Memories of Instagram Pier; A Photo Journal by Jade and Julie

Hong Kong residents have just 2.7 square meters of public space per person, among the lowest in the world. Even in other dense Asian metropolises like Singapore, Tokyo, and Shanghai the score is double that number. Yet still, in 2021 one of the city's most popular public places, the Instagram Pier in Kennedy Town, was closed.

Sai Wan Pier

Officially named the Western District Public Cargo Working Area (PCWA), it was more than just a pier. With its panoramic views of Hong Kong’s glorious skyscrapers on the other side of Victoria Harbour, the Sai Wan Pier was a popular spot among people of all walks of life, for an evening stroll, a morning jog, a game of badminton, a romantic picnic, a dogwalk or even to catch some fish. Commonly called the Instagram Pier, the area was also well-known among photographers in search of the perfect place to enjoy Hong Kong’s beautiful sunsets in Hong Kong.

The pier's gritty character and industrial vibe were a stark contrast to Hong Kong's delicately designed and firmly fenced public parks.

The pier's gritty character and industrial vibe were a stark contrast to Hong Kong's delicately designed and firmly fenced public parks. The big open space with unrestricted access to the waterfront, no barricades and a fantastic view with ferries and junks passing by, was unlike other public spaces in the city. Instagram Pier was even voted the city's most favourite public space in 2016. Especially on Hong Kong's balmy summer evenings the pier was a popular refuge for people from the densely populated Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town Districts. That was until in March 2021 the government announced to close the pier to the public. With the Marine Department issuing warnings of HK$10,000 fines and six months in prison for members of the public caught entering the area, now only memories remain of this iconic and free spirited slice of Hong Kong.


Photos by Jade and Julie

The photos were taken during an internship in 2019 by Jade and Julie, students at Kellett School and 'third culture kids' keen to see all the hidden treasures that Hong Kong has to offer. Jade: "We liked the colourful graffiti, stacks of decorated container boxes and racks of wooden carriers. This is what gives Sai Wan Pier its unique characteristic, grungy feel and artistic vibe." Julie: "We tried to capture the beauty of urban decay: bright contrasting with saturated colours against the weathered pieces of rope, along with degrading metal casings and wooden crates against the modern buildings around it."


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HK Tramways 香港電車

Hong Kong Tramways (Tramways) has been serving Hong Kong since 1904 and operates nowadays a fleet of 165 tramcars including 2 antique party tramcars and 1 unique “TramOramic Tour” sightseeing tramcar. It is the world’s largest fleet of double-deck tramcars in operation, carrying up to 200,000 passengers every day. 香港電車有限公司(「香港電車」)自 1904 年起竭誠服務乘客。現時,香港電車擁有165 輛雙層電車(當中包括充滿懷舊氣息的兩輛古董派對電車及一輛古董觀光電車「電車全景遊」),是世界上仍在服務中的最大雙層電車車隊,每日接載可多達 20 萬人次的乘客。
Tania Willis Tania Willis

Tania is an illustrator whose work has been profoundly influenced by her life in Hong Kong. Tania's illustrated world is defined by colour, pattern, warmth and humour, all drawn directly from her experiences in this vibrant city. She thinks map making is the best job on the planet... Tania 是一名插畫家和製圖師。她將偉大的想法轉化為人們可以聯繫到的引人入勝的圖像。她認為這是這個星球上最好的工作......
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