Apparently, one of the “must see” sights in Hong Kong is the view from Victoria Peak. When you’re in the heart of the city you can’t see quite how hideously god-awful the mass of concrete and steel imposed upon the landscape actually is since all you can see is the next monolithic temple to Mammon stretching to where the sky would be if you could actually see that far. Thankfully, a short ride takes you to a suitable vantage point to view the consequences of capitalist excess: Victoria Peak.

The journey starts with a lie: you take what they call the “Peak Tram”. It’s not. It’s a funicular railway, founded in 1888.

Victoria Peak Tram

Sadly, the tram has abandoned its original class system; in 1926 there were three classes:

First Class: British colonial officials and residents of Victoria Peak;
Second Class: British military and the Hong Kong Police Force personnel;
Third Class: Other people and animals.

The journey is steep, but mercifully brief at five minutes (unlike the queuing to get on). 1.4 km later and 400 metres higher one is dumped in a tacky gift shop (technically a “shopping and leisure complex”) curiously devoid of exit signs; anyone would think they wanted to keep you inside and spend all your money there. I eventually found an obscure backdoor exit next to the gents.

I’d read that there were attractive gardens which were originally attached to one of the residences of the Hong Kong Governors not far away. It’s a steep and sweaty climb, and as to whether it was worth it, I’ll let you be the judge.

Victoria Peak Garden

As for the concrete excrescence that covers the island, here’s one view:

Hong Kong Skyline

[HK&M 2]

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