Few cityscapes are as spellbinding as the view of Hong Kong from the Peak (552m), the green-swathed mountain that looms above Central's tight-packed ranks of skyscrapers. Cool, clear and removed from the city's bustle, the area has long been one of the city's most exclusive retreats: the former British Governor had a summer residence here (damaged during the Japanese occupation) while the handful of grand houses scattered across the slopes are by far the city's most coveted.
A path was cleared to the summit as early as 1859 - a sedan chair was then the preferred mode of transport- while road access was secured in 1924. Most people today ride up on the famous Peak Tram, built in 1888, an impossibly steep but wonderful way to reach the Peak Tower, a small complex of shops, caf?§|s and other minor attractions at the tram's upper terminal. Sit on the right of the tram for the best views, and be certain to wait for a clear day to make the trip. Do not leave the Tower complex - which is a little disorientating - without riding the escalators to the outdoor observation deck: the views are breathtaking.
Across the road from the Tower lies the Peak Galleria, another mall complex, though your time will be better spent walking all or part way around the Peak. The full walk takes around an hour, but is easy and straight- forward, and the views, not to mention the lovely wooded countryside, are a revelation.
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