Candid Hong Kong – alternative Christmas lights

Every fortnight I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

Near where I live is a fake ship (because the area used to be a shipyard) which has shops and restaurants in. As part of their Christmas decorations they have planted a ‘sea’ of fake light up roses around the ship – I’m not sure what it has to do with Christmas but the effect is quite nice!


By the way, if you’re interested in some of the more ‘Christmassy’ lights that are up this year in Hong Kong, check out this post.

Thanks for reading!


Christmas lights on the Kowloon waterfront

This article is now available as a walking tour on GPSmyCity – click here to find out more

A couple of Christmasses ago I wrote about the Christmas lights in Hong Kong. They are on a massive scale, with many taking up the whole side of a skyscraper! Back then, I lived in Happy Valley, so my view was mainly of the lights on the Hong Kong side, but there are more lights to see on the Kowloon side too. To take a look at this year’s lights, I took a nice stroll along the promenade from Hung Hom all the way to the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) (which takes about an hour).

As you walk along the promenade in Hung Hom, you get a great view of the eastern half of Hong Kong island. There was only one building with lights on, possibly in Quarry Bay, so I didn’t take a photo of the view in this direction. But as I approached the end of the walkway in Hung Hom, I could see some buildings with Christmas lights in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai.


At this point the path cuts in, away from waterfront, and takes you up along the side of the Harbourfront Horizon estate and over the Central Tunnel. You soon descend again into East TST, where you can see the lights on a group of buildings that are full of shops and restaurants.


This is the first of those buildings, the Empire Centre:


Then, the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre…


…the Shangri-La hotel…


…and Wing On Plaza.


The Shangri-La is definitely the most tasteful, although it may be limited as to where the lights can go since guests won’t want lights in front of their hotel room windows!

At this point we were diverted away from the waterfront again, this time due to a massive building site which has shut the Avenue of the Stars, so we had to walk along Salisbury Road instead – not very scenic! But at least it did mean that we could see the Peninsula Hotel lights, which were very similar to last year but very pretty – with snowflake-shaped lights hung across the gap in the middle of this U-shaped hotel.


After the Peninsula, you can see the display in Heritage 1881. There is some kind of display here all year round, and it’s never really to my taste but there are always tourists having their photos taken with it! This Christmas they seem to have gone for an ice-palace type theme (excuse the terrible quality of this photo which was taken from the other side of the road!).


Our next stop was the Cultural Centre and clock tower, where I had heard there would be lights, but there was nothing to see! I was a bit puzzled at the time but now I realise that we were just there at the wrong time. There is a 3D light show at 8.20, 8.45, 9.15 and 9.45pm every night until 28th December (more details here), and we were there about half an hour too early to see the first one! Oh well.

You do get a great view of Hong Kong Island from the waterfront here though, so I was able to get a shot of some more of the buildings that were lit up, this time looking towards Admiralty and Central.


Finally, we headed over to Harbour City (just the other side of the Star Ferry) to see what display they had outside this year. They seem to have gone for a retro Disney themed street! Not really to my taste but it was pretty packed with people having their photos taken with the displays.




And now our walk was all done! We turned around and headed home on a bus from the Star Ferry.

I feel like many people stick to the Hong Kong side when looking for Christmas displays, but as you can see there is lots to see on the Kowloon side too! Let me know if you check them out!

Thanks for reading!


Christmas in Hong Kong

It’s our first Christmas in Hong Kong, and it’s really interesting to see the ways that Christmas is the same and different here as back in the UK. Christmas is not a traditionally Chinese festival, therefore a lot of the Christmassy things we are seeing and doing are coming from the expat community and international brands, such as carol services and M&S mince pies!

Christmas preparations started here much later than in the UK. The first thing I saw relating to Christmas was this in mid-November:

Christmas trees for sale in Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Then, almost as soon as December hit, the little local stationary shops were full of Christmas decorations:

Christmas in the Hong Kong stationary shops

And poinsettias popped up everywhere:

Poinsettias outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Hong Kong

Soon, the shopping malls were getting in on the act:

Christmas tree in Festival Walk, Hong KongChristmas decorations at The East, Hong Kong(although I’m not sure what trains and cogs have to do with Christmas)

But the most impressive are the lights on the skyscrapers:

Christmas lights, Gloucester Road, Hong KongSun Hung Kai building Christmas lights, Hong KongKowloon Christmas lights, Hong KongChristmas lights, Hong Kong island

Thanks for reading!