Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

The Peak is one of the highlights of any trip to Hong Kong.  The highest point of Hong Kong Island, it has long been popular as a place of retreat when the residents need a break from the densely populated city. Being at a higher altitude it is also a bit cooler than down below in the city streets.  No doubt that was part of the attraction in the colonial era when residences were built up the hill – no surprise that the area round the Peak is one of the more exclusive residential addresses on the island.

There is a famous tram that takes you up to the top but the queues are huge – apparently you can wait over an hour on some days. We did check the tram station out but decided it was better to take one of the many buses or mini buses that ply the route instead. For some reason the bus route round the corner from the tram was not operational when we were there last month, so we retraced our steps back down to the city and caught bus number 15c from Central Pier 8. The number 15 bus from Exchange Square also works as well.

 

 

Initial impressions at the top were that it was rather touristy. The Peak Tower looks a bit like a space station and houses a huge mall over several levels, a Madame Tussauds, numerous cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.

 

 

However the viewing platform, the Sky Terrace 428, affords superb views on a clear day across Victoria Harbour and over to the Chinese mainland. We were very lucky though on the day of our visit – often the landscape is obscured by haze and smog and you can’t see much at all!

 

 

There were the usual touristy gimmicks – people trying to sell us photo shoots for example. Whilst the area overlooking Victoria Harbour was crowded with people taking photos, the far side of the platform was relatively quiet by comparison. I don’t think people realised there were more great views from this point towards the sea and other islands – it was actually quite peaceful!

 

 

After a quick bite to eat we headed off to explore the nature trails round the Peak. Monsieur had done the circular trail round the summit before and we planned a reasonably quick walk on this pathway before heading back down to town on the bus. In fact we ended up doing the longer Morning Trail down the hillside (quite by accident).  More about that next week!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

34 thoughts on “Hong Kong – Exploring The Peak

  1. Choi says:

    You should try visiting at night too! The night view of the city is stunning from the peak .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can well imagine! Something to do if we come back. The lights across the harbour were spectacular 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lesleyconnor says:

    Looks spectacular. Must visit some day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very glad we stopped over – was a fascinating place. Hope you get there one day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    Ooooh, goodie! A walk for next week? 🙂 🙂 The views are fabulous, aren’t they? Why do people have to commercialise everything so? I suppose that’s what most people want- selfies, food and drink and shopping. 😦 If there wasn’t a market for it, it wouldn’t be there. I’d just be skipping up and down admiring those views. And walking, of course 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Jo! I thought of you and was planning to send you the link – have been looking for the right “walking” post! The views are fabulous – you do have pick the right day but it was amazing to gaze out on it all. I know the commercialism wasn’t my cup of tea either but obviously there is a market. The main feature photo is actually taken from the other side of the lookout platform – it was so beautiful but hardly anyone went round there. The walk back down to the city was very special – I’ll link it you once I’ve written it! Have a great week 🙂

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      1. restlessjo says:

        That’s great! 🙂 🙂 Thanks, darlin! Have a good week too. I’m about to book my flights to Poland.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That sounds exciting Jo! We are planning a trip to Poland hopefully next year. Have wanted to go for ages and it then got more impetus when I discovered unexpected connections with this part of the world (courtesy of Ancestry DNA and a lot of detective work unearthing a euphemistically termed “non parental event” back in Victorian times, which explained my 9% European Jewish DNA). It’s an ongoing project! Alas I’m quite sure no distant cousins remain in the areas I have linked them to (E and SE Poland, W Ukraine and also Austria, Hungary and Lithuanian lands) but I would like to explore more for myself and both Monsieur and I have always been fascinated by history. I’ll pick your brains when we start planning but we definitely want to go to Krakow and I feel Warsaw is a must too. Time will be of the essence as it’ll be added on to a trip to the UK! Are you going there over the summer? 🙂

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          1. restlessjo says:

            Just a week, to see family, late May/early June. I’m prevaricating a bit because I’ll be on my own and it’s a bit complicated. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sounds a lovely time of the year – from what I remember your family are in the country? I will look up some of your older Polish posts. Good luck with booking the flights! 🙂

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            2. restlessjo says:

              Yes- a couple of hours south of Warsaw. I’m hoping to meet Meg, my Australian friend, as she’s there visiting win grandchildren. Your visit will be amazing. It’s great when you have an involvement. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Sounds lovely Jo – hope you to manage to sort it all out and meet your friend from Australia at the same time! Yes I always find a place is extra special when you have some connection with it. My paternal grandfather was born in China at the end of the 1800s so it was very interesting to visit Hong Kong (my great grandparents on that side were missionaries in mainland China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion rather extraordinary to me that they wished to do something like that but I guess it was another era and different values!).

