My Tourist Experience

Everybody told me that when I went to Hong Kong, I had to go up to The Peak.  Now, I’m usually pretty tourist attraction averse, but with some free time on Sunday afternoon, I dedcided that I’d give it a go.  Here’s my report.

What most people see from The Peak:

What I saw from The Peak:

Now, I really didn’t care about the fog.  It looked dicey when I decided to go but I thought after a hot and humid walk around the city, it would be fun to ride the tram up and at the very least catch some cooler air.  After snaking through the lines and plunking down my $56HKD (about $8USD), off I went.

The ride up was nice – steep too – but as soon as I got off at the top, I knew that I had made a big mistake.  Getting to the viewing platform involved winding your way through the many stalls in the “market”, past a wax museum, up what seemed like 20 escalators, past an equal number of high priced & Bubba Gump type restaurants catering to a captive audience, all among throngs of people who seemed like they were enjoying the experience much more than me.  My worst nightmare.  After 10 minutes up on the roof terrace cooling down and looking into the fog, I made a beeline for the exit, managing to only waste about 90 minutes from start to finish.

Getting back to the city, I returned to the Soho area which is one of the most beautifully layered urban experiences that I have ever had the chance to be part of.  Vendors hawking everything from shoes to jade to flowers to chickens.  Steep streets with shops and stalls every inch of the way.  Textures and details that evolved over time and are more beautiful than anything you could ever design.  Hidden alleyways and side streets with awnings, signs, a/c units, street cafes and enough visual interest to pull you around the next corner, wanting to see and feel more of this great city.  I felt rejuvenated again.

My only regret with my day is that I didn’t spend those 90 minutes more wisely.  Next time I’ll follow my gut and stick to the places that make places great places.


About Scott Wolf

Scott Wolf is a partner at the Miller Hull Partnership, an award-winning architectural design firm located in Seattle, specializing in public works buildings that actively engage their communities. Scott is a sustainable design leader and has been responsible for many of the firm's most complex and highest profile projects, including the firm’s two AIA National Honor Award winners: Olympic College Shelton and the Point Roberts Border Station. His most recent project, on target for LEED Platinum certification, is LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s new Regional Services Center in Olympia, Washington. Scott is passionate about the role water plays in the built environment, and recently served as chair of the American Institute of Architects Seattle Water Forum, which brought together architects and engineers with regulatory agencies and other industry professionals to discuss the challenges of sustainable water, wastewater and stormwater systems. He has lectured about water-related issues to various design-related audiences across the country. Scott has served on the board of Water 1st International since 2010 and recently had the opportunity to visit Ethiopia and experience first-hand the amazing work of the organization. Scott is a graduate of North Carolina State University and earned his Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon.
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