Goodbye selfie sticks, hello savings…
Like Christ The Redeemer in Rio or Top Of The Rock in New York City, there are some sights worth seeing at least once, no matter how touristy they are. Hong Kong’s “The Peak” is without question one of the most spectacular city views on the entire planet, inspiring awe from sunrise through sundown. When it comes to getting up top and dealing with the crowds however, things aren’t quite as inspiring, and frankly – they can downright suck. Thanks to your love of travel, you’re about to learn a hot insider tip to beat the lines, and save yourself at least $5 per person.
There are quite a few ways to get up to The Peak. The most popular by far is taking the iconic tram, which costs $52HKD per person. Do note: if you are trying to go just before sunset, or just after, queues can be insane. The only real way around this is being in a large group, or paying $350HD for a Madam Tussauds fast track ticket. Not worth it, depending on how little $350HKD means to you. And note, there’s no fast track on the way down. Other options include hiking, mini bus, bus, and perhaps most effective but the least novel, Uber. An Uber ride from most areas in Central to The Peak run between $50-75HKD, which actually makes it a lot cheaper than taking the tram if you’re going with two people. If you can avoid a long queue, the novelty of the tram is worth it.
The Peak Rip Off
At the end of the day $52HKD isn’t crazy money, but with queues taking over an hour at peak, The Peak times (like that one?) you’d think that takes care of everything, and you’d be wrong. The $52HKD simply gets you up to the glossy mall complex known as The Peak, and not in fact onto “Sky Terrace 428” which is where you see all the selfies and famous snaps from the open air top floor viewing platform. That privilege will require yet another $52HKD per person, and if you don’t realize this until you reach the top floor, you’ll find out that they only take cash. No cash and you’ll need to go back down to the Peak Mall near where you entered from the tram and use card there… and then go back up. It’s inspiring, no doubt, but there’s a free alternative.
The Peak Secret Tip
The whole secret thing isn’t exactly a secret anymore, but mainstream tourists are hardly as clever as you are. Yes, flattery does work. Paying for the Sky Terrace 428 isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but the experience leaves a lot to be desired. Annoying tourists hog the good spots and unrelenting paid photographers hound passers by. It’s also just rammed, 24/7. If you want nice selfies and essentially an equally impressive view of Hong Kong’s dazzling city lights and gorgeous harbor there’s a better, cheaper way. It’s free, never crowded and may just be the best secret for the perfect Hong Kong selfie…
Perfect Secret Tip Steps
After getting off the tram, or entering The Peak Mall area, look for signs for the tram exit. Follow the exit signs and exit the building (don’t worry you can get back in) and then turn left. You’ll see people lining up to take the tram down to your right. Follow the signs for Findlay Path (not Findlay Road). Walk down Findlay Path past the first decent viewpoint, until what will soon present itself as an obvious winner. There’s almost never anyone there, and the views are as compelling as the roof! No selfie sticks, no loud tourists. Here’s a photo taken from this vantage point, on a phone camera…
If it’s daytime, a hike down one of the many paths, such as the road that begins at Findlay Path, or down Old Peak Road will be an absolute joy and take you through beautiful scenery. It’s steep, it’s long (will take about an hour) and is a bit challenging for anyone who’s not used to hiking, but is worth it. If not, you’ve got the tram, taxi or Uber. You can’t go wrong, especially since you saved $52HKD per person by not actually going to Sky Terrace 428.