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Hong Kong, 300 Metres Up

Victoria Harbour

For any visitor to Hong Kong – first-time or otherwise – there is one view that is worth the heat, the long queues, and the sea of merchandise that awaits on the mountaintop. And part of the allure is the journey itself – in a rickety old tram that shudders as it climbs the hillside at a 45-degree angle. Welcome to Victoria Peak, the home of billionaires, overpriced restaurants and our very own Madame Tussauds.

As the city’s premier attraction, the Peak has evolved into something of a shameless tourist trap. But there is an easy escape a mere 15 minutes away from the tram terminus, where the crowds are almost non-existent and the views even better. The secret? Look out for Lugard Road, a shaded, unassuming concrete path that begins just beyond the glass cone.

Skyscraper city

High-rise living is the norm

Harbour traffic

View through the trees

While there’s an extra fee for the Peak Tower’s roof terrace, it is this secluded walk that rewards the more adventurous with the ultimate postcard-perfect panorama. Lean against the iron railing and drink in the effervescent energy of the concrete jungle; listen to its audible roar as crickets chirp and cicadas hum in the trees behind. Watch the kites circling overhead as a flurry of boats zip to and fro across the harbour.

Among the corporate giants it’s impossible to miss 2IFC (Two International Finance Centre) and its razor-like crown. Standing head and shoulders above the rest, this 88-storey behemoth was featured in both The Dark Knight and Tomb Raider 2 as a prominent BASE jumping platform.

Looking towards Kowloon

2IFC and its elegant crown

Above the clouds

At 957 metres, Tai Mo Shan is Hong Kong’s highest peak

Looking across Hong Kong Island

City spires

Spot the round buildings

From Lugard Road, it’s fair to say that this city is a real-life example of what happens when nature meets science fiction. The jumbled mass of skyscrapers may seem straight out of Gotham or Blade Runner, but they are wedged between folds of lush green mountains and an undulating coastline. If you come at the right time – somewhere between 5 and 5:30 pm – you might even catch the late afternoon sun glinting off the glass towers and into the waters of the harbour. That, and the onset of nightfall, is something you won’t want to miss.

Silhouettes

Sunset

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. James, this is awesome! You definitely have to tell me how to get to this place, lol..Btw when I’m going to HK in January, the weather is supposed to be quite cool, right?

    September 30, 2011
    • Thanks Bama! If I have the time off I will most probably bring you there – January is generally cold and dry but we usually get more air pollution during the winter. I can only hope that this isn’t the case when you arrive!

      September 30, 2011
  2. Ya estas en Hong Kong amigo?

    Your pictures are breathtakingly stunning! Maravilloso!

    I guess that the tallest building in my city is like the sortest one in yours lol!!

    October 2, 2011
    • Sí, ya estoy en Hong Kong, trabajando casi todos los días! Es por eso que no he tenido el tiempo para postear algo… y me falta bastante de mis últimos días en España. Zaragoza, Burgos, León – creo que te gustará lo que va a venir. 😉

      October 2, 2011
  3. Por supuesto.

    Zaragoza ( El Pilar ;)) Burgos, León…. wow! You’ve got lots of material to share with us :)!

    October 3, 2011
  4. Quizá te mande un e-mail pronto.

    I got some doubts about your “Flag counter”. Things about how does it works and so on… I just added one to my blog, and I wanna know if what’s shown is true or not, and what are unique visitors and flag views (difference)?

    October 6, 2011
  5. Hi James! I knew your blog from Bama. And after strolling around your blog, I do enjoy your blog.
    Anyway, there is this award called versatile blogger award and for all its worth, yours deserves the attention! If you are willing to participate, just follow the three simple rules mentioned in my blog.
    Cheers!

    October 17, 2011
    • Thank you Robin, I’m very flattered! I might consider it a few posts down, although personally I’m not sure I’d call this blog versatile!

      October 22, 2011
  6. I haven’t been to Hong Kong in years. Thanks for letting me see the view through your camera lens.

    October 22, 2011
    • You’re welcome Karen. It looks like I have a lot of new reading to do – your blog is right up my street!

      October 22, 2011
  7. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    April 9, 2012
    • Wow, I’m really flattered! I never thought of this blog as a way of earning an income – thank you for leaving such a kind comment!

      April 9, 2012
  8. That Tai Mo Shan looks awesome in your photo!! 😮

    June 21, 2012
  9. I’ve been reading most of your posts about HK and it’s making me look forward to my (first!) trip there in a couple of weeks. Love your illustrations and how you write. You’ve got a new follower here 🙂

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks for the kind words, Mabel! I’ll leave a few HK tips for you on your blog. 🙂

      February 4, 2013

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