Hong Kong Quarry Bay Monster Building

Asia, China, Hong Kong
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Welcome to the Monster Building as it got nicknamed by locals. Even though it’s called the “Monster Building” it is not just one building. This complex actually consists of five different buildings: the Fook Cheong Building, the Montane Mansion, the Oceanic Mansion, the Yick Cheong Building, and the Yick Fat Building. Often times the Monster Building is also called the Yick Cheong Building, which is the middle building of the complex.

About the Quarry Bay Monster Building

This complex was build in the 1960s by the local government, providing subsidized accommodation for the low-income residents in the city. All together these five buildings form an E-shape and therefore offer two courtyards: East and West. Both of the courtyards look similar but painted differently. One other difference is, that the eastern courtyard is actually surrounded by four towering buildings. There is one on the south side of the building, which is much taller than the rest of it. This building is known as Kornville Tower 2, which is 478 ft (146 meters) tall and has 49 floors.

Yick Cheong Building
Yick Cheong Building

Once you stand inside one of them you are surrounded by concrete. The only escape is the view up where you can see the sky. These five blocks consist of 2243 apartments and can house around 10,000 people. This is pretty intense and dense. Such a small area housing that many people. You can clearly see the difference between East and West. Here in the United States, everything is huge and spacious. In Hong Kong, every square inch is worth a lot more, as there is less available landmass to live on.  Besides a huge amount of apartments, there are also shops on the ground floor of the building.

Yick Cheong Building
Yick Cheong Building

It is such a unique place and was also featured in many movies and TV showsincluding

  • Ghost in the Shell
  • White Dragon/Strangers S01E04
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction.

This place rose quickly to Instagram fame and is one of the most photographed locations in Hong Kong. People get in line to take their pictures at this location. Most of the time the eastern courtyard is overlooked and less crowded.

Yick Cheong Building
Yick Cheong Building

Getting to the Monster Building

The best way of getting around in Hong Kong is to use the subway, also called MTR. Exit at Quarry Bay Station and use Exit A. Once you get out to the street which is King’s Road, go right and follow it to the south. Once King’s road starts to turn left you will also see a big pedestrian overpass over the road, the building in front of you, across the side street is the “Monster Building”. Follow the side street (Mount Parker Rd) and make a left at the next small road which is Quarry Bay Street.

Alternatively, you can use the Tai Koo Station and use Exit B. Once you are out, go left and follow King’s Road. The building will be on your left and you will pass it before you make another left onto Mount Parker Rd. Either way, it’s less than a 5-minute walk.

From there you walk up a set of stairs to the western courtyard. From that courtyard, you can also reach the eastern courtyard.

Photography Tips

When trying to photography this building, make sure you have a wide-angle lens. Believe me, you will need it. The wider the better. This is the best way to capture the whole monstrosity in one image. 

Most modern smartphones feature now a wide-angle lens, which is perfect for that. Play around with the angles as this structure has so much to offer. Visit the eastern courtyard and take a photo straight up to get the sky framed by buildings on all four sides.

For more professional photos I recommend you a tripod, especially if you try to capture it at night. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling that day and decided to stay at the hotel rather than head back out to the building. Maybe next time…

Please be also aware that this is a residential area and home to many people. Be respectful of them and also keep your noise level to a minimum.

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