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Your neighbourhood guide to The Peak

By Beverly Ngai 31 May 2021

Header image courtesy of @beniculturalionline (via Instagram)

As a residential neighbourhood, Victoria Peak is way out of reach for all but a handful of the most affluent members of society, but as a recreational destination, it’s thronged by tourists and visitors from all walks of life. Highlighted in nearly every itinerary for the city, Victoria Peak—also known locally as The Peak or Mount Austin—is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hong Kong and the tallest peak on Hong Kong Island, soaring 552 metres above Central and Mid-Levels

Apart from commanding some of the best views of Hong Kong’s city skyline, the prestigious mountain is also packed with gustatory gems, cultural attractions, and family entertainment options. Here’s your friendly neighbourhood guide to all the quintessential experiences you can take in at The Peak!

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Things to see & do

Photo: @travphotos.ig (via Instagram)

The Peak Tram

No proper outing to The Peak is complete without a ride on the legendary Peak Tram, the 130-year-old funicular railway that rattles up and down the dizzying heights of Victoria Peak. Having evolved from a revolutionary mode of transportation to one of Hong Kong’s most beloved heritage attractions, the striking burgundy tram provides not only the most direct route to the summit, but also some of the most spectacular views of Victoria Harbour.

Although the carriage has been upgraded several times over the generations, its design has remained more or less the same as the original incarnation, offering passengers a unique and immersive slice of old Hong Kong.

Photo: @vernon_kk (via Instagram)

The Peak Tower

If you’re looking for the best vantage point to appreciate Hong Kong’s stunning skyline, Sky Terrace 428 located on the highest floor of The Peak Tower will not disappoint. Day or night, the open-air observation deck offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramas of the metropolitan city. Aside from scenery backdrops, The Peak Tower itself is also an alluring sight to behold, the stunning anvil-shaped design a showcase of modern architecture at its finest. After feasting on all the visual treats, head on inside for an array of dining, shopping, and entertainment options!

The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 2849 0668

Photo: @picnicking_by_misaka (via Instagram)

Victoria Peak Garden

Festooned with Victorian-style gazebos, stone pillars, and landscaped flower beds, Victoria Peak Garden is saturated with period charm, making you feel miles (and centuries) away from the everyday. Once a private summer residence for Hong Kong’s colonial governors, this enchanting green oasis is now a beautiful public park and a popular haunt among picnickers and pet lovers on the weekends.

Thanks to the abundance of tall trees and shrubs, there’s no need to jostle for a shaded spot on a blazing hot day. Make your way to the periphery of the garden to find open platforms for extraordinary views of Hong Kong Island.

Victoria Peak Garden, Mount Austin Road, The Peak

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Photo: @aaarroonntay (via Instagram)

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

Come face-to-face with iconic local and international celebrities at this exclusive A-list party! The Hong Kong offshoot of the renowned wax museum chain founded by French artist Marie Tussaud showcases a stellar line-up of nearly 100 life-like wax figures, depicting well-known icons across entertainment, sports, history, and politics.

The exhibition spans across three floors and five themed areas, and visitors are free to photograph to their heart’s content. With no barriers around the figures, expect to literally be rubbing shoulders with your favourite stars!

Madame Tussauds, Shop P101, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 2849 6966

Photo: @zoe.0209 (via Instagram)

Hike to The Peak

Explore The Peak by foot on one of the many trails that criss-cross its mountainous landscape! Located in close proximity to the dense urban sprawl of Central, The Peak is home to some of the most easily accessible, well-maintained, and therefore most popular hikes in the city. There is a range of hiking trails to choose from depending on your stamina and time available.

For a leisurely stroll with the family, the Peak Circle Walk will be your best option, a gentle four-kilometre loop around the crown of The Peak. If you are up for a bit more uphill action, another popular trail is the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir hike, which takes you for a scenic stretch along the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir before cutting through the peaceful woodland of the equally named country park, and going all the way up to the top. You can also discover historical sites on the Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail, a military fortification used during the colonial days of Hong Kong.

