Peak panorama

You've definitely seen the view from the Peak Tower, but have you ever walked along Lugard Road to get the the full harbour view? Here's a preview:

(Once a picture appears below, click anywhere on the picture with your left mouse button, and your mouse pointer should change from a hand to an arrow. Click again on the picture and keep the button pressed. Now you can move the mouse around to view the whole panorama. Use the '+' and '-' keys to zoom in and out.)

It only takes around 15 minutes walk to get to the viewing point, then you can either turn back, or keep walking to do a complete circuit of the Peak. The full circuit should take you about an hour, and there are good information boards at regular intervals along the path.



It's a nice walk

That's a pretty nice walk with good views of the many different parts of Hong Kong.

I prefer to take one of the #15 buses up as the view is better and the ride is more comfortable. Cheaper too, and you stand far less risk of queueing for hours at the Peak Tram.

The walk itself around the Lugard Road path is 2.8 km, so it's an hour's leisurely stroll, as MrB said. Along the way the view changes from Central (eye-level with 2 IFC!) to the Harbour to Western to the Western Isles (shades of Tolkien!) including Lamma, Aberdeen and then back to the Peak Tower.

The walkway is usually shady, and there's lots of interesting trees, plants and butterflies if you're into that.

Old photos of The Peak

Reader 'moddsey' has sent in some more photos from his collection, showing how the Peak used to look. The first set are from the 1930s, starting with a shot taken from outside the upper tram station, with Harlech Rd on the left, and Mount Austin Rd sloping upwards in the center of the photo. Moddsey writes:

It is taken outside the Upper Peak Tram Station with coolies milling around for sedan chair rides for the walk round Lugard Road or the more laborious trip up Mount Austin Rd. In those days, the Governor had his summer residence at the top of Mount Austin. It is now turned into a park and lookout point.

In the next picture, the photographer is standing a little way up Mt Austin Rd, looking back to the tram station. You can see the station building on the left behind the lamp-post. Just in front and to the right of that you can see the pitched roof of the building that now houses the Peak Lookout (previously called The Peak Cafe). Then the imposing building in the centre of the photo is the Peak Hotel, the reason for this picture.

Here's a more detailed picture of the hotel. It opened in 1873, so was already around 60 years old at the time this picture was taken. In 1922 it was bought by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels group, owners of the Peninsula Hotel whose foundations were laid that same year. The Peak Hotel closed in 1937, and was demolished after the second world war.

Here's a copy of a brochure from it's heyday.

Moddsey also has a picture of Lugard road as it looked around that time. Large sections of the original railings can still be seen, though as odaiwai mentioned above, there is a lot more plant life around the road now.

Finally, a shot from the 1970s showing previous incarnations of the Peak Tower and trams.

Photos of Lugard Rd in 1918

Moddsey has found a website with photos of Lugard Rd and the Peak in the past, including photos taken in 1918 when Lugard Rd was under construction.