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Now a riddle:
Who can guess what do we find in Victoria Peak, besides gorgeous views?
No one got the answer!
Do you give up?
Ok, this is the solution:
A Shopping Mall
At last! A Shopping Mall in Hong Kong!
- Arts and Culture
I spent three days in Hong Kong, delaying the visit to Victoria peak because the weather was so cloudy that we couldn't see it from below. At last, we got a couple of clear hours and went up. Be careful with this point: the best of the peak are the views and they aren't always available.
We HAD good views.
- Arts and Culture
The Peak is also known as Tai Ping Shan (太平山) by the locals. It is the highest point of Hong Kong Island, also part of the Victoria Peak. This is where you get the best views of Hong Kong Island. Most visitors would take the Peak Tram to reach the Peak. Other alternatives are walking off the trail or take a bus. The Tram would drop off passengers at the Peak Tower. A Peak Tower is a modern structural building that consists of the Viewing Terrace on top of the building, Madame Tussauds, souvenir shops, restaurants, coffee shops and etc. At the peak , you will also find an open square garden, the Peak Lookout restaurant, The Peak Gelleria Shopping Mall, a Visitor Information Counter in an old tram, and the Lions Club of Tai Ping Shan.
Other than coming here to see the views, I do find that it is a great place to enjoy the cooler weather and have a cup of coffee at the Pacific Coffee at the Peak Tower. If you come here in the evening, why not make a reservation for a romantic dinner at the Peak Lookout. Of course, there are other dinning options including fast food, cafes, Western or Chinese restuarants and etc.
If you are on a budget, you can skip the admission to the Sky Terrace at the Peak Tower. Why? You can get the same views of your photos at the Lions Club of Tai Ping Shan, admission is free.
For ticket to The Peak Tram & The Sky Terrace, please click here.
- Arts and Culture
The Peak: The Peak Tower & The Sky Terrace
Upon arrival at the Peak Tower, most visitors would take the escalator up to The Sky Terrace. You need a ticket in order to enter the Sky Terrace. If you do not buy the ticket as package with the Peak Tram, you can still buy at the admission counter of The Sky Terrace. It is the highest point at the Peak, 428 meters above sea level. You will not only see the City Skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island like the picture everyone has, but also its surrounding views of local houses, mountains, the harbors, and the green landscapes in the Peak.
There are souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and other retail outlet get you busy inside the Peak Tower.
I think the HK$40 is well spent enjoying the views at the Sky Terrace as compared to some other observatory towers would simply cost you more than HK$200.
Fabulous views best seen on a clear day!
I'm not absolutely certain but I would assume that Victoria Peak and the accompanying Peak Tram ride are the number one tourist attraction in Hong Kong. I have been up to the Peak a number of times, both day and night and during different weather conditions. Based on my observations I would suggest the following to ensure you enjoy the Peak at its best.
Personally, I prefer the day views but the night views are certainly spectacular if the right conditions prevail. The weather plays a big role in terms of visability. If you are fortunate enough to spend a few days in Hong Kong then you should choose the clearest day/night possible for your trip to the Peak. However, if time is limited and you are going up to the Peak for the sole purpose of seeing the fabulous views of Hong Kong then I wouldnt bother doing so on a wet or misty evening or when there is low level cloud cover. If you cant see the bowl shaped Peak Tower from ground level then you really wont see much from the Sky Terrace viewing platform at the top.
The unusually shaped tower is a fairly recent addition to the various outside viewing platforms and there is an additional entry charge to access the Sky Terrace on top of your Peak tram ticket. Unless you are particularly interested in standing on the observation deck which I might add is still exposed to the weather, then there really isnt any need to pay extra for the privilege. You are still able to access the Peak Tower and its restaurants and shops without paying but there is an entrance fee to see the wax figures in Madame Tussauds. (I've reviewed this separately)
The outside areas around the Lion's Pavilion provide the same vista at no charge and are just a couple of minutes walk from the Peak Tram exit. If you want a "professional photo" of yourself with Hong Kong in the background, then this is where the photographers hang around.
There are a number of walking trails. I have done the Hong Kong Trail which is a one hour loop circuit. The views are great in some places but the lush vegetation which has obviously grown up over many years does obscure them at many points along the trail. It is a pleasant walk though and with much of it in the shade its certainly an enjoyable thing to do on a really hot day.
Its not surprising that late afternoon and early evening is the most popular time to visit the Peak, with many people taking the opportunity to combine both day and night views during the same visit. If you have only limited time I suggest taking the Peak tram ride from early to mid morning to avoid the longer queues that build up as the day progresses.
The Peak on Hong Kong Island is the highest mountain in Hong Kong.
You can get here on a funicular railway called the Peak tram or by number 15 bus from Exchange Square Bus Station, Central.
