The Peak also known as Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, at 552 m (1,811 ft). In the 19th century, the Peak attracted European residents who enjoyed the panoramic views over the city and its coolness especially in the searing heat of the summer.
However its steepness was a problem and many of the residents would hire or own Sedan Chairs which would be carried by locals. There was an increase in residential development with the opening of the Peak Tram in 1888.
The Peak Tram is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, which carries passengers to the upper levels of the Peak. The Peak Tram is one of Hong Kong’s attractions which transports of seven million passengers a year.
We joined the queue at the lower terminus station and looked at The Peak Tram Historical Gallery where over 200 pieces of memorabilia of the Tram and Hong Kong are exhibited. The station has a single track, with platforms on both sides. One platform is used for boarding, the other for exiting the tram.
Whilst waiting, we wondered whether there would be much ‘fun’ on this funicular railway but as the Tram came into sight, the excitement levels began to build.
After boarding the tram, the Peak Tram’s began its route which covers a distance of about 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) and an elevation of just under 400 metres (1,312 ft). Initially there is little to see except trees and bushes, but as the Tram climbs, more panoramic views appear.
Near to the top, there is more excitement with the ‘The Peak Tram illusion’, this illusion occurs on the uphill journey when the high rises of Hong Kong on the right ride of the tram appear to fall toward The Peak. This illusion is due to the tilt of the tram and the reclining body position of passengers inside the tram.
Arriving at the top, you enter the Peak Tower shopping and leisure complex which has numerous food options, shops, Madame Tussauds and the Sky Terrace where you can enjoy 360 degree views for a fee.
In a ultra-modern city, it seems that many residents of Hong Kong and visitors take pleasure in the relics from the past. The Peak Tram also connects the city to a more natural environment with plenty of people trying to escape some of the extremes of the Hong Kong weather.
Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.
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