An Asian Holiday: Part 10 – Spectacular View of Hong Kong From Victoria Peak & the Amazing Symphony of Lights

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I celebrated Christmas in Macau and Hong Kong with his family for ~8 days.  It was our 1st time to Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!
What To Do In Hong Kong
View From Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:

An Asian Holiday:  Part 10 – Towering the Skyscrapers and other Fun Activities in Hong Kong – Part 1

These posts will cover some of the most popular sites in Hong Kong, including:

1.   Victoria Peak

We went to Victoria Peak in the morning at around 10:00 am.  We tried to go the day before at around 4:00 pm, but there was a 2 hour wait, so we didn’t go.  The Victoria Peak tram station is a 10 minute walk from the Conrad Hong Kong!

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Victoria Peak Is Hong Kong’s Most Popular Attraction

This time, we only had to wait about 15 minutes.

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The Wait Is Much Shorter If You Go in the Morning

We swiped our Octopus card and eliminated another 10 minute wait.  We highly recommend getting an Octopus card from the MTR (subway station).  You can use the Octopus card for the subway, busses, Star Ferry, Victoria’s Peak tram and even at small restaurants and convinces stores!  It saves a lot of time not having to stand in line to buy tickets.

You have to pay a $50 Hong Kong dollar deposit (~$6.5) for the Octopus card in addition to the amount you load on the card.

What To Do In Hong Kong
The Octopus Card Is a Smart Card Used for Public Transit, Vending Machines, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Fast Food

The tram station had some interesting exhibits on the history of the tram, and I wanted to stay longer to learn about it.

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Each Tramcar Can Carry 120 Passengers

The tram ride is only 8 minutes.  Be sure to sit on the front right side of the tram for the best views.

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Is This the Tram to the North Pole?

And once you reach the top, you enter a shopping arcade, called the Peak Tower.

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The Peak Tower’s Design is Unusual

There are restaurants and small shops, and you have to take the escalators all the way up to reach the Sky Terrace 428.

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Sky Terrace 428 Is Located 428 Meters (~1,400 Feet) Above Sea Level

You have to pay ~$4 to go to the Sky Terrace, but I thought it was worth it for the views.

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The Sky Terrace Is the Highest Viewing Platform in Hong Kong

We also went outside and walked about an hour on the Victoria Peak road, or Hong Kong Trail.

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The Hong Kong Trail Circles Victoria Peak

After about 20 minutes, there are a few lookout spots with some pretty views.

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Skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island and Across the Harbor in Kowloon

It’s easier to get a good picture at the Sky Terrace though, so I would go there too.  Daraius preferred walking around for free outside, but the rest of

What To Do In Hong Kong
I Was Glad to Have Daraius With Me on the Steep Tram Ride!

The walk was very pleasant.  It’s very tropical and there are trees and plants everywhere.  However, it’s difficult to see the city through all of the trees.

After seeing the views, we went to the bus stop to take the bus back down.

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It Costs ~10 Hong Kong Dollars (~$1.30) to Ride the Bus Back Down the Peak

We took the bus to the Star Ferry terminal.  The bus was clearly marked.

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Double Decker Buses:  A Nod to Hong Kong’s British Past?

Once we arrived at the terminal, we walked a short distance to another terminal, which had the Star Ferries.

2.   The Star Ferry

The Star Ferry is a great, cheap way to see the skyline.

We again used our Octopus card for the journey.  It costs 3.40 Hong Kong dollars or ~45 cents.

What To Do In Hong Kong
Ferry Tickets Are Cheap!  Only ~45 Cents

We waited just a few minutes for the ferry and then found some seats.

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Daraius With His Sister and Dad on the Star Ferry

The views were very inspiring!

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You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot of Money for Spectacular Views

The city was stunning.

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Looking Back at the Hong Kong Island Central Star Ferry Terminal

The ferry is slower than driving under Victoria Harbor through the Cross Harbor Tunnel, but the journey is much more charming!

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We Enjoyed Crossing the Harbor, the Old Fashioned Way!

Victoria Harbor is busy and full of ferries and boats.

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Another Star Ferry, Heading Back to Hong Kong Island

The view was a bit hazy.

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Hazy Views Across the Harbor

3.   Symphony of Lights

After walking around a bit, we went back towards the pier to watch the Symphony of Lights.  That evening, they had an English showing, but the only spoken words were to announce a little bit about the show and to announce the sponsors.

We got the same information (except the sponsors) from our guidebook.  The show was free and lasted 13 minutes.

What To Do In Hong Kong
The Symphony of Lights Lit Up the Skyline

The lights and lasers are synchronized to the music.  You can hear the music broadcast live on the waterfront, or tune in over the radio.

The city looked beautiful with all of the skyscrapers lit up!

What To Do In Hong Kong
More Than 40 Buildings on Both Sides of the Harbor Take Part in the Show

The Symphony of Lights is the world’s largest permanent light and sound show.

What To Do In Hong Kong
Large Crowds Gather Every Night to Watch the Show

4.   Walk #1: The Central District

The next day, we went on a walk around the Central District of the city.  This walk includes sites such as Hong Kong Park, the Government House, and St. John’s Cathedral.

Hong Kong Park is located ~10 minutes walking distance from the Conrad Hong Kong.
What To Do In Hong Kong
Lots of Tropical Plants and Flowers at Hong Kong Park

The park is very lush and green, and has some pretty trails.

What To Do In Hong Kong
The Dragon Was No Match for Emily!

There’s a fountain to enjoy…

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We Took a Break by the Fountain and  Columns

It was a great place to spend an afternoon…

What To Do In Hong Kong
You Might Forget You’re in the City, Except for the Skyscrapers
…with lots of green space, surrounded by skyscrapers.  The park also has an aviary, a conservatory, a sports center, playground, and various gardens.
What To Do In Hong Kong
The Lippo Buildings on the Left Were Designed to Resemble Koalas Climbing a Tree

After visiting Hong Kong Park, we went towards the Peak Tram Lower Terminus.  The line was a 2.5 hour wait, so we decided to skip it and go the following morning.

Along the way was more beautiful architecture.

What To Do In Hong Kong
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is Very Unusual

Our next stop was the Government House.  We couldn’t get past the gates, but our camera lens could!

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Hong Kong Governors Once Lived in This Mansion

Next up was St. John’s Cathedral, which was inaugurated in 1849 and is the oldest ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong.

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St. John’s Cathedral Was Built in the Shape of a Cross

During World War 2, the cathedral was converted into a club for the Japanese, who occupied Hong Kong for ~4 years.

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The Cathedral Had Beautiful Stained Glass Windows

The HSBC building was the next site on our walk.  I loved the modern architecture, which was designed by British architect Norman Foster.  It’s Hong Kong’s largest bank.

What To Do In Hong Kong
When It Was Built in 1985, This Was the Most Expensive Building in the World!

Bottom Line

Hong Kong is easy to get around with lots of options for public transportation.  The trams, ferries, and buses are not very expensive.

Victoria Peak: Go in the morning to avoid lines, and use the Octopus card.

We enjoyed walking around different areas in Hong Kong.  There’s a lot of unique architecture and historical buildings.  And great food along the way.

Good thing we brought comfortable walking shoes, because there were more adventures on foot for us coming up!

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