Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 1 Hong Kong Island Part 3: The Peak

Minxi and I finished off our morning on Hong Kong Island with a trip up the 120 year old tram to sky terrace 428 the highest public point on Hong Kong Island.

Here's the website:

You buy your tickets and board the tram at the lower end terminus on Cotton Tree Road, just a block over from the US Consulate on Lower Albert Rd.  With any luck, you won't need the US consulate.  Still, it's nice to know where it is.

While we walked right up at about 11:00 in the morning, it was clear from the miles of tensa-barrier and "how long from this sign" signs that there can be quite a wait for the tram.

If you've ever been to a Disney property, you'll understand exactly how they are set up. You buy your ticket and get into line.  Every ten minutes or so when the next tram comes, you and your group of friends moves up the room toward the loading platform.  Along the way you are treated to museum style displays of the history of the tram.  There's a Madam Tussaud's Wax museum at the top and you can also buy your tickets for it in the terminal.  This seems to help  you get into line faster on busy days but we were not interesting in watching wax statues stand around and there was no crowd so I can't vouch for how much this helps.

The tram is an old fashioned brass and wood job that was comfortable enough and the ride only took about fifteen minutes.

At the top I was shocked to find a four story shopping mall with gourmet restaurants and electronic boutiques.  Silly me.  I guess my memories of riding the tram up Pike's Peak in the seventies and finding a wooden shack selling stuffed gophers is about useless now.

We weren't much for shopping having just plowed our way through the entire North Face of the island, but we did enjoy the collection of door hangers and window ornaments that said handy things like "No Fart In My Room" and "Your Heart Nice But Your Face Like Sow."

I don't really know how to describe the view from the upper deck.  Why don't you just check it for yourself:

The Cosmic Guest House that we had left about 5 hours before is about exactly behind my left shoulder. The ferry terminal is behind Minxi. The escalator and zoological park are hidden in the buildings on the left.  Directly below us a nature park.  What you can't see because it's behind the cameraman is the South China Sea on the other side of the island stretching out as far at the eye can see.  What a view!

The tram runs till midnight so that folks can come up and see the city at night.  That must be spectacular.  Minxi and I missed it though.  By now, our long days of travel the day before had caught up to us and we made a bee line, well, tram, city bus, and ferry line, back to the guest house for a much needed nap before our next adventure:  all the movie stars you'd ever want to walk on.

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