Visit Victoria Peak in Hong Kong via ShepherdFilm
Victoria Peak lies southwest of Wanchai. Local simply call the highest point of Hong Kong, The Summit. The summit is a really popular place to live for local rich people who like fresh air, a good view and want to get away from the crowded city center. According to real estate agents, you have to be a millionaire to buy even a small apartment here. And on Severn Road, we can still admire the property that was the world’s most expensive house a decade ago. We can ramble along the old Peak Road that was the only way up the hill before the funicular was built or the 3km long Lugard Road that was built after the funicular and is an excellent place for jogging. We can visit the Po Fu Lam Country Park or the Victoria Peak Garden where an observation deck overlooks the Llama Island. The funicular going up to the summit was built in 1888, the same year the Star Ferry began operation. The peak tram is pulled up the steep track by a single cable but no serious accidents have occurred in the past 120 years. After a short 10 minute journey, we reach the top and peak tower. This strange looking modern building resembling and anvil is a visitor’s center, exhibition center, shopping center and who knows what else. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum of London has a permanent exhibition here and Ripley’s Believe It or Not also has a show. The Galleria building houses shops, restaurants and all sorts of places where we can eat and drink at a good price and feast our eyes on the city and harbor lying at our feet and the sight of the island opposite. There are open and protected patios so no matter what the weather is like, we’re prepared except for misty days when nothing can be seen of the glorious panorama. Aside from the skyscrapers mentioned earlier, the 2 IFC tower is another fine example of the city’s modern architecture. With a height of 420 meters, this is Hong Kong’s tallest and the world’s third tallest building. Its appearance and function is a constant reminder of the twin towers in New York. The handing over ceremony of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The building complex reminds one of a huge bird that spread its wings over the harbor. The –Towers Building is like the game jenga and the center building is famous for colors alternating on it all night long. The complex was built by the billionaire Lee Ka-shing who also built the Cheung Kong Center. His own apartment is on the top of the ladder with a private helicopter landing pad. The passenger hall of the new airport is also impressive and this is what most foreigners first see in Hong Kong. We can walk down from the summit to Pok Fu Lam Country Park and take the bus back to the city, but it’s faster if we take the funicular on the way down too. Keep in mind that locals also like to visit the summit on Sundays making it a really crowded place so if possible save this trip for a weekday. Horse races have been held in the once marshy Happy Valley since 1846. The English actor and traveler, Michael Palin wrote in his book 80 Days Around the World. Happy Valley is an extraordinary place. Billions of dollars change hands in the two days of the week that races are held as this is the only legal form of gambling in Hong Kong and the people there just love to gamble. The members of the distinguished traditional Hong Kong jockey club soon realized that they were sitting on a gold mine which could be exploited undisturbed if they spent a part of the their income on charity. So as the name of the turf implies, people there are happy. Nearby buildings form a natural amphitheater where several thousand spectators can be seated comfortably. In the middle of the circle is a huge screen showing the latest information and we can also follow the events of the current race.