Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak & Lugard Road
At 1,811 feet, Victoria Peak, or “The Peak,” is the highest point in Hong Kong and if a single image could encapsulate the city, it would be the panoramic views from the top. And if there’s one destination on a Hong Kong photography itinerary, it’s this one.
During Hong Kong’s stint as a British colony, from 1841 to 1997, the Peak was the city’s most exclusive neighborhood and until 1947, it was actually reserved for European expatriates trying to escape the oppressive humidity in the city below. Today, the Peak still has a reputation as the city’s most elite neighborhood and it’s easy to see why – the views across the skyscrapers, past Victoria Harbor, and to the mountains of the New Territories are unparalleled. It’s pretty glorious by day, but even better as a galaxy of lights explode at night. It an incredibly peaceful view in the middle of a dizzying city.
Atop the Peak is essentially a giant mall with the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria featuring a bunch of restaurants, shops, viewing platforms, and a Madam Tussauds. It’s all accessed by the 125-year-old gravity-defying Peak Tram, which rises almost vertically above the high-rises nearby.
Unfortunately, the whole thing just feels like a tourist trap.
Luckily, it’s all avoidable… Lugard Road, along with Hatton and Harlech Roads form a 4 km circuit beginning at the Peak that follows the contour of the Victoria Peak hillside. Not only is Lugard Road a nice walk and welcomed reprieve from the hectic mall area, but about 1.5 km in, it offers up one of the best views I’ve ever come across.
*Note on the Tram: If you’re visiting the Peak, the tram is definitely the iconic way to get to the top. And I didn’t bother to take it… On the afternoon I rolled up, I was told it was approximately a 2 hour wait. NOPE… I hopped a taxi for $8 and was up top in 12 minutes.