MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Hong Kong Panoramic Views at The Peak and the Peak Tram

Victoria Peak, known locally as The Peak, is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, with an altitude of 552 metres. It is a major tourist attraction which offers spectacular views over central Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands.

image

When guide books talk about Hong Kong, most almost always have The Peak as one of the must visits attrractions of the country. Of all the times I've visited Hong Kong in my life however, this is the only time I've ever visited The Peak!

As early as 19th century, the Peak attracted non-native, prominent residents because of its panoramic view over the colony and its cooler climate compared to the sub-tropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong.

These original residents reached their homes by sedan chairs, which were carried up and down the steep slope of Victoria Peak. This limited development of the Peak until the opening of the Peak Tram funicular in 1888, which created demand for residences on the Peak.

image

Between 1904 and 1930, the Peak was designated as an exclusive residential area reserved only for Europeans and government officials. They also reserved the Peak Tram for the use of such passengers during peak periods. However, today, The Peak remains an upmarket residential area, with residency being based on wealth.

The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other, which incorporate the upper station of the Peak Tram and the Peak bus station respectively.

image

The Peak can therefore be easily reached by either the lower station of the Peak Tram located in Hong Kong's Central district, or by a number of Hong Kong's public and green minibuses that go there.

image

The day we decided to visit The Peak was a Saturday. I don't know whether its a normally busy day, but when we approached the lower station, the queue was massive, stretching out of the station and around the corner to the attraction's large sign at the nearby road junction.

However, the queue itself was just for the Peak Tram and since we also wanted to visit the Madame Tussauds at the top, we were able to skip straight pass them all and purchase combo tickets at a separate box office. More on Madame Tussauds on the next post, but regards, avoiding the Peak Tram queues, I'd say take your chances! The next time, I'm taking the bus. After getting through the ticket gate, there's still another queue on the platform - groups of passengers are counted through by stewards. There's a bit of pushing and shoving, and for some reason, I was surprised by the good-natured temperament of everyone regardless.

If you've never been on the Peak Tram, I'd say its worth the queuing to get on - its a fantastically steep journey, past residential blocks! At the time, adult tickets cost HK$22 (£2) for a single journey and HK$33 (£3) for return, so it won't break the bank.

image

Alternatively to queuing up, you can also wave the tram down during its journey up and get on at one of the four stops it passes. A couple of girls did this, but we noticed that the fare was alot higher - they paid with their Octopus cards.

A little tip - if you can choose where to sit on the Peak Tram, then on the way up, sit on the right hand side (the side you get on at). This will give you far out views of the cityscape rather than the closeup side of the hill. On way down, sit on the same side, which will actually be the left side - the opposite side to where you get on at.

Apart from Madame Tussauds, we didn't fully explore The Peak this time. There are some trails you can follow, but apart from running out of time, it was also fairly cool and blustery up there. Down below, the weather was pretty warm and we didn't prepare with any jumpers! (Worth thinking about if you plan on hiking around.)

For more photos, check out The Peak Flickr set

Wikipedia Source for Victoria Peak

Wikipedia Source for the Peak Tram


This entry posted in : Attractions. Hong Kong. Tourism.

If you found this post interesting, connect with us on Twitter and Facebook!
  Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

← Previous Entry Next Entry →