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.