Hong Kong is a magical place, especially at night when the neon lights come on. As if held by invisible hands the signs appear to float in mid-air advertising all manner of unknown things (to the foreign eye anyway). The light they give off creates a strange sort of artificial daylight to the streets below and for the most part, they constitute the only street lighting. I could walk for hours here being drawn deeper into the narrow ravines between the decaying façades of shops and apartments memorized by this electric circus.
Neon signs are made from luminous glass tubes that contain neon or other inert gases at low pressure. When a high voltage is applied it makes the gas glow brightly. Somewhere there must a statistic about the number of people electrocuted or killed when these things fall down as some look pretty rusty and precarious!
Hong Kong is a multi-layered city with walkways and platforms extending out at different levels above and below ground providing its 7 million citizens with access to the heart of the labyrinth or if you’re like me more likely getting lost in it. The MTR is particularly rabbit-warren like and you can end up walking miles underground.
Fans of the first Ghost in the Shell movie might notice stylistic similarities in the above shots as the film was set here (the TV Series moved it to Japan later on). I’m sure to be back there in the next couple of months so if anyone knows any other good places to see neon in Hong Kong I’d love to know.