See What Hong Kong Looked Like 42 Years Ago

With all the interest surrounding Hong Kong in the past few days as pro-democracy protests continue to erupt, it’s easy to forget how much change the city has seen in the past 50 years. Hong Kong has undergone major growth, moving from a small city to one filled with massive skyscrapers, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Photographer Nick DeWolf captured daily life in Hong Kong during a trip to Asia in 1972. His photos show just what it was like in a time when the Pearl of the Orient was still transitioning into what it is today.

DeWolf has shared his photos with us below. Check out what Hong Kong was like more than 40 years ago.

Here’s what the harbor looked like then. Those fairly modest buildings have grown to more than 1,200 skyscrapers.

Hong kong 1972 wide skyline, nick dewolf

Nick DeWolf

As it is now, the harbor was a busy place full of people.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, more boats

Nick DeWolf

Here’s what it looked like along the coast and the waterfront.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, buildings

Nick DeWolf

Much development and change has happened since then.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, apartment buildings on the shore

Nick DeWolf

Here is Hong Kong’s Pok Fu Lam village, where the city’s first dairy farm once sat.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, more apartment buildings inland

Nick DeWolf

This is Queen’s Road Central, near where much of the protesting is occurring.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, shopping street

Nick DeWolf

Hollywood Road, also in close proximity to the demonstrations, has no connection to the neighbourhood in California.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, people selling

Nick DeWolf

Another street in the heart of the city, where much of the protesting is happening, is Morrison Street.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, hollywood street

Nick DeWolf

Neon signage was everywhere, much of which remains today.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, night time

Nick DeWolf

City life was busy and bustling, even with 3 million less people living there, compared to current population figures.

Hong kong 1972, nick dewolf, street life

Nick DeWolf

In 1972, there was around 4.1 million people living in Hong Kong. Today, there’s around 7.2 million.

Hong kong 1972 wide, nick dewolf

Nick DeWolf

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