The World Below: Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

The World Below: Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

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You may think that it would be hard to find some blissful solitude in a city like Hong Kong which seems to be on the go round the clock but Victoria Peak will prove you wrong. Victoria Peak is probably one place in Hong Kong that is closer to nature than any part of this city is. Even though the city itself has its own charm with its lofty buildings brushing against the clouds, impeccably dressed people off to work and vendors in markets calling out to sell their fresh produce, Victoria Peak is another experience altogether. This is the place where you can hear the hum of one of Asia’s busiest cities in the distance while enjoying a spectacular vista fit for the gods.

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Locally known as ‘The Peak’, Victoria Peak earlier housed colonial administrators who wished to get relief from the constant humidity down below. In the present day plots at the peak are one of the most expensive in the world where society’s affluent members live to revel in the breath taking beauty of Hong Kong. So how do you get up to this gorgeous place? You can hail a cab or even the number 15 bus that will take you through a scenic route but the classic way to reach the spot is on ‘The Peak Tram’. The tram is a funicular railway which has been on track since the past 120 years and has been playing its part of getting the passengers up and back down on earth efficiently. The tram departs from the terminus at Garden Road, Central and takes about eight minutes to reach the top. A one way ticket will cost about 28 Hong Kong dollars for an adult and 11 Hong Kong dollars for a child but do be prepared for a long queue while buying the tickets.

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The tram ride in itself is so unique. As you climb up the hill in the tram, you can see the beautiful cityscape of Hong Kong pass by at an unbelievable angle. The hill is impossibly steep and you get to witness the steel and neon lights of the city from this height in all its splendour. If you take the bus instead you will not be at a loss as you will get to see the lush green forests and the up-scale homes built for the wealthy. On your way up to ‘The Peak’ do stop by at the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus where you will find The Peak Tram Historical Gallery. Here you will witness the history of Hong Kong and how the tram served all the citizens through the years since its inception in 1888. You will be taken back in time with a replica of the first generation of the tram carriage which has been specially recreated for the visitors to know how it looked back in the days. The gallery has a huge collection of artefacts, a few of them dating back to a hundred years re-telling stories about the journey of the tram and the people of Hong Kong.

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On the summit be ready to be dazzled by ‘The Peak Tower’. With seven floors the tower is in the shape of an anvil on the top with an array of shops, restaurants and entertainment zones. The tower has been renovated thrice to keep up with the constant inflow of tourists every year so as to provide them with au courant recreation. At the top of the tower is the ‘Sky Terrace 428’ which is the highest viewing terrace in all of Hong Kong. From up here you will get a 360 degree incredulous view of the city which will leave you speechless. The terrace also has a Sky Gallery which unfolds the history of Hong Kong’s cityscape over the years. So can you make this experience any better? Maybe dining at the topmost point of Hong Kong is another option. In the tower you have a choice between four restaurants that offer you with delectable Asian meal including sea food.

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For those who love retail therapy there is a surprise in store for you too. There are a variety of shops here that sell everything from clothes to jewellery and electronic gadgets to antiques. This glitzy building has a traditional street market inside that sells Chinese curios and artwork. You don’t have to go all the way to London when Hong Kong offers you Far East’s own Madame Tussauds. The world’s most popular wax museum is at ‘The Peak Tower’ where you can click photographs with your favourite celebrities and sport stars. Over a 100 waxwork idols are present in this museum so make the most of meeting your dream role models. If you want to experience something absolutely bizarre then try walking through the ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditiorim’ known for its jaw dropping exhibits. Head back into the natural surroundings of The Peak by taking a nature walk through one of the trails that start from the top. These trails will take you through thick tropical forests weaving through mountains with an array of bird-life. The scene from points like Lugard Road Lookout and Lions View Point Pavilion is lovely and the walk is just as good.

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It is suggested that you come up to The Victoria Peak a while before sunset so that you can see Hong Kong during the day with the sun bidding goodbye in the horizon. From there you can observe the winding streets of Central, the fleet of ships docking at The Victoria Harbour, and further ahead The Kowloon Islands floating in the sparkling water. As the skyline turns darker see Hong Kong light up in neon and its skyscrapers stand out brighter against the black sky reminding you once again how wonderful the city is.


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