Hong Kong is famous for its spirited Chinese New Year celebrations, but these bustling streets are colorful and animated even on a normal day. Photographer Michael Greenberg recently visited, and his pictures capture the human moments that stand out amidst the chaos.
In those anxious weeks leading up to a big trip, many people pass the time by making detailed plans. It can be calming, but it can also limit your options. To truly know a place you need to go off-script and get down to ground level, wandering untethered and without expectations, opening yourself to the unknown and making room for surprises. That’s how Michael Greenberg sets out to experience the places he visits, and it’s reflected in this four-part photo essay from the streets of Hong Kong.
This is a vertical city, and many of Hong Kong’s best hotels occupy the high floors of tall towers. The views from such heights are long and spectacular, but for the purposes of this ground-level perspective we’re focusing on six hotels that lie a little lower, bringing more of the outside in:
The Fleming’s location in Wanchai places it close to the harbor, and its nautical styles recall the Streamline Moderne architecture of the nearby ferries and terminals.
Ovolo Southside is Hong Kong’s very first warehouse-conversion boutique hotel — a clear homage to classic urban design styles, with graffiti-inspired graphics and vintage-inspired lighting.
In this city of towers, The Mira, located prominently across from beloved Kowloon Park, affords guests views not of rival skyscrapers but of expansive, verdant greenery.
Hong Kong’s first boutique hotel, and the first in Asia for celebrity designer Philippe Starck, J Plus was also the first to break from the city’s tradition of prim old colonial hotels.
For all its modernist simplicity, Stage isn’t an example of a blank international style, oblivious to its setting — the hotel is full of works by local artists and craftspeople.
Sheung Wan is crowded with eclectic restaurants, cool cocktail bars, boutiques and galleries, making it the perfect neighborhood for living like a local at this apartment-style hotel.
Special thanks to Michael Greenberg (not pictured) for his contribution to this story. Michael is an entertainment and advertising photographer based in New York City. You can view more of his work at his website or on Instagram. His first photo essay for Tablet focused on Cuba, and can be seen here.