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            4. restlessjo says:

              That would make a fantastic story! Have you written about it at all? 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Sorry Jo had to dash off to babysitting duties in the midst of this conversation all good though! I have wondered about writing about it up as it is a fascinating story – might weave a bit into a future post on the Hong King Maritime Museum as that was an amazing place and covered so much of the social as well as the maritime history of the region. My great grandparents were in west China in a very isolated place as well as Shanghai. That is apparently well worth visiting too! I like linking travel to places that have a meaningful personal connection but it may not be of so much interest to others though personally I find people’s stories fascinating!

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            6. restlessjo says:

              No problem, Rosemay. Sometimes I’m involved in chat on here and thinking all the while ‘I shoudn’t be here’ but it’s interesting. 🙂 🙂 I actually think people would be fascinated, as I was, by that kind of story. I always have a great response to my Polish saga. I’d love to visit Shanghai, and Hong Kong, though I wouldn’t like the crowds. I’ve just booked my flights to Poland. The next bit is the tricky part as the family are quite spread out and I don’t have transport. Hopefully it’ll all come together. Hugs, darlin! I need to go and get on with the organising. 🙂 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Good that you’ve booked your flights Jo – good luck with the logistics though! It must be a bit like when we’re over in the Uk trying to organise catching up with people at different ends of the country. Yes the crowds are a bit overwhelming in Hong Kong and I should imagine Shanghai would be the same. I will think about writing something up about the family history as it is an interesting story. My grandpa was only a small baby when they had to be evacuated down the Yangtze River during the Boxer Uprising. Apparently he didn’t cry at all, which was just as well as they would all have been shot if anyone had made a noise and drawn attention to themselves! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  4. kayrpea61 says:

    I’m so glad you did the walk around the peak, Rosemary. I first did it c.1994 with some fellow conference delegates and most recently in 2014. It’s always a bit different. For example, that ghastly touristy complex just wasn’t there in 1994. In 2008, my daughter and I were grounded by a hurricane (truly, not allowed out of the hotel) and we went to the Peak the next day. An army of council workers was at work cleaning up all the debris. We reckoned by about 2pm there would be no trace left on the circuit! For the record, we always go up on the No15 bus, but come back on the tram!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very interesting Ken – you obviously have a long connection with Hong Kong? There were some information boards at the start of the trail and you could see from the pictures how much it had changed over the years. I was so pleased to do the walk as really the touristy part was not my scene apart from the views plus we did get some souvenirs to take home for our granddaughters! Glad you survived the hurricane! I would like to take the tram one day but the queues were very long and we enjoyed the bus ride up the hill. The walk down was unintentional – we took a wrong turning but it made for an interesting experience (we were supposed to be doing the short circuit)!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gilda Baxter says:

    The view from the top looks amazing. I always love having the “birds eye” view of a place, no doubt it would also be spectacular at night 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes apparently it is spectacular at night! The harbour lights were amazing even at ground level so it must look wonderful all lit up from the peak viewing platform. You really get a feel of a place when you are high up – it was well worth the trip up the hill! 🙂

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  6. Looks lovely but to be honest I have never had the desire to go there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very convenient stop over point en route back to Australia! I didn’t think I’d enjoy it but I really did. The Maritime Museum, which I’ll write up about soon, was a fascinating place and we learnt a lot about the history. I felt I understood the place better then 🙂

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      1. I guess I might get there when I eventually get to visit Australia.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Anabel Marsh says:

    Beautiful, I remember the first time we went up here was at night but i’ve also been up during the day. We did a walk which I think must be the circular trail you mention. I must see if I can find some photos. First time was non-digital though. Lovely pictures of you at the top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anabel – yes think you would have done the circular trail, that’s the one that goes round the summit and is relatively short and on flat ground. We took a wrong turn (my fault) and ended up on a longer and much steeper trail right back down the hill to the edge of the city!! The views must be spectacular at night! Hopefully you can find all your photos – maybe do a post?

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  8. Your photos and tips look awesome to me! Appreciate the article and kind words! That famous tram made my day, seems so easy and useful for tourists!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you- think the tram would be fun to do but the queues are rather long, which is why we took the bus up and walked down! 🙂

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  9. frejatravels says:

    You were lucky take minibus there. We took the traim to go up there and I was really squash by many people since they do not know how to queu. everybody just jump from every corner. What an experience. Anyway, beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we saw the tram queue and decided to avoid it. Sorry you had an unpleasant experience on the tram – the views are wonderful at the top though! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. frejatravels says:

        I think my hubby probably had a great time kicking other people since he is a big guy. .ha..ha..whereas me, just screamed..

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would have felt very uncomfortable as I’m quite small and it would have been intimidating squashed in a small place. It sounds an unpleasant experience – definitely take the bus or mini bus if you go again! 😃

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Unless you get a cloudy day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we were lucky with the weather that day! 🙂

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