Victoria Peak. You may have heard of it... Yes, Hong Kong is for many of us our home and long time residents may question the value of me telling you about visiting such a well-publicized area. However, it is packed full of lesser-known nooks and possesses bountiful options for exploration. I must admit, until recent times ‘The Peak’ was a spot I would only frequent when showing visiting friends around town and I never went there on my own. Since I have been back in HK and I am hiking a lot more these days, I have taken more time to explore this region of Hong Kong Island and have been thoroughly impressed with what I have found!
With such a plethora of options I’ll keep things simple here, sharing with you my favorite route over The Peak and highlighting a few appealing detours along the way. My optimal route begins in Admiralty, runs over Victoria Peak and finishes in Aberdeen.
Passing through the botanical gardens, one immediately escapes the hustle and bustle of Central, the gardens contain many interesting bird and marsupial enclosures and I love having a wonder around before pressing onwards and upwards. Ascending Old Peak Road, the gradient steps up a notch. The going gets much more physical, but a glance over your shoulder reveals an increasingly expansive view of the skyscrapers and motivates you to carry on. Once above all the housing developments, Old Peak Road transforms into a charming laneway. A smooth surface winding its way through the trees, the shady shelter harbors many native bird species, their calls providing a soothing soundtrack for the final uphill section.
Once at the Peak Tower, one has the option to climb further to the summit of Mt Austin or to do the circular route around The Peak, both of these I recommend if you want to loose the crowds and see some views. After a stop for ice cream or to reload your water bottle, the more adventurous leg of the walk begins. Heading south, most folk may head down the trail that leads to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir and Pok Fu Lam Road. This route is pleasant but short, so if you have a bit more time to spare, try heading down the ‘Peel Rise’ towards Aberdeen.
Walk along Peak Road for a couple hundred meters and over the small the small arch bridge onto Gough Hill Path, the Peel rise will then be on a turning down the hill to your right. Heading down the Peel Rise, it is a similar vibe to heading up the later stages of Old Peak Road. Densely forested and relaxing, stroll down without a care in the world, Hong Kong suddenly becomes an exceedingly long way away indeed.
Back down in Aberdeen and a timely return to civilization. The whole walk should take between 2 to 5 hours depending on your pace and choice of route. There are plenty of dining options here for a post hike meal here, or simply shoot back to wherever you want on a bus or taxi. The MTR opening in Wong Chuk Hang later this year will be a game changer for the area.
This is a versatile itinerary that can satisfy all folk, from families in search of a spot of fresh air, to athletic individuals seeking an after work workout. One way or another, heading up Victoria Peak is a must do for anyone spending time in our great city. That magical view from the top never gets old.