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.
As it is now, the harbor was a busy place full of people.
Here’s what it looked like along the coast and the waterfront.
Much development and change has happened since then.
Here is Hong Kong’s Pok Fu Lam village, where the city’s first dairy farm once sat.
This is Queen’s Road Central, near where much of the protesting is occurring.
Hollywood Road, also in close proximity to the demonstrations, has no connection to the neighbourhood in California.
Another street in the heart of the city, where much of the protesting is happening, is Morrison Street.
Neon signage was everywhere, much of which remains today.
City life was busy and bustling, even with 3 million less people living there, compared to current population figures.
In 1972, there was around 4.1 million people living in Hong Kong. Today, there’s around 7.2 million.
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