victoria hk 1890s

This is a photo of the harbor of Victoria, in Hong Kong, taken about 1895. That was only a few years before the British government “leased” the colony of Hong Kong from China, a lease which famously expired on July 1, 1997, although the involvement of the British, and other Western powers, in Hong Kong much predated the late 1890s. Although I’ve never been to Hong Kong I’ve seen plenty of pictures of it, but when I saw this one I was amazed. There’s almost nothing there. The mountains overlooking the port aren’t completely empty; I believe at the time they had houses of rich merchants and Europeans. But they certainly don’t look like they do today.

By way of comparison, below is a photo of Victoria, not exactly the same angle but the same area, taken in 2013. How things have changed!

victoria hk 2010s

The modern photo of Hong Kong was taken by Diego Delso and is used under Creative Commons 3.0 (Attribution) license.