I don’t think you can say you have visited Hong Kong if you have not gone to Victoria Peak. Not only is there the iconic tram but you will also find some of the best views in Hong Kong. I went on my first trip to Hong Kong about 10 years ago, and since I enjoyed it so much I wanted to take my friend Courtney there on our trip. Next time, I plan on going again, but this time I will allocate at least a half a day so that I can explore more.
Victoria Peak stands at 1811 feet above sea level making it the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. The Tram has been taking people to the top for over 120 years! In the mid 18th century, Victoria Peak was a exclusive area where many of the upper class lived. It was not easy to get to those residences though. Then in 1873, a hotel opened and in order to increase business a better form of transportation to the top was needed. In 1888, the Victoria Peak Tram began service as the first cable funicular in Asia.
They sell tickets for the tram where you board both at the bottom and top of Victoria Peak. Round trip tickets cost 45 HKD and one way cost 32 HKD for each adult. They also have ticket packages which include other features like the Sky Terrace 428 and Madame Tussaud’s.
Now, there are several other options to reach the top. If you have time and energy, hiking is an option. There are also roads that go to Victoria Peak, so you could take a taxi or a bus. If you decide to take the bus board the Peak Tram shuttle bus No. 15C at the Central Bus Terminus, close to Star Ferry Pier 8. Bus fare is 4.20 HKD per person.
We really wanted to take the tram up, but when we got there at 1pm on a Sunday, the line was an hour and half long. With our tight timeline, we couldn’t afford to wait, so we decided to take a taxi up. We would see if the line was any better on the way down. Luckily taxis are relatively cheap in Hong Kong and we had been told it would be about 50 HKD.
And conveniently, right by the line there was a taxi waiting. Unfortunately, that driver wanted 200 HKD to take us up. I refused to be ripped off so told him we would use the meter. He would not agree to that saying he was too busy. I was disgusted and he was obviously not busy! I hope no one falls for that scam artist.
So we walked around the corner to a taxi stand and after a few minutes were able to flag one down. We got in and I told him take us to the Peak. Courtney pulled out her phone to follow along on Google Maps to make sure we were going the right direction. We had a momentary panic attack when it looked like we might not be going the right way.
Courtney was worried I should have specified Victoria Peak. What if there were other peaks and maybe he was taking us to the wrong one. I told her if that happens we will just get out, grab another taxi and ask to go to Victoria’s Peak. Well, luckily the driver knew what we meant and he dropped us off in a parking garage. After paying the taxi driver 52 HKD, we entered the mall and came out the other side and there we were on top of Victoria Peak!
There is a whole network of paths to explore on Victoria’s Peak. If you go to the right (facing the shopping center) it is a short walk to some of the best views of the skyline. Of course, this section does get crowded but if you walk a little further you should be able to find a good spot for photos.
If you walk a little farther you forget you are in a big city, there is just so much green. And if you walk to the left from the shopping center you will even see a waterfall. I really wish I would have had more time to explore the trails up there more.
If you prefer you can also go to Terrace 428 where you can check out the view from the top of the shopping center. You can buy a package tram ticket that includes it or pay 48 HKD if you buy a ticket separately. We decided to skip. I am not sure if the view is much better from what you get on the path? Plus, we were tight on time.
So after we walked around a bit, it was time to head back down. We went to check out the line for the tram and were told it would be about 20-30 minute wait. Not too bad, so we decided to wait. Soon, we were in the boarding area. The tram pulled up and I realized the seats are all facing backwards. I thought maybe the seats would turn around but no. To be honest, I was a little worried about going down the steep hill backwards, but there wasn’t much of a choice.
I knew I wanted to be on the side closest to the buildings so I would fully experience the optical illusion of the buildings tilting. I got my directions confused and sat on the right side (when facing down the mountain). While I could still see the buildings on the other side, I would definitely recommending sitting on the left side. The journey is definitely steep (at least parts of it) but going down backwards wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. You can get an idea by checking out the short video I created.
Regardless of the way you decide to get to the top of Victoria Peak or how long you stay to explore the area, you won’t be disappointed. I plan on going back again the next time I am in Hong Kong. I just love the views and the nice walking trails. Have you been to Hong Kong? What are some of your favorite spots to see the skyline?
- If the line to take the tram up is too long, take a taxi, but make sure to use the meter.
- Allow time to explore the walking paths at the top of Victoria Peak.
- Sit on the right side of the tram going up and the left side going down to be closest to the buildings.
- If you are headed to Hong Kong, you may also enjoy our post about the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery.
The Weekly Postcard
We are happy to co-host the Weekly Postcard Linkup. Everyone is invited to join us and share their travel blog posts here beginning at 12 p.m. (PST) / 8 p.m. (GMT) Friday January 27th. The instructions are below, but if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can also check out last week’s posts here. Happy Travels!