View From Kai Tak

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 20:56

thanks to hksparky for pointing these photos out... This is an unusual view - I'm wondering if it's from Stonecutters. You can see Lion Rock on the right

Date picture taken


Hi there,

It certainly look like Tsingyi Island by the left.  I wonder if it was a power plant or an incinerator plant in the background.  It is a photo before my time﹐  Except for skyline in the backgorund I don't know what I am looking at.

I am not familiar with Zeiss Ikon Contessa, a rangefinder with a folding Tessar f2.8/45mm lens but it seemed to be a high-end camera of its time.  Don't know if the lens is playing trick on us as well.

Best Regards,


The view is from Kai Tak and the RAF's pier, hence the flags. They are probably waiting for a launch to take them to Central. The Power plant is CLP's Hok Un Power Station. On the left will be North Point et al. IDJ

Thanks IDJ,  brilliant job. I agree you with and apologise for the Lion Rock red herring (it does look like it though!). The peak just to the right of where the soldier is looking must be Mount Nicholson sloping down to Wong Nai Chung Gap and Jardine's Lookout on the other side of the spotlight. Mount Violet looms behind. Definitely a confusing view at first!

 Is that the smoke from North Point Power Station opposite?

I've edited the title to give the correct description.

Yes, it will be the smoke from HK Electrics North Point Power Station. On the extreme right is the chimney of the Green Island Cement Company unusually not belching out dust. Each of these plants were extreme pollution generators until they were closed down, with the power plants being relocated. I think the process plant for the cement factory closed in the late 70s limiting its dust and smoke output, but a bagging plant remained until much later. IDJ

I suspect, from the presence of the colony flag, and a red light, and the absence of an RAF ensign, this is a HK govt., not an RAF pier. It looks very like the one in the background of one of the Kai Tak shots from "Love is a many Splendored Thing" featured on this site.   

I believe that, for treaty purposes, Kai Tak was originally classed as a seaplane base. The first Director of Air Services was Commander Charles Beckwith, formerly head of the Water Police, and Assistant Harbour Master.


Ho Lim Peng