The Peak

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MichaelJM on May 13, 2005

I would reckon that travelling to Hong Kong and not going to the peak is a bit like New York without the Empire State Building. However, you do need to gauge the timing of the visit to ensure a half decent view. In March, we were plagued with indifferent weather, and so on the morning when visibility was good and the weather forecast favourable, we headed off to Hong Kong’s "viewing station".

We, like most visitors, opted for the Peak Tram to take us to the summit. We had an Octopus card so didn’t need to wait in the queue, but were ushered to stand and wait at the side of the platform. Here we were able to read a little about the history of the tram, that’s been carrying people up to the top since the 1800s, before the vehicle came into view. We’d positioned ourselves at the bottom end so we could appreciate the view behind us. As we made our steep ascent, we "grabbed" different glimpses of Hong Kong and the harbour.

The Peak Tram is an experience in itself as it chugs its way up to the top. It was absolutely crammed with riders and it looked as if the queuing was fairly constant. At the top there was a fairly short indoor walk to the viewing stations and hold on to your hats because the views of Hong Kong are supreme. But before the views there are shops to pass. This first precinct is small and about to receive a refurbishment. This was lucky for us because there were bargains to be had, although our son said the prices were usually double what you’d find at the markets. A more modern mall with exclusive shops was just over the road, and although we didn’t buy (prices did seem on the high side), even I enjoyed looking.

But back to the view! We went to the top, and although the view was great, it did not provide good photo opportunities. You need to be down a stage, where the panorama is much better for the lens. We could see Kowloon, the towers on Lama Island, and all key buildings that make up Hong Kong’s stunning skyline. The river was busy with "traffic", the constant flow of ferries to the islands, some heavy freight transportation, small motorless crafts, and the occasional leisure boat speeding across the water, creating picturesque wakes even at our distance. In the foreground was the Peak Tram, some interesting local residences, and constantly circling above us, large birds (looked like eagles to me).

Hong Kong’s "smog" never seems far away, but it does create some interesting views of the islands. We never did make the Peak at night, but our son assured us that we would have loved it! He often goes up there and enjoys a romantic meal overlooking the mighty illuminated skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island.

Victoria Peak
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Hong Kong
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