1966 Nighttime view from the Peak

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 19:48

Photo courtesy of Peter Lisle-Taylor

Date picture taken
1 Sep 1966


Alas, are we seeing just an ever so thin layer of smog above the Hung Hom/Kowloon City area, way back in 1966?

I understand there was a shipyard, power station and cement works there at that time, and if they really billowed that much into the HK sky, then air pollution nowadays probably hasn't worsened that much?


Hi there,

China Lights & Power used to have a plant behind Kowloon Dockyards behind Tai Wan Shan, close to the cement plant.  I believe we have an old photo showing its discharge somewhere in the site.

Best Regards,


The smog has certainly got a lot worse since I first arrived in 1989. See this graph, which shows we get around 4 to 5 times more smoggy hours per year now than we did in 1989.

The raw data goes back to 1968, and a quick glance at the figures shows the amount of smoggy hours per year levels stayed roughly steady from 1968 til 1988, then started climbing from there.

Regards, David

Hi David,

Pity the smog index page wasn't updated since the start of 2011.  There is no doubt the smog is worse nowadays, and I suspect its composition will have changed too, with a much larger scale smog in China blowing through on top of the local vehicular particles. 

Incidentally, I left HK just when the smog index started climbing for good (worse?) in the early 1990s, and came back permanently a few years ago to 400+ readings.  But since I have also travelled lots in China in the meantime, I have somehow learnt to appreciate how much better it is in HK than up north!