Riding the Peak Tram is an obligatory HK experience, so after I submitted all my visa paperwork I decided to head that way. The tram is the most direct way to get up to Victoria Peak, where you can score amazing views of the rest of HK island and Kowloon. The fact that this huge, green peak exists in the middle of the bustling HK island is amazing to me, and I was excited to get up to the high levels.
Unfortunately, I thought it was a bit pricey and overly commercial. Once you get to the top you are basically dumped into a huge shopping mall full of touristy crap and kitschy restaurants. From the bottom level of the mall where the tram ends you have to take several escalators up to the top and then pay again, and then you can finally get outside and see the view.
Then the trip definitely seems worth it. Even on the rainy, cloudy day that I went I thought the views were gorgeous. I can only imagine how pretty it would be on a nice day, and I hope when Kevin goes there are blue skies! Love, love, love.
I decided I didn’t want to pay to take the tram back down (although I have since been told that the return trip is included into the price –whoops!) so I tried to escape the mall and make in down on my own. This was no easy task. I swear the exit is hidden. After several up and downs on the escalators I asked for help and was lead to a small door in the corner of one of the middle floors where I was allowed to leave. Phew!
Since I was already so far up, I decided to venture on to Victoria Park. The climb the rest of the way made me huff and puff a bit (this mountain is steep!), but this may have also been because I was rushing to get to the park before dark. The park was a nice break from the hoards of tourists- I was actually the only one there. It was pretty with some nice water views, and a nice break from all the commercialism.
After a bit I decided to walk down by myself to the mid-levels, where Soho is. This may have been a mistake on my part! It was so steep! Even though it was downhill, it was still quite a climb! In fact, I later realized that my toenails were bloody from jamming against my shoes as I tried to inch my way down. Too much information? It was gross. Would recommend for the views and the serenity (it’s a pretty winding road through the trees), but definitely be aware that it is not an easy stroll! Also, I was the only person walking down, and I only ran into 2 or 3 others along the way. I would have rather not walked down alone in the dark, so next time I would probably either head down earlier or.. have Kevin with me, haha.
When I finally got to Soho I was elated. Soho is a restaurant mecca with offerings from all over the world. It’s a trendy district that’s about halfway up the mountain. It’s more accessible from the bottom, though, as there are a series of outdoor escalators that take you from the ground up to the mid-levels.
Soho can be a pretty expensive area to eat, but going early helps as there are a lot of specials. I was able to eat there several nights for about $15 a night. I got some really tasty things too! Ugh, wish that Chengdu had a Soho…
Afterward I ended the night at Lan Kwai Fong, the bar district in HK. Chengdu has a Lan Kwai Fong as well, named after HK’s, I believe. Anywho, I went to a couple of bars that were just okay atmosphere-wise and had some decently priced drinks after hunting for deals. If I had gone with a friend instead of a magazine I think this would have been more fun, but oh well, I’m glad I checked it out.
Busy day, this was! I miss Hong Kong..