Across The Island, Its Natural Beauty

Photographer and Author: Edward Stokes
Translator: Marcella Chui
Publisher: MTR Corporation (HK) with the Hong Kong Conservation Photography Foundation (HK), 1998
Format: Bilingual hardback, 255mm x 280mm, 168pp.
Photos: Colour
ISBN: 962-85274-1-X


Follow Edward Stokes on this personal journey, across the wilds of Hong Kong Island. His photographic odyssey begins in the west, with Pok Fu Lam’s sheer peaks and deep valleys; and it ends in the east, beside Cape D’Aguilar’s jagged coastline.

Photographs of Hong Kong Island almost always view it from across the harbour. The images in this book have a fundamentally different viewpoint and purpose. Edward Stokes, by photographing the interior of Hong Kong Island, celebrates its natural grandeur. Peaks and valleys fill the foreground, the city buildings diminish to their true proportions.

With artistic photos and historically informed narratives, Stokes guides readers across Hong Kong Island. Along the way, he presents a wealth of ecological and human interest.

On Hong Kong Island crystal water flows down a rocky gully. The watercourse runs past boulders, beside feathery bamboos, between tangled walls of trees. Can the city be only three kilometres from this scene? 

Photographing Across Hong Kong Island was memorable. I took the images during 1997, the year of Hong Kong’s handover to China. And, for the first time, I worked in medium-format, with the superbly capable and precise PENTAX 67.

These natural wonders lie just beyond the crowded urban areas. Superbly revealed here, this little known Hong Kong is a place of natural creations, wild landscapes – and solitary, beguiling trails. As the book’s regional chapters describe, local hiking is easily accessible. Photographic and hiking notes add interest, with other information to encourage readers to explore Hong Kong Island themselves.

No other book has shown, through photos and words, the great natural beauty and diversity of Hong Kong Island. And none before has so clearly highlighted the need to preserve the Island’s Country Parks, with their ecological and recreational benefits.