Victoria’s Peak

Victoria’s Peak often tops the list of best attractions in Hong Kong. I’ve seen it listed on more than a few websites/brochures. Personally, it was one of the worst things I’ve seen so far. Don’t get me wrong, the view was quite something, even under the heavy smog and dim light of sun-down. It’s just the whole set up just didn’t seem worth the outcome.

The journey starts with an hour or so wait in a tight scorching hot line up to buy tickets for the Peak Tram. This line was tedious to say the least, then you cram onto this tram with dozens of other people and go up Victoria’s Peak. This part was rather interesting, as the incline was at times greater than 45 degrees. Impressive. Unfortunately it’s the shortest leg of the trip.

Once you get to the top of the tram you get to look out and see the view, but no… First you’re escorted through the “Peak Gift Shop”. Yeah, a gift shop. All the crappy overpriced trinkets and Happy Buddha’s that they sell at every attraction across Hong Kong and China.

Oh well, one obligatory gift shop before I gaze on the glory that is Hong Kong from the highest point in the city, right? But then there’s the mall… 5 or 6 floors of high-end shopping, chain restaurants. Up and up the escalators you go, suspecting that you will never reach the top. At this point the task of reaching the top seems almost Sisyphean. Some cruel punishment for God knows what...

Finally you get to the top set of escalators, and there is another ticket checkpoint… No, no way… No, you don’t have to pay again… I didn’t, they just wanted to check that I had my ticket stub. Phew. I came all this way and I WILL see the top. So I take that last flight, a normal flight of escalators. One storey. And I see the sight...

It’s alright. I got one last picture before my phone died. There’s a few too many people there. There’s the obligatory photographer who you can pay to take your photo, even though we all have 9 million gigapixel cameras in our phones. I look over, and feeling drained and robbed I can’t really appreciate what it is I am seeing. I left within minutes.

Was it worth it? Not really. Maybe I should have sat down and given it a few minutes. Rest, take it in, try to take my mind off the arduous journey. Would it be worth it for you? Maybe, I suggest you go during the day, on a weekday, on a clear day, with company and not as the last thing you do in a long day of activities. It’s not something to be enjoyed alone. Unless you love shopping. I’d say it was a good date spot except that there are so many people there. I don’t know, I definitely wouldn’t rank it 1st. The botanical and zoological gardens were a lot more interesting, despite the caged animals. Overall, 2/5 stars.