The Peak, you freak
Sunny days seem rare in Hong Kong, and on one of Mary's days off we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and headed to the Peak. The Peak roughly describes the mountainous inland area on Hong Kong Island, characterised by super-expensive housing (Clifton pales in comparison) and natural sub-tropical bush.
The Peak offers the best views of the city and is accessible by road and rail. We opted for rail, which involves jumping on the Peak tram - Honk Kong's oldest and still functioning form of public transport (it has been running for roughly over 100 years). It is also the safest, with no accidents recorded to date. And a good thing too, especially because the tram is inclined at what feels like a 45 degree angle for most of the journey. The views are of course breathtaking, with the hyper-modern city peering out of the jungle canopy in the foreground. On clear days - such as this one - you can see over the Island, into Kowloon and the New Territories, and I suspect, if one knew what to look for, possibly China.
Of course, any trip up the tram is by no means an escape from Hong Kong, and at the top is the huge glass and stainless steel Peak Mall. This very distinctive t-shaped building was being renovated when we went, but luckily for us there just happened to be a second mall - oh joy.
The mall is strictly tourist class, with a few day-to-day trimmings for the ultra rich who live on the peak - like a Park 'n Shop (HK Pick 'n Pay). But at $50 for an icecream cone, its best to be avoided.
There is a viewing station on top which - while not ancient - is pretty old, and offers some really nice views - especially of the house right below. Imagine paying hundreds of millions of dollars for a mansion over looking the city, only to have fat sweaty red-faced tourists gawping at you from the view station above. In fact the view was so good I could tell you that the two Jack Russels living there had leather collars.
Mary was quite taken by the Lion statues which litter the place. Here they are with the cityscape unfolding below: