Central and Kowloon from the Peak (1980) | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Central and Kowloon from the Peak (1980)

Central and Kowloon from the Peak (1980)

This is from our first visit to Hong Kong in August 1980. One of the highlights was the view from the peak tower overlooking Central and Kowloon. We were highly impressed by the large numbers of skyscrapers.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, August 26, 1980


After this visit we didn’t come back to Hong Kong for a long time, but finally returned in 2011 and 2014. Of course, peak tram and peak tower were a must again. The view from the (new) peak tower was overwhelming again – but so much of a change. The image below is from December 4th, 2014.

Central and Kowloon from the Peak (2014)
Central and Kowloon from the Peak (2014), by Klaus

All the buildings are much higher, and advanced much closer to the peak. On the first glimpse everything is different, but on the second one some old familiar houses and places are still there and visible.

Most impressing for me is Jardine House – in 1980 it was prominent in the centre of the image. With its height of about 180 m it was the highest in all Hong Kong. In 2014 it is still visible from the peak, but you have to look a bit more careful to find it between all the much higher ones. The neighbouring Two ifc building with its 412 m is more than double in height. So the highest building of 1980 has dropped in height ranking to about number 150.

A closer look to the 2014 image reveals other “old buildings”. In Central, the old Bank of China building is visible, a dwarf among its neighbouring bank sisters. This seems to be all on the island; everything else is hidden behind the skyscrapers.

Now to the Kowloon side – this is easier. Of course, the mountains are unchanged. (I used the shape of the mountains as well as the Jardine House to align the 2014 image to match the 1980 one). Right hand side is the former Regent Hotel – now InterContinental Hotel. Left from that is the Sheraton Hotel, and then Peninsula Hotel. The latter is invisible now, only the high-rise annex is visible. Further to the left are Ocean Terminal, Star House, and Harbour City with Ocean Centre.

And of course, land reclamation at the Kowloon shores is easy to see – what an increase of usable ground.

That’s all I have found. It’s a bit difficult to find more places in the distance as the visibility was much better in 1980.

Everyone is encouraged to spot more!

P.S. These two images appeared in February this year in Germany’s biggest weekly Newspaper DIE ZEIT under the title “A leap in Time”. They will also be in the (German) book “Metropolises - Megacities - Global Cities“ by Gerd Bronger. I admit to be proud of that.

Hi Klaus,

This is really sharp, thanks for posting and congratulations that they'll be published.

Over in TST I can see the old YMCA and the Space Museum.

Further back in Hung Hom the dockyard is still there, and further out again there is a clear view of Kai Tak.

For anyone who hasn't tried the "view full screen" feature before, this is a good photo to try it. It's the small button below the photo, second from the right.

Regards, David

Thank you, David. I will add the places you mentioned.

I moved this topic to general forum: http://gwulo.com/node/29642 as it (as far as I think) of general interest and should not be hidden in a comment..

Regards, Klaus

on both the 1980 and 2014 images this building is visible:

Any idea?

Klaus - it's a ventilation shaft for the MTR track that crosses the harbour.