suck at english since my mother language is cantonese). yeah and then all your images like i saw lots of your show like the one in heaven sword and the dragon sabre, yeah/// Well i dont know, i just have this passion inside my heart, any thing i will surfing around the net.
    hey may i ask a personal question?
    Like i know ur last name is River, but why u named your self kowk wing? Do u know a actor called Cheung kowk wing? He is my favorite actor and 3 more days it is his birthday one day after the September 11th...
    Anyway...Cya
    Regards:
    Yin^_^

  7. Vanesse says:

    Dear Greg,

    Is it possible for your to open a forum for free discussion? Tonight I am very glad to see you on TV drama, playing guitar and singing. I don't know where to post a message about this and to share with other fans of yours!

  8. 河國榮 says:

    茵茵, the origin of my name will be explained one day in a Memoir article ;-)

  9. Arthur Heng says:

    Hong Kong and Taiwan are always a part of China!

  10. yinyin says:

    Arthur, well hk is used to be a British colony and Taiwan called proclaimed themself as Induidual nation. Yeah spirital they are all part of China and after 1997 hk is officially part of china. But the main point of this article is the comparsion how the weather in hk changed due to the high level of pollution.
    The title is a pun.

  11. Joanna says:

    Yes exactly! The cityskyline looks like a graveyard in distance, particularly this week. I dont like the smell as I am allergic to the air quality in town. Although I live in Sai Kung but I noticed that the air quality in Sai Kung is becoming worse these few years and it's not improving but getting worse. No, it should be getting worse after 1997 really. As I left Hong Kong to other country around 1997-1998, when I come back in 1999, the view under the plane was completly blurred, it was only some fog or smog under the clouds...now the sky is full of smog! When I was a kid, I remembered I could see the sky clearly in Sept and the weather is not that hot.

  12. a.big.fine.day says:

    >>I guess Hong Kong is now officially a part of China.

    It's sad.

  13. Jayce says:

    wow.. i didnt know HK pollution is that bad..
    U mean those yellowish brown color are actually from the air pollutants?

  14. ariana says:

    >>I guess Hong Kong is now officially a part of China.

    is there other ways to make HK offically part of China? using air pollution to connect them is really a sad statement. :(

  15. kylie thapthong says:

    Hi River ( is that how u call urself really?? LOL ) its so funny to find your website here. ive been watching you on TV since i was a small kid -- I never has any actors i will be crazy of but my mom told me since i was kid I liked you and love to watch you playing some role like a priest or something - and impressive that you could type Chinese.

    now im already working and seldom have time for TV - but nice to see you here again. come see my arts in my website if you have time ;-)

    love,
    Kylie

  16. the rock says:

    Yup, truly sad lah. Although the first sign for me was hearing the announcements on the MTR in putonghua.

    Makes my ears bleed, lah!

    Martin Lee wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal a while back, titled "Just another Chinese city" where he worries about HK losing its identity.

    Unfortunately, it is all coming to pass.

    *begin historical rant*

    Taiwan is NOT part of communist China! The communists NEVER ever exercised dominion over Taiwan. At the end of WWII, when the Japanese surrendered, it was the Nationalist Government that was in charge (remember, the PRC was founded in 1949, 4 years AFTER the end of WWII) and who took possession of it along with the rest of China. As far as I know, that government still exists on Taiwan...

    *now ending historical rant*

  17. Mike says:

    the pictures are great.

  18. Wesker says:

    I still remember how i suffered from the chain reation between air pollution and my hayfever when i was still in hong kong. those children in my class just kept making fun on my nose...
    physically, i feel better in brisbane, australia now, there's a relaxing and sunny place indeed; however, i miss hong kong, there are still lots of good memories of hong kong in my head anyway.
    actually i still feeling a bit resevered about the unification, personally. anyway, let's not talk about politics here, that's a bit sensitive for here...

  19. Kok says:

    .....and they blame cigarettes

  20. VK says:

    Air pollution, December 29 1999: My mom is flying back to Toronto by way of Chicago (United Airlines). I'm going to Singapore as an exchange student, so we part ways at the airport. While waiting for my flight I see the giant Boeing 747 taxi-ing onto the runway. As it rumbles down the runway, the front and back wheels have NOT EVEN LEFT THE GROUND before the airplane is completing obscured by the air pollution. I can't even see the plane lift off before it's "gone"!!!

    I'll never forget that! What am I breathing when I go there for a visit?