With the visit to the lovely Stanley beach done, we made our way to our next destination – The Peak. For some reason, whenever we are in HK, my OH insists on me asking for help with directions. Our mainland phones stop working as soon as we cross the border so we cannot rely on them to point us the right way, show the available transport and schedules (very handy but travel Apps can be limited at times). We had no choice but to follow the old Polish saying: ‘Koniec języka za przewodnika’ (rough translation would be – let you tongue be your guide)
Luckily, HK is full of friendly and kind people, who are more than happy to help. If you ever find yourself wandering aimlessly (not on purpose), or getting a bit lost, just ask for help. Although I bet you won’t even have to ask – most of the time the locals have actually approached US and enquired if we needed any help! How lovely is that. I has only happened to me once in China so far but of course this is where the language barrier comes into play (although I’m pretty sure that’s not the only reason why Chinese are nowhere near as keen on helping others, even other Chinese).
After obtaining very detailed instruction from a charming policeman, we headed towards Stanley Bus Station and after a few minutes, were whisked off back towards HK city centre. Due to enormous queues for the Peak Tram the previous evening we decided to stick to the local bus, Nr 15, which goes right up to the Peak station (I’m sure it’s nowhere near as attractive but it takes you there and for the fraction of the price). You can get on that bus from many stops around Central but as we weren’t sure exactly which ones that bus stops at, we chose to get off at the last stop – Bus Terminal at IFC/Hong Kong station and simply get Nr 15 from there.
The whole ride took around 20 minutes and allowed us to see more of HK city. I prefer taking the bus to the metro as on board of a comfortable double-decker, like the ones in HK, you’re able to discover areas you’d never see otherwise. It makes the stay more interesting and exciting. Who knows what you may notice as you’re going passed – some cool shops or maybe a restaurant you’d like to try?
The Peak wasn’t what I expected. I had no idea there was a whole shopping/dining complex up there. I did read there were a few eating places available but I imagined small snack stalls at best. In fact, the place is well equipped for any visitor. There are fast food options for those on a budget (as hard as I try to avoid eating in those, it does sometimes happen when I’m not starving, don’t want to spend much but still feel like I should eat something), mid-range pizza/noodle places as well as more expensive grill/dim sum restaurants. I’m not sure who would go to the Peak for shopping but if you were so inclined, there are a few good shops to be found. The best part of The Peak Station was the free-to-access terrace with almost 360° views over Victoria Harbour. There wasn’t much to see on the day we were there but I can easily imagine the views being magnificent on a clearer day.
After a spot of lunch, we started the Peak Circle Walk, a leisurely hike around the peak. When I say leisurely, I really mean dead easy. Seriously, anyone can go on it, in fact we saw plenty of elderly tourists and locals enjoying this walk, which was great. Along the way, we passed some pleasant play areas (ideal for a picnic), information boards with interesting facts about the plants/trees/buildings found on the trail but of course, the highlight of this hike is the breathtaking view one can admire from multiple view points.
Doing the hike was great, we both thoroughly enjoyed it as even though it wasn’t exhausting, we still felt like we exercised and through walking among locals, who probably visit that spot regularly, we felt a bit closer to HK as a place to live in rather than just a shopping stopover.
Upon returning to The Peak Station, we climbed on the top deck of Nr 15 bus back to Central and started our journey back to the mainland. But before heading for Hung Hom station, there was still time to explore the IFC Mall, located right above the bus terminal. Having stocked up on fresh bread, cheese and meat in the excellent CITY’SUPER supermarket, we made our way to the metro, travelled first to Hung Hom and then to the border station of Luo Hu. The border crossing was quick and stress-free. Two and a half hours later, we were already in a taxi, heading home.
When doing research about things to do in HK I used this website, which proved very informative and helpful.
I can’t wait to go back when the weather gets warmer and this time, explore the islands!