Photo: @dahlia_wong (via Instagram)

Rock climbing at the Central Crags

Done all the run-of-the-mill attractions and ready to up the ante? Scaling up the Central Crags a great adrenaline-pumping activity for those with a sense of adventure. Among the most popular rock climbing hotspots in the city, the Central Crags is a compact collection of jutting rocks on the northern side of The Peak, with over 100 rock climbing routes for all types of outdoor climbers. Granted, the location is a bit hard to get to, accessible only by an unofficial trail that comes with some bushwhacking, but the exhilarating experience and spectacular views are worth the effort!

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Where to eat & drink

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Inspired by the 1994 Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, this American seafood restaurant chain is charmingly done up in a Southern country style as a nod to the film’s setting, complete with warm, homey décor, memorabilia, storyboards, and still photos from the movie. As the restaurant name would suggest, shrimp is the main gig here—and unsurprisingly, the versatile crustacean manages to find its way all across the menu.

Die-hard shrimp lovers will go crazy for Shrimper’s Heaven ($220), which features an assortment of breaded coconut shrimp, grilled shrimp, crispy golden shrimp, and tempura shrimp with fries, served with flavoursome dipping sauces. Don’t sleep on their Dixie-style baby back ribs ($238) and seafood hush pups ($82), either!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Shop 304–305, 3/F, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 2849 2867

Photo: @fiammahk (via Instagram)

Fiamma

Helmed by Michelin-starred Italian chef Enrico Bartonlini, you can count on Fiamma to serve up a sumptuous Italian feast. Straddling the line between casual and sophisticated, Fiamma matches its dimly lit space and dark timber furnishing with chill, coastal Mediterranean décor.

The duality is similarly reflected in the menu, with comforting, home-style dishes like freshly baked bread, pasta, risotto, and pizzas starring alongside classier items veal chop Milanese ($398) and beef tartare ($188). If it’s a beautiful day out, take advantage of their outdoor patio and enjoy your meal with views!

Fiamma, Shop G02, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 2657 0800

Photo: @pigheadxx (via Instagram)

Rajasthan Rifles

Just as British colonisation left its mark on Hong Kong’s local food culture, Anglo-Indian cuisine—a unique fusion of classic Indian and British flavours—was born during the British Raj in India. Rajasthan Rifles is one of the few restaurants in the city that specialise in this cuisine, and they execute it with masterly finesse.

While the curries and kebabs are as delicious as they look, we think their breakfast menu deserves the spotlight. Opt for the Rifles rolls ($148), which comprise a tandoor-baked naan with spicy cheese, tomato chutney, and your choice of fillings, or the keema & pau ($128), a spicy mutton and scrambled egg dish served with buttery milk buns.

Rajasthan Rifles, Shop G01, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 2388 8874

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Kala Toast

Good grilled cheese sandwiches are quite hard to come by in Hong Kong, but we’ve definitely found a winner with the ooey-gooey melts at Kala Toast. Nestled inside The Peak Tower, this cheese and sandwich specialist is known for pushing the boundaries of creativity when it comes to their cheesy creations.

Taking inspirational cues from near and far, they offer flavours inspired by Mexican quesadillas and Korean street toasts, and even exotic sweet flavours like durian toast ($55) and coffee toast ($55)! Their signature is the rainbow toast ($69), which pulls apart to reveal a glorious rainbow-coloured cheesy effect.

Kala Toast, Shop G11, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak | (+852) 6436 1818

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Beverly Ngai

Junior editor

A wanderer, chronic overthinker, and baking enthusiast, Beverly spent much of her childhood in the United States before moving to Hong Kong at age 11 and making the sparkling city her home. In her natural habitat, she can be found baking up a storm in her kitchen, journalling at a café, or scrolling through OpenRice deciding on her next meal.

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