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HONG KONG was my gate to Asia. In the time I spent there, I got to know the city and its surroundings as a place where different worlds coexist, and where space is scarce.

1

Court

Smart urban planning meets recreational needs for millions of Hong Kong residents with sport grounds like this one on the top floor of a parking lot. The only problem is the rainy season. I got soaked in a minute when a rainstorm started before I managed to reach the exit.

2

Towering

From the outside, there’s no way to know what’s going on inside these concrete monsters. Some buildings in the city centre are hiding “cage homes” and other cramped living conditions for thousands of Hong Kong’s residents. Stay to the side when walking beneath these buildings. All those air conditioner units are leaking!

3

Shiny

Skyscrapers are everywhere in Hong Kong, even in the reflections on other buildings. However, in Hong Kong modern and old are often mixed, so you might see an old ‘grandpa’ skyscraper standing next to a brand new twinkling glass tower.

4

Balcony

These sorts of "balconies" are common for renovations. Much smarter than building a 40-floor scaffold! While Hong Kong is very modern, scaffolding here is usually made out of bamboo. Cheaper, lighter, and safer.

5

Geometry

While most buildings look similarly tall and huge, different patterns can be seen in the plain walls, roofs, and windows.

6

Blocks

Conditions in these blocks of flats can be awful -- damp, small, dark, with the occasional cockroach to keep you company. A large number of Hong Kong residents live in these conditions, and the cheapest hotels are here as well. Staying in one of these buildings is not for sensitive people -- get ready for strange offers, stares, and a much faster heartbeat.

7

Quantifying

What else is there to say?

8

Beyond

While space is at a minimum in Hong Kong, the opposite is true outside of the busy, crowded, and dusty city, where there are mountains, islands, beaches, and fresh air -- a glimpse of which you see between the buildings here.

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