One of the world’s most extraordinary cities, where rippling mountains, a kaleidoscopic waterfront and futuristic architecture merge with fabulous food, sizzling nightlife and top shopping.
Known locally simply as ‘The Peak’, this is the highest point on Hong Kong Island, 552m above sea level. In colonial times, it was a favourite summer retreat of the British, who were carried up the hill on sedan chairs to escape the sweltering, sticky heat. Development was limited until a funicular tram was completed in 1888.
Nowadays, the steep funicular tram ride up is part of the fun and – on a clear day – the views across the city and harbour, and up to the mountains of Kowloon, are incredible.
Once you get to the top, escape the crowds and the merchandising hard-sell by walking around the mountain along Harlech Road and Lugard Road.
Getting there & doing it
The Peak Tram leaves from Garden Road in Central, climbing to the top in under ten minutes. Buy the Peak Tram Sky Pass if you also want access to the Sky Terrace viewing platform. There are often long queues for the tram, which can be avoided by taking the number 15 bus from MTR central station, which is almost as scenic.
If you fancy a hike, the Peak is easily accessible by foot and takes around an hour and a half to climb; take the mid-level escalator all the way up, then follow the Old Peak Road from Conduit Road. Once up, a good way to escape the crowds is to follow one of the short nature walks, four of which are outlined on the official website, complete with maps.
When to do it
The tram runs all year round, seven days a week. The Peak is always busy, every day and all year; the best time to go is first thing in the morning, as many of the tour groups don’t arrive until after breakfast.
It’s also worth heading up in the late afternoon and hanging around until 8pm, when the nightly ‘Symphony of Lights’ show on Victoria Harbour illuminates the skyline.
Several new restaurants have opened if you want to fill the time with some dinner; Rajasthan Rifles (Anglo-Indian), Mak Noodles (in the mall, sells cheap but delicious wonton noodles) and Fiamma – an Italian restaurant – are all excellent.
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