Slums with penthouse views highlight Hong Kong's wealth divide

Story highlights

  • Hong Kong's network of sky slums are barnacled onto roofs of tenements built in 1950s, '60s
  • Mostly found in old urban areas in Kowloon -- Sham Shui Po, Kwun Tung and Tai Kok Tsui
  • Contrasts with luxury apartments that can often fetch up to US$12.85 million
  • Slums stem from housing crises of 1950s, 60s when waves of Chinese refugees arrived
If you can tolerate the junkies on the stairwells or the rats that sometimes scale the 12 floors of her building on the external electrical wiring, Lui's penthouse shack ticks all the boxes for a multi-million dollar property in Hong Kong.
It's light, it's well ventilated and it has sweeping views of Kowloon's Lion Rock Hill. Constructed from recycled materials, the design is customized to her lifestyle down to the last detail.
"This is my washing machine," says Lui, pointing proudly to a small stainless steel basin on the terrace side of her rooftop house in Sham Shui Po. "I do my tai chi exercises here in the morning, and on moonlit nights I like to sit out here and look out on the mountain."
Anywhere else in Hong Kong, luxury apartments can often fetch HK