There is a shopping centre at the top of the Peak and a Ripley's Believe it or not. There are restaurants, too. You can also walk to the govenor's gardens, or take a walk around the Peak. On clear days there are great views over the harbour. Be careful though most days in Hong Kong are smoggy.
The Peak from a different perspective
I would imagine that eight out of ten people travel to the Peak on the renowned Peak Tram. It is after all a highlight of a trip to Hong Kong and certainly the quickest route, even with the obligatory queueing. Taking the bus is another, much slower but more interesting choice. But there is another alternative... by foot.
Take a step back into colonial times (of course you will have to imagine Hong Kong without skyscrapers, elevated walkways and escalators) and hike up to the Peak. This is a nice way to spend a few hours in the early morning before the shopping malls and markets open and more importantly, before the heat of the day sets in. I must point out that these walks are very steep in certain sections so only attempt this if your fitness level is good.
I'll explain the route I took. Continue past the Lower Peak tram terminus uphill on Garden Road then turn right sharply into Robinson Road. Follow Robinson Road for 100 metres then turn left into Albany Road/Old Peak Road. Stay on Old Peak Road. It took me a bit over an hour to do this walk leisurely with a couple of rest stops. There will be plenty of people around. A lot of locals use this route to exercise in the morning and on weekends as a break from the concrete jungle of Central.
You can also walk to the Peak via Conduit Road and Hatton Road. The upper end of Hatton Road joins Harlech Road on the Lugard Road/Harlech Road Hong Kong Trail circuit around the Peak.
Visit the Peak with Peak Tram.
The Peak gives you a good view of the whole harbour. (provided it's a good clear day). The Peak Tram provides a comfortable way to go up the hill rather than go round the very winding road. And when you get to the top, please imagine before the tram was introduced, how did people commute? The answer is sedan.
Bizzare enough, the second tallest building in HK - the International Finance Centre (IFC) is about the same level with the peak. Just weird!
This picture was taken in Sept 2002 when IFC was not finished. You can see the unfinished top of the building.
- Family Travel
The PEAK TRAM Experience
For most visitors to Hong Kong a trip to admire the views from Victoria Peak is high on the agenda and the most famous way to do this is to ride the tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus in Central.
The famous furnicular tram has been in operation since 1888. Prior to that the only public transport option to the Peak was to be carried up in a sedan chair! In the intervening years there have been several modernisations to the original coal burning system, most recently upgrading in 1989 to a micro-processor electric drive system, however throughout its history the Peak Tram has evolved from being the most elegant way to travel to Victoria Peak into a major tourist attraction.
The highlight of the trip are the views. Obviously these continually change due to development. They still encompass the natural beauty of the Peak, but the greenery is now competing for space with hundreds of skyscrapers. The views are best enjoyed from the right hand side of the tram (both going up and down) so grab a seat on this side if possible.
People are allowed to stand if all the seats are taken. I have never done so but its quite entertaining watching people adjust their stance to compensate for the steep gradient of the track. The trams run at 10 to 15 minute intervals.
At various times of the day the queues do become quite long with up to a 45 minute wait to board. Trams start operating at 7am. I have arrived at the Lower Tram Terminus at 9am on a couple of occasions and both times there was no queue. The busiest time is late afternoon to early evening as everyone going to the Peak at this time will enjoy both day and night views.
Adult return tickets are currently HK$40.00. Children (aged 3 to 11) and Seniors (65 or over) can get a return ticket for HK$18.00.
There is a Peak Tram Sky Pass available also which combines the tram ride with entrance to the Sky Terrance view platform. Sky Passes are HK$65.00 and HK$31.00 respectively. The Sky Terrace is the highest 360 degree observation deck in Hong Kong and its an unusual building but there are other free viewing platforms close to the Upper Terminus. The final tram of the evening descends at midnight.
The Peak Tram Historical Gallery is located at the Peak Lower Terminus. This is a facinating display of memorabilia collected over 100 years and includes a replica of one of the first style of Peak Tram carriages. You can visit the Gallery for free if you have a Peak Tram ticket.
Opinion is divided about Madame Tussauds. Basically you either like looking at wax models of famous people or you dont. If you do then the wax museum in the Peak tower may be on your "things to do" list while in Hong Kong.
I ended up going to Madame Tussauds by default. The Peak Tram queue was very long and on a whim my friends and I decided to bypass the line by buying a combined tram/ Madame Tussaud ticket which allowed us to board the next tram ahead of other people. The combination tickets are still available though I'm not sure you are still able to bypass the queue.
When we arrived at the Peak we decided to have a quick look through and really 30 mins is all that is needed. The figures are divided into sections. There are Kung Fu actors (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan) Hollywood stars, royalty and various world leaders and of course sports stars.
