Hong Kong’s Fake Skyline Banners Allow Tourists to Get Good Shots on Hazy Days


Hong Kong’s tourism industry brings in about $37 billion in revenue for the city each year, and many of the tourists who contribute want to get a picture with the beautiful Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbor in the background while they’re there.

But what are they supposed to do if their only chance to get that shot is on a hazy/smoggy day in Hong Kong? The government has the answer: giant fake skyline banners.

As you can see in these pictures, the plot seems to be working. Given no visually appealing alternative, tourists will pose in front of the tarp skyline and pretend they’re enjoying a sunny day on Victoria Harbor.

As long as the shot is framed right and you don’t happen to catch any of those obvious creases and cut-offs, you may even manage to fool your Facebook friends:






As you can see, not everyone is playing along. Some see it as a better photo-op to get a picture with both the tarp and the regular murky skyline, which might make for a more interesting composition.

The photos were taken by Hong Kong-based photojournalist Alex Hofford for ChinaFotoPress. To see more of Hofford’s work (including a beautiful shot of the actual skyline … or maybe it’s just a really good sunset fake) head over to his website by clicking here.

(via The Atlantic)

Image credits: Photographs by Alex Hofford and used with permission.

  • Aloisi

    wow .. tackyness reaching new heights

  • meadow8

    have you ever been to HK, WR? if so you might know that it’s very different from mainland china and very much about genuine. besides that, the writer of the article should know that, (after living here i can tell you) the mainland and other asian tourists seem to take a picture in front of ANYTHING… the things i have seen people posing in front of cracks me up on a daily basis. this harbour pic might be one of 1000s a tourist might take and i hardly think it’s meant to bring home and fool family members. btw, most of the gray skies in HK aren’t due to smog. we actually get a lot of rainy days here… being tropical and summer and typhoon season and all.

  • Carmen Branson

    Xenophobe rednecks like Warren never travel. His mom probably don’t even took him to Disneyland to get his picture taken in front of a copy of snowwhite’s castle.

  • Ringo Hung

    I am from Hong Kong. They are actually hoarding boards for road repairing works behind…. @@!

  • Guest

    Exactly. spot on. Wow, it’s amazing how you can just cut to the bone with your wit. You deserve free Crisco for a year! What makes this more fun is I obviously hit a nerve with you so I’ll be laughing at you for the next few days.

  • Warren Ransom

    Makes sense. Why not make them look nice, eh?

  • Paul

    Went two times in HK for few days. It´s not like mainland. In fact…it’s worse.

  • Paul

    Went two times in HK for few days. It´s not like mainland. In fact…it’s worse.
    Hate that place.

  • pan ci

    Another white racist gay who use that article about some skyline photo poster wall in HK to spread his hate messages.

  • meadow8

    Trolling mainlander alert ;) Sorry to hear that, must not have had a very good tour guide.

  • Wood LAM
  • Mak Wa

    Laughing with yourself must be fun eh…

    Update: Warren Ransom’s username has changed to “Guest” in some of his comments because he tried to delete them.

  • Mak Wa

    Sure you have… bet you’ve never been out out your hick town, population of 2, just you and a mule.

  • Warren Ransom

    It’s pretty gross. The spitting (on the mainland) is something I never got past.

  • Summy

    It’s kind of sad that they feel the need to do this. Is it polluted most of the time there?

  • Mak Wa

    Nice one Warren Ransom, why you want to hide your comment under the “Guest” username?

  • Warren Ransom

    Yep. Met some really nice people, too. I like HK better than mainland China. Taiwan was my favorite country, though. All these people getting bent out of shape have a bone to pick obviously. Or they are just plain insecure. Either way, I find them amusing.

    Have you noticed how they perceive everyone white as gay? And I’m assuming they think it’s supposed to be an insult. methinks they still live in the stone age. It says enough about them, their upbringing and their social education.

  • TechLegend

    I wouldn’t say most of the time. I’ve been there several times on a nice clear days. It would definitely suck if you flew all the way there to see just haze though. One of the times there, the haze was so bad, their evening light show was pretty much hidden when viewing from Kowloon. Shot this photo the last time I was there.

  • Ygor Oliveira

    Why not just use the damn nice hazy weather?????

  • Ringo Hung

    I think this is already quite nice…at least not a blank white board…

  • Stan Perry

    well after doing a little reading of the comments … i completely understand … but my first reaction was anger and disrepair … now with the construction behind the wall it makes perfect sense … and to note it must have been photographer inspired …

  • Mak Wa

    It sure does say something about your upbringing and social education. Funny how you seem to have changed your tune after all your negative comments about Chinese people were deleted. Did you not like how you being treated the way you treated others?

  • Mak Wa

    How come all of Warren Ransom’s negative comments about Chinese been deleted?

  • Warren Ransom is a racist

    No, its only the closeted & homophobic you who think gay is an insult, and you are probably proud be called a “white racist”

  • kn_wa

    Good one Warren Ransom, I see you’ve changed your username again, how long you gonna stay as Jim Tootang now.

  • kn_wa

    Why you keep changing you user name Warren Ransom?

  • kn_wa

    Hi Warren Ransom!

  • kn_wa

    Warren Ransom is now known as Jim Tootang and formerly know as “Guest”

  • Mak Wa

    He’s not Warren Ransom anymore, he’s Jim Tootang now, and he’s learning to hide himself better now.

  • abc

    WTF Chinaized?

  • kafin8ed

    I was just in Hong Kong and saw these tarps… While people may be using them for photo backgrounds on cloudy or hazy days – it rained on me one day – I don’t believe this was the original intention. The tarps camouflage construction areas. They are just meant to obscure this. This article is jumping to some conclusions…