Victoria Peak or “The Peak” as locals call it is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island and has incredible views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and the surrounding islands. Victoria Peak is also one of Hong Kong’s most famous and over promoted tourist attractions. The views make The Peak one of Hong Kong’s must see places, just be prepared for excessive commercialization.
A Few Facts About Victoria Peak
Not The Summit - The summit of Victoria Peak houses a telecommunications facility and if of limits to the public. The area of Victoria Peak you’ll see is the surrounding public parks, shopping centres and residences.
Climate – The colonial Brits started to settle the Peak ain the 1860’s and 1870’s partly because of the views and mostly because it was the only place in Hong Kong with a bearable temperate climate
Height – The Peak has an altitude of 552 meters
Property Values – The Peak has the world’s most expensive property values with one square foot selling for $68,228. You’ll need around $2 billion to buy yourself a decent residence.
Facilities & Infrastructure
Peak Tram – The Peak Tram takes tourist and the occasional local to the top of the Peak is Hong Kong tourist icon and Hong Kong’s most over rated tourist attraction. The tram ride itself is on a single line around 1.4 kilometers long that has a vertical climb of around 400 meters, takes around 10 minutes and has excellent views. The downside is the tickets are $63 return or $53 one way, the queues to catch the tram takes over an hour on average and it is promoted as the only way to see Victoria Peak. You are better off catching a bus from Central to the Peak.
The Peak Tram has a colourful history that began in 1888 that includes technical innovations, racial and class prejudice and a housing boom. It carries 4 million people a year to the peak which is 11,000 a day and explains the long queues.
Peak Tower & Peak Galleria – These are two leisure and shopping centers that dominate the Peak. The Peak Tower houses the end of the Peak Tram and funnels tourists into it’s shops, restaurants and into the Peak Galleria at the top which provides the Peak’s best views for a price. $30.
Hiking Victoria Peak
One of the best ways to enjoy Victoria Peak is by hiking. There are a number of hiking trails on the mountain itself and leading up to the mountain. One popular hike is from Austin Road to Victoria Peak Garden which is the public area to the summit of Victoria Peak.
The circuit of the Peak along Lugard and Harlech roads is also an excellent hike with views of the city and the outer islands. There are also a number of trails that lead of the mountain though dense bush to the beach side areas where you can easily catch a bus back to Central.
Ride Up Hike Down – Catch a bus or the tram up to the Peak, enjoy the views then take one of the hiking trails down the mountain that lead to the beaches at the bottom.