The ”Monster” of Hong Kong

by Eliza


Are you also wondering what’s this tall building in Hong Kong that became viral in all social media? What’s all this about?

The Yick Cheong building also known as Monster building has lately become one of the most photographed spots in HK.  It’s so popular that hundreds of instagrammers, influencers, bloggers, photographers etc are visiting it, just to get the perfect shot of the giant concrete blocks. No one can doubt its unique architecture which makes the place so instagrammable, however only few really know its background story.

And honestly, before my trip to Hong Kong in February I had hardly paid any attention to it. Only when I started research about my upcoming destination (like I always do before I travel to a place for the first time), it caught my attention. Also, because the location of Yick Cheong would pop up in every hashtag and every account related to HK, so it was basically impossible to miss it. This is how I became more curious about it and I decided I wanted to know more and I wanted to visit it in real life.

So, I did. Even though the neighbourhood is located in the suburbs, where there is no touristic attraction at all, I found my way there. And that was the moment I had been waiting for, when I stood in awe and realised that the Monster building is a complex of incredibly dense stacked flats, accommodating dozens of people. Built in the 60s as public housing development, it is the most representative form of the city’s density in one of the most crowded countries in the world. I actually felt surrounded by concrete once I stood in the terrace, when the only way to see the sky was to lift your head straight up.

The complex started gaining wide publicity after being used as a set in many Hollywood films like the Ghost in the Shell and most importantly in the Transformers. Later, the top bloggers and photographers started flooding the place in an attempt to capture this photogenic colorful set of buildings from every different angle possible.

Try though for a moment, to step into the residents’ shoes, where your terrace is constantly crowded with tourists, photographers and random people posing… You wouldn’t like that right? Well, it makes sense and that’s why photography has been officially banned as it was seen as invasion of privacy. By checking Instagram, however, you will instantly realize that the so far the signs have no effect…

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