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Victoria Peak

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The Victoria Peak is situated in the western part of Hong Kong Island. It is also known as Mount Austin and the local people call it 'The Peak'. With an elevation of 552 meters (1,810 feet), it is the highest mountain on the island proper, but not in the entirety of Hong Kong, an honor which belongs to the Mount Tai Mo in New Territories.  

Actually the summit of Victoria Peak is occupied by a radio telecommunications facility and is closed to the public. However, the surrounding area of public parks and residential land is the area that is normally meant by the name, Victoria Peak. It is a major tourist site which offers spectacular views over central Hong Kong, Victoria Harbor, and the surrounding islands.

Early in the 19th Century, the peak attracted non-native, prominent residents because of its panoramic view over the colony and its temperate climate compared to the sub-tropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard MacDonnell had a summer residence built on the Peak in around 1868. Those houses were named whimsically, such as The Eyrie, and the Austin Arms. The original residents reached their homes by sedan chairs, which were carried up and down the steep slope of Victoria Peak. Till 1888, the Peak Tram was equipped. 

Nowadays with some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. Here visitors can have spectacular views of the city and its harbors. On the peak, there are two major leisure and shopping centers, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, which are situated adjacent to each other.

The Peak Tower incorporates the upper station of the Peak Tram, the funicular railway that brings passengers up from Hong Kong's central district, whilst the Peak Galleria incorporates the bus station used by the Hong Kong public and green minibuses on the Peak. The Peak is also accessible by taxi and private car via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.

The Victoria Peak Garden is situated on the site of Mountain Lodge, the Governor's old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit. It can be reached from the Victoria Gap by walking up the Mount Austin Road, a climb of about 150 metres (490 feet). Another popular walk is the level loop along the Lugard Road, where one can admire good views of Hong Kong's Central district and Kowloon, and then returning through Harlech Road, encircling the summit at the level of the Peak Tower.

There are several restaurants on the Victoria Peak, most of which are located in the two shopping centers. In particular, the Peak Lookout Restaurant is housed in an older and more traditional building which was originally a spacious house for engineers working on the Peak Tramway. It was rebuilt in 1901 as a stop site for sedan chairs, but was reopened as a restaurant in 1947.

A. Peak Tram:
Round-trip: HKD 36 for adults; HKD 16 for kids aged 3 - 11 and the seniors;
Single: HKD 25 for adults; HKD 9 for kids aged 3 - 11 and the seniors.
B. Sky Terrace: HKD 25 for adults; HKD 12 for kids aged 3 - 11 and the seniors.

A. The easiest way to the Peak is to take the Peak Tram. Visitors can take the Peak Tram shuttle Bus No. 15C at the Central (Near Star Ferry Pier 7) Bus Terminus and get off at Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus then take the Peak Tram;
B.  Take Bus No. 15, 15B (Available on Sundays & Public Holidays only) or Minibus No. 1 and get off at the Peak.

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