The view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak is one of the most iconic city views in the world and is usually at the top of every to-do list when visiting Hong Kong. The easiest, quickest and most popular way to get to the Peak is to take the famous Peak Tram which takes seven minutes to get to the top however there can often be long lines which during busy times of the year and on clear days can sometimes be several hours long. I walked past the line last year when it was three hours long and waiting for that long in the Hong Kong humidity can not be fun in the slightest.
I’ve been up to the Peak many times since my first visit to Hong Kong but only found out it is possible to walk up there last year. The advantages of walking are not only are you being active and getting fresh air, it is also completely free of charge. The Peak Tram costs HK$52 return but most people end up buying the Peak Tram Skypass for HK$99 which includes access to the Sky Terrace 428 Observation Deck. A lot of people think that this is the only way to see the view unobstructed however there is a much better view of the city that is also free of charge (as well as being a lot less crowded) located close by.
To do the walk up to the Peak, all you need to have with you is comfortable trainers and a bottle of water. I did the walk in February of this year when the weather was cooler as I would not want to do the walk during the humid summer months – that is when you take an air conditioned bus for HK$9.80 or a Green Minibus for HK$10.2 to avoid the crowds waiting for the tram. It had been several years since my last visit to the Peak and after my hike to Jardine’s Lookout last year, I was looking forward to the walk and the view especially as it was another clear day in Hong Kong.
To start the walk you will need to take exit J2 from Central MTR Station, walk past the Bank of China tower and follow the signs to the Peak Tram. Once you reach the Peak Tram Terminus, continue walking along Garden Road and follow the signs for the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
After walking through to the back of the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, cross the road and walk up Old Peak Road. Continue on this road past the residential tower blocks and after the road takes a sharp left turn, you will see a small uphill path on the right that is clearly marked “The Peak (30 Minute Walk)”.
From this point, it took me about 45 minutes to reach the Peak Tower. It is an easy walk up and not too steep and it was great to constantly see the view changing the higher I got. I stopped quite a lot to take photos and there are several benches along the way to take a break for a few minutes and to sit down and have some water. The only downside during the walk was that it suddenly got very humid in Hong Kong that morning (after being lovely and cool the previous day) which made the walk a little more uncomfortable than it should have been.
Once I reached the top, I took a rest for a few minutes inside the Peak Galleria shopping centre (much saner than the busier Peak Tower) and made the most of their amazing air conditioning and a cold iced drink from Starbucks before continuing with my walk.
Just to the side of the Peak Tower is the start of Lugard Road – this is where you need to walk to get one of the best free views in Hong Kong. Despite the number of people at the Peak, very few of them walk this way and only see the view from the Peak Tower Sky Terrace and the Lion’s Pavilion. The walk to the Lugard Road Lookout Point is roughly one kilometre long and it takes about fifteen minutes to get there.
The uninterrupted view of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and even further afield is incredible. I’ve even been back at night time since this visit just to see the city of Hong Kong all lit up – it really is a view I will never ever get bored of no matter how many times I see it.
I could have walked back down the Peak but as I was in a lot of pain in my foot due to my plantar fasciitis, I decided to get the Peak Tram – the one way fare from the top was HK$37 which I paid for using my Octopus Card. There was no wait for the tram at this time however if there was a long line, I would have taken the bus back down to Central. I actually used the bus on my following trip to the Peak and it was very easy so I’d definitely recommend it as an option when visiting – the bus stops are located underneath the Peak Galleria.
So as you can see it is very easy to walk up to (and down from) the Peak in Hong Kong. I would definitely recommend the walk to anyone – just make sure it’s not too hot and make sure to take plenty of water with you.
Have fun in Hong Kong!
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