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Photo of the Week #9: What Happened To My View?


Hong Kong Island obscured by haze. As seen from Mount Butler last Thursday.

What a week it’s been. A week of greyness and haze and generally not being able to see the other side of the street because of the strange yellow mist that has descended.

Is it pollution or is it the weather? I sometimes struggle to believe that all these non-views that I’m seeing can really be due to the smog. I try and convince myself that it’s cloud or that it’s a genuinely misty day. I try and give Hong Kong the benefit of the doubt. But is it really so likely that Hong Kong Island, at 3pm on an otherwise sunny day, has actually become completely obscured by mist?

You look out and all you see are the vague shadows of the buildings you know should be there. You know IFC and Central Plaza are somewhere in the gloom. You look up and see blue sky somewhere past the grey, and blue sky out towards the east as well. But as your eye scans back to where you’re standing, the blue is slowly swallowed by the miasma that you’re facing.

I know it’s always worse in winter, but this last week has seemed particularly bad. It was only ten days or so ago, that every hill on the Kowloon side was visible from Hong Kong Island. Every day I was rushing home so I could get myself to the top of some peak or other in time for sunset, knowing that such pristine views just simply couldn’t last. It’s since been a frustrating daily slump to visibility levels a cataract patient would be ashamed of.

Is it likely to clear up any time soon? Well not the problem itself, that’s for sure. All we can hope is for some kind of relief from the shittiness so that we can once again begin to enjoy those things that make Hong Kong the unique city that it is – the hikes, the views, and all that nature on our doorstep.

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