Adult admission is HK$170
Child admission is HK$100 (3 - 11 only)
Yes. Everyone goes once.
Victoria Peak is the must see tourist attraction of Hong Kong Island. Everyone one goes at least once. My personal advice is to pick the very first day with nice weather and go immediately. During my first visit in 2004 I waited and said I'll go tomorrow. This gave me nice weather on my trip to the Railroad Museum out in the NT, but it left me with pretty blah pics from the peak.
Most people will go up via the Peak Tram. There is also a bus to take you up or down the hill.
All I can add to all the other tips is if you have a day worth going up here weather wise go. Do NOT wait until tomorrow or your pics will surely show it as the weather changes. My most recent visit we had foggy weather so there was zero visability. Amazing how weather can impact a trip.
Victoria Peak by day
Its hard to know where to start with my "To Do" tips but I guess the ever famous Victoria Peak is a great place. I think if you come to Hong Kong and you dont go up to the Peak, then you are truly missing out on a great experience. And whether its by day or by night, you will be in awe of the view, that is without a doubt. We went up to the Peak on our first day in Hong Kong, so apart from settling into our Hotel and neighbourhood, it WAS the first thing we did!!!
At 552 metres, Victoria Peak is the highest point on HK Island, and therefore will give you the most amazing 360 dgerees views of Hong Kong that will truly take your breath away. The Peak is where you will find very expensive real estate and a very windy road up to the Peak Tower. Both times we went there, we opted to take the bus up (much cheaper than the tram) and the trip up and back is very interesting with lots to see.
Also at the Peak is Madame Tussauds's Wax Museum and Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant and shop, along with various other shops and restaurants.
As I said, we found the best and cheapest way to get to and from the Peak was by way of bus. Just catch the MTR to Central and then take Exit A (Connaught Road) and make your way to Central (EXchange Square) which is a HUGE bus terminal. Once you find the bus terminal, its very easy to find the bus you want, as each bus depot is clearly sign posted in english with the number of the bus and where it goes to. You need to take Bus 15C to the Peak and the cost was only $9.80HK and you just pay using your octopus card.
There is a free observation deck at Peak Tower but I would recommend you pay the $30HK to go up to the Sky Terrace for even better views. Peak Tower Sky Terrace is open from 10am til 11pm Monday to Friday and from 8am til 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and its definitely worth paying $30 for!
The Peak Tower
The peak tower is one of the most popular must see attraction in Hong Kong.
It’s the only way to experience the natural wonders of the country.
Going up by the tram is like a slow rollercoaster, having a magnificent view of the Hong Kong district is very amazing!
The return ticket is HK$40 while the peak tram skypass return ticket is HK$65.
The peak tram will lead to the peak view of the Victoria harbor while the Skypass is a combination of the peak tower and sky terrace. The peak tower presents a spectacular architectural design of a tower. You won’t get hungry since inside the tower are shops and restaurants that you will find!
I think going to the tram is best by foot since you can have the privilege to pass by the Hong Kong Park and have some time to appreciate the different building structures.
If you love taking pictures as much as I do, you’ll also appreciate every steps you make in going to the tram!
I only had the chance to visit the peak tower and it’s still a very nice experience though I wasn’t able to go up the skypass since I still had the 360 degrees view of the Hong Kong district. Once on the peak tower, you can see the whole view of the victoria harbor with its tall buildings and the ships. I can still remember the very relaxing feeling to see a clear sky and the flying birds around.
- Historical Travel
Victoria Peak: A Long Wait For the Tram
If you take the Peak Tram up, most likely you'll have to take the tram back to the terminus. It was a week day, and I thought that the wait for the tram would not be so crazy. Not!
Maybe it was not as horrendous as a weekend, but we still waited in the snaking line for about 45 minutes. It was not that bad as the weather was cooling. Just imagine it being in the midst of summer. I might just strangle a couf people for being inconsiderate.
You see, after the snaking line, there was no further directions for queueing. It's every man for himself. It was not that disorderly, but still people were squeezing from everywhere and cutting queue. I'm quite sure that there are more systematic ways in getting everyone on bard the tram.
Also, as we were there at night, we could hardly see anything outside of the tram window.
Victoria Peak: Going Back In Time
Fact: In 1888, passengers were taken up to the highest mountain on Hong Kong island not by the sedan chairs that people of old used, but by trams. Also in the past, the mountain was for the exclusive use of the British.
Back in the present, thousands of people visit the peak each day and what's so unique about taking this tram ride is that you'll never be able to stand straight. At times, the tram climbs at a gradient of about 30 degrees. Another interesting observation is that the tram passes
by real homes of people and once in awhile, stop to allow the descending train to move to ground level.
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