Tall, dark and shiny Hong Kong

I used to have dreams in which I would walk to the edge of a cliff and peer down into a seemingly bottomless canyon. Suddenly, a gust of wind would knock me off my feet, and I’d tumble over the side.

Most of the time, I’d catch a branch on the way down and pull myself back up to safety. But sometimes I’d continue falling toward imminent death. In those dreams, the feeling was real, because I was actually falling out of my bed. I’d wake up on the floor with that weak-in-the-knees sensation you get from fear.

I experienced that same feeling while observing Hong Kong’s skyline from the Peak Tower. Located near the top of Victoria Peak, a 552 meter hill overlooking the city, the tower sits 396 meters above sea level. I went at night, on an evening when the sky was clear. I was lucky, because sometimes the pollution from factories on mainland China is so heavy that it casts a haze over the island, considerably reducing visibility of the skyline.

The best view in the seven-story tower is from the Sky Terrace 428. After paying HK$30 ($3.86), I walked outside and found a spot along a crowded glass railing to rest my camera. A full moon shone over the tops of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers, which were already illuminated by an array of neon lights, as I snapped a few pictures.

There was something magical about the setting, which is probably why filmmakers keep coming back to Hong Kong to use its skyline as a backdrop for action scenes. It’s inspiring enough to make you forget about all your worries, even a fear of heights.

View from the Sky Terrace 428.

Another view of the skyline.

I visited Hong Kong in early December, when some of the buildings were decorated with Christmas lights.

The IFC 2 tower, one of the tallest buildings in the city.

View underneath a skyscraper in Hong Kong.

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