Hong Kong skyscrapers a magnet for daredevil rooftop photographers: Getting high
More and more daredevils are risking their lives on some of Hong Kong’s tallest buildings to shoot incredible photos and videos of the city.
With more than 400 buildings higher than 150 metres, according to the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, it’s easy to see why the city is such a draw for so-called “rooftoppers”, who scramble, often illegally, to the top of high rise buildings, bridges and other structures.
“We chose Hong Kong because of the city’s many skyscrapers,” Alexander Remnev, a member of the “Crazy Russians” rooftopping team, told theSouth China Morning Post.
Remnev and his fellow daredevils climbed the city’s fifth tallest building, the 346-metre high (1,335 feet), 73-storey The Centre, owned by Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Holdings. The company did not respond to a request for comment shortly before press time.
“From the top all the other skyscrapers seem tiny,” Remnev wrote in an account of his trip. “At that height it’s all peace and quiet.”
Though he admitted that risks “arise when we’re on the top,” Remnev insisted that they were minimal.
“We have everything under control and the likelihood of [an accident] is very small,” he said.
The Crazy Russians aren’t the only rooftoppers to have visited the city. Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov – who made headlines around the world in February when they published a video of themselves scaling the world’s second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower – have also conquered some of Hong Kong’s highest structures.
Raskalov and Makhorov, accompanied by some masked locals, posted a video last month of them climbing to the top of a building in Causeway Bay and apparently manipulating an electronic billboard to read “What’s up Hong Kong?”
This was the second time the pair have visited the city, which they said they preferred to Shanghai.
“Shanghai is bigger than Hong Kong and polluted and cold,” Raskalov told the Post in February. “The buildings in Hong Kong are so close together that we just had to look up from the ground and choose the nearest tall building to go into. There was no pollution and it was sunny.”
Hong Kong’s resident photographers have also been getting in on the death-defying trend. Three locals took what was described as the “world’s scariest selfie” from the top of The Centre in August, casually eating bananas hundreds of metres off the ground.
Such is the popularity of rooftopping on the web that the field is becoming increasingly commercialised. The Crazy Russians sell sponsorship of their videos to fund their trips.
Asked by the Post if they would be making a visit to the mainland, they said they’d consider – if someone was willing to pay for it.