1 of 1000: Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak

Posted by on November 13, 2011
View from Victoria Peak

The view on Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Today I am writing about one place to see before you die that is right in Hong Kong and definitely worth being one of the 1000 most impressive places in the world. I already gave up my rating in the first sentence of this post,  but you might want to continue reading why this place truly is a must see for everyone.

In my previous post I told you that I am absolutely amazed by Hong Kong and the experience has been great so far. And The Peak and Victoria Harbour offer a incredible view of Hong Kong Island, other parts of Hong Kong and also the skyline of Hong Kong.

Victoria Peak or simply “The Peak”

Us at the Peak

Soni and I at the Sky Terrace

The easiest and most exiting way to get to The Peak is the Peak Tram, a cable railway from 1888 that starts at the foot of the hill and goes all the way up to the top with a maximum steepness of 48%. It used to be the means of transport for those living on Victoria Peak or the mid-levels, but today is mainly used by tourists.

The round-trip fare is HK$ 40 (4€) for an adult or HK$ 65 if you also want to get access to the Sky Terrace which allows you to get an even better view of Hong Kong.  Of course we wanted the best view possible so we bought the whole package and hoped the smog wouldn’t deny us this experience. Even though we had to wait more than an hour to get a seat on the tram, it was worth the wait.

Burger and fries at Bubba Gump Shrimp Coorporation

Burger and fries at Bubba Gump Shrimp Coorporation

The seats always face up the hill, even when going down, because otherwise you would fall right back down. The tram took us through the large residential high-rise buildings and after a few minutes we got to see Hong Kong from above. Fantastic!

We took the tram in the afternoon, because we wanted to see Hong Kong during the day and wait for nightfall to see it at night also. So we went straight to the Sky Terrace which is built on a mall and in itself is an architectural attraction. The view was great even though the smog didn’t allow us to see the great hills that surround Hong Kong.

We didn’t consider that it would be so windy so we decided to go back in and get a seat in one of the restaurants with a window facing the city. And we found one: Bubba Gump Shrimp Coorporation. I always wanted to eat there, so why not combine it with a view of the sun setting over Asia’s most exiting city and seeing the skyscrapers turning on their lights as if they are competing which is the brightest.

Catching a ferry in Victoria Harbour

Vicotria Harbour Ferry

The ferry at Victoria Harbour

We cought the tram going back to the city and went to take a ride with the ferry to see Hong Kong Island from the other side. The ferries still are built the same way they have been in colonial times with a cheaper lower deck and the more expensive upper deck. The view was supposed to be better from the upper deck and the fare was only 5 Cent more, so we got to ride first class like the rich shipping magnats from the past.

The 10 minute ferry ride itself wasn’t that spectacular, but the view of the harbour and the Hong Kong skyline is unbeatable. We even saw an old Chinese sailing vessel, which – although it probably was built for tourists – gave us a glimpse of what this harbour must have been like in the old times.

Hong Kong Skyline

The famous Hong Kong skyline

On another day we spent some time walking along the pier of Victoria Harbour where only one large building, the 1881 Heritage, reminds of the colonial times. The Heritage used to be the Marine Police Headquarters and all the buildings have been conserved, which allows us to at least image what Hong Kong could have looked like in the past.

Within the Heritage there is also the old time ball tower, where the ball dropped every day at 1pm to let the navigators reset their clocks to help them navigate their ships in times when there was nothing even close to a GPS navigation system.

Are The Peak and Victoria Harbour a must see?

Absolutely. Although Hong Kong itself should be one of the 1000 places to see before you die, it is impossible not to experience the city when going to Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour. So naming those 2 as the place to see is alright with me, because it lets you see the city from different angles, giving you the whole perspective of Hong Kong.

 

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