on April 21, 2008
At 552m above sea level, Victoria Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong Island, it can be reached by tram or foot; from its top the views of downtown, the port and surrounding mountains are exceptional in every direction. Reaching the PeakReaching the Peak from the downtown, use bus 15C ($3.2HK) from the Star Ferry to the Peak Tram Lower Terminus. The tram completes the way almost to the peak’s summit. It dates back to 1888 and it is wonderfully maintained in its original splendor. Despite its age, it manages to climbs almost 400 meters in a 27° slope, till its end point a few meters below the summit. The trip costs 20HK$ for one way or thirty for a return ticket.It is recommended to sit in its northern (right) side while climbing, since it provides the best views of the harbor, unluckily its closed windows block the opportunity to get good pictures. The TerminusThe Upper Terminus is located - in true Hong Kong style - within a shopping mall. The shopping mall includes several restaurants and attractions including a Movenpick Marche, a Madam Tussaud museum for wax lovers, and a Ripley's one for those uninterested in the stunning views of the city.These are all nice, but the winner is the Pacific Coffee Company branch which offers red, soft couches facing windows overlooking the blue straits. The Deck and the Sights On the mall’s roof there is a viewing deck with coin operated lenses which let the visitor enjoy close-ups of the city. Downtown Hong Kong offers here a splendid angle for pictures; however, the straits, the busy harbor, the ferries and Kowloon beyond appear with a misty aura around them. The business district, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon are the highlights. Right down from the peak are three of the world’s fifteen tallest buildings in clear sight: the Central Plaza (78 storeys, 374m), the Bank of China (70s, 369m) and The Center (79s, 350m); such buildings are seldom so easily seen from above. It is a good idea to stay for a few hours until after sunset in order to get some bright snapshots of the City of Lights.The Way DownIf there is still daylight, you can help digestion by walking your way to the centre; there is a very nice path which is clearly marked from the peak to downtown. Finding the path is easy, get out from the ground level of the Peak Tower, walk left towards the single house down the slope and then use the stairs at its side which are later transformed into the walking trail. From there, it is an easy half an hour walk to the escalator leading to the central district. Friendly local joggers will cheer up the way.
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