by Bianca Ohannessian
A city of skyscrapers and misty green mountains, one of Hong Kong’s top attractions is its view from The Peak. Set in the middle of Victoria Park, this mountaintop promises fantastic views of the stunning metropolis.
Despite all road signs being in English and great transport links, it can still be a little tricky navigating your way around. Due to the sheer size of the tall buildings, never-ending rows of large shops and malls and crowded streets, things can feel a bit overwhelming at first but be persistent and you’ll find your way.
After double-backing on myself a couple of times in the southwest corner of Hong Kong, and a detour into a shopping mall food court where I ate a pick-your-own-ingredients spicy soup, I eventually found the Star Ferry terminal. Look out for the pink signs that mark the way and go all the way to the end of Canton Street.
Go in the ferry terminal and take a right, following signs to the “To Central”, go upstairs and you can buy a token from the self service machine. It costs $2.50 (approx. 25p) on the way there and only $2 on the way back.
It’s a short 10 minute boat ride to the other side accompanied by views of the famous riverside skyline.
Once you reach Hong Kong island, you’ll land at Dock 7. Walk to your right until you reach Dock 5 and you’ll see a big bus bay on the other side of the road. Bus 15 will take you all the way to The Peak (final destination) and costs just under $10 (approx. £1). If you haven’t invested in an Octopus card (like an Oyster card in London), you’ll need the exact money in cash as they don’t give change or take cards on the busses.
The journey takes about half an hour but the views on the way are delightful. Spoiler alert: the views on the bus on the way up were better than at the top. There’s also a to screen in case you need to catch up on the latest sumo wrestling results. You know, just in case.
Now, this is the confusing part. You get dropped off at a bus terminal that seems to be in the middle of nowhere.
There’s a small sign pointing to a shopping mall entrance, The Peak Galleria. Follow it up through the shopping mall, all the way to the top floor.
You’ll pass some impressive chocolate sculptures on the way as well as a colourful rice vending machine and among others a couple of clothes shops in case you need to buy an extra layer. It’s a bit chillier at the top compared to the humid sweat bath of central Hong Kong. Or you could just bring a little extra layer with you of course!
The beautiful soft mist that drifts through the air as you get higher up on the drive gives the journey a mysterious, almost eery feel. When I visited, it became so thick that by the time I reached The Peak look-out point, all I could see was dense cloud all around me. If I hadn’t been looking out the window on my journey up, I wouldn’t have had a clue what was out there.
There is also a vintage-style tram that can take you both up and down the hill. If you don’t mind a bit of queuing.