I recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong, a city I have great memories of but somewhere I hadn’t stopped in for the past decade. And while some things have changed what every visitor loves about the city is the skyline and harbour, particularly from above.
The best known place for the view from above is the Peak, and it’s highly recommended the first clear day or night you get that you make the journey to Victoria Peak both to be in awe of the beauty of the city and harbour below and get a great perspective on the layout of Hong Kong.
The Peak Tram (really a funicular railway) makes the journey up to the Peak Tower every 10 minutes and from the Peak Tower there are a range of walks you can make around Victoria Peak. Of course as many do you can also just take in the views and then return down into the city below. My wife and I though decided to walk back down (our calves got perhaps more of a workout than they needed on our first day after an overnight flight) what is quite a steep road and enjoyed the views of the city from different locations and seeing the lush vegetation that contrasts with the concrete jungle.
The old peak road deposits you at the top of the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical gardens, which is worth a stop on your way down, both for a short rest and a drink but also to see the surprisingly good collection of exotic plants, bird aviaries and zoo with lots of monkeys playing. For the kids there is also a playground. From here we made our way over to the Mid Levels escalator, following as you do in Hong Kong pedestrian signs that seem to double back take you away from and then over busy roadways. And on reaching the top of the escalator by the middle of this very hot and humid day we found that the escalator was not heading down, there is only the stairs for that, as it’s only a one way escalator which you take from the bottom to the top – well we’ll know for next time.
Hong Kong is best explored by foot and going up the peak and then walking back down took us through some great neighbourhoods. If you have time you can also take different tracks down such as the one to Aberdeen. And if you want more views from above and you’re not in one of the many high rise hotels with views over the city and harbour try heading to the public viewing gallery on the 43rd floor of the Bank of China building (On Garden road), all you need is your passport/ID to get through security. Or alternatively for a night out stop by Felix for views from the bar at the top of the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.