Hong Kong 2013: Up and Down the Peak

The view of Foggy Hong Kong from the observation deck of the Peak Galleria

The view of Foggy Hong Kong from the observation deck of the Peak Galleria

It was our second time at Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Peak. I’ve seen a few major cities from a “bird’s eye view”, watching from atop skyscrapers, towers or huge ferris wheels, but nothing beats viewing Hong Kong from the island’s highest point. The first time I was there two years ago, I thought it was the best view ever. Two years later, I still think it’s the best view ever, no matter that this time around we were covered by fog everywhere.

This time around, we took the bus going up, instead of the more common Peak Tram, and it was a good choice. Coming from Admiralty, the bus took us through to Wan Chai before going uphill on the winding roads to the Peak. Apart from having a very fully vehicle where people were standing shoulder to shoulder (though it’s still not as packed as the peak tram could get) it was otherwise a good trip – certainly much better than waiting outside then even more packed peak tram lower terminus at Garden Road. The uphill journey was heartstopping, due to both the closeness at which the bus travels beside ravines, as well as to the awesome sights. The winding road to the Victoria Peak gives a spectacular view of the neighbourhoods on the slopes, as well as of those below, most of which are parts that most common tourists would probably not see.

The bus stops at the Peak Galleria Mall, just a few steps away from the Peak Tower and the famous Sky Terrace. However, should you wish to spare yourself the fee for the Sky Terrace, the Peak Galleria also has a very good viewing deck on its rooftop. It doesn’t give that 360 degree view like the Sky Terrace, but it is a spectacular view nonetheless, and it’s less crowded, and best of all – it’s free!

The Peak Tower

The Peak Tower

The Peak Tower

The Peak Tower

The Peak Tower blanketed in fog

The Peak Tower blanketed in fog

On the way down, we took the more conventional route – the iconic Peak Tram. As usual, there was the long queue at the upper peak tram terminus, and the tram was packed to the brim – as always. Still, we were rewarded with the awesome evening view of the city, as we walked from the Garden Road terminus, to the Chater Garden, and then to the Central MTR, retracing the exact same steps we took two years ago.

The Peak was our last stop on this trip, before we headed straight to the airport first thing the following morning, but it was the fitting way to end it. Hong Kong really is a beautiful city, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of going there. And so I’ll keep this post short, as I don’t think any more words will do it justice, but I hope the few photos below will.

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram

The view from the Peak Tram

The view from the Peak Tram

The view of the skyline, from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus.

The view of the skyline, from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus.

Three Towers - viewed from Garden Road, Central, Hongkong.

Three Towers – viewed from Garden Road, Central, Hongkong.

The HSBC Building from the back, viewed from Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

The HSBC Building from the back, viewed from Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

A double decker tram along Queensway, Central, Hong Kong

A double decker tram along Queensway, Central, Hong Kong

I stood on this same spot 2 years ago, and took the same photo, but at day time. The Bank of China Tower (L) and the Cheung Kong Tower (R), viewed from Chater Garden, Central, Hong Kong.

I stood on this same spot 2 years ago, and took the same photo, but at day time. The Bank of China Tower (L) and the Cheung Kong Tower (R), viewed from Chater Garden, Central, Hong Kong.

The Chater Garden, Central, Hong Kong.

The Chater Garden, Central, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong covered in fog, from Queensway, Central, Hong Kong

Hong Kong covered in fog, from Queensway, Central, Hong Kong

* Bus 15 will take you from the Admiralty Garden bus stop, to the Peak.

* All photos taken last May 2013, using an Olympus EPM-2 with M.Zuiko 14-42mm IIR.

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