Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hong Kong Island Trip

Fifth day in Hong Kong. We spent our time to visit a few places in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. We would like to focus our sharing on three places- the Peak, Golden Bauhinia Square, and the Symphony of Light presentation. For our complete itinerary, please click here.

Our first destination of the day is The Peak (山顶 / 太平山顶) at Hong Kong Island. We found some refer The Peak as Victoria Peak. We walked from Hong Kong MTR station to Chater Garden through J2 exit. From J2, we went straight to Bank of China Tower, then towards Citibank Tower. The Peak Tram Station is located at the ground floor of the building next to Citibank Tower. It was a gloomy morning with heavy downpour. We used covered-pedestrian walkway most of the time to avoid getting wet. Lucky, we brought our umbrella, as there were some gaps between the walkway which were not well covered. We spent about 20 minutes to travel from Hong Kong MTR station to the Peak tram station. The normal fare for the tram was HKD28 per single trip or HKD40 per return trip. We used Octopus Card to pay for the tram. The journey to the Peak took about 10 minutes.

The Bank of China Tower is a prominent landmark in Hong Kong Island (upper left). Most of the walkways from Chater Garden to the tram station are built with covers (upper right). Private Banking was the sign of the tram station during our visit (lower left). We could get to the tram from the ground floor of the building.

This is how the building of the tram station looks like from a distance away.

Our photo inside the tram to the Peak. The whole journey took around 10 minutes.

More than 400 meters above sea level, the Peak is really a good location for everyone to enjoy 360 degree view over Hong Kong Island. We later discovered that instead of Peak Tower, which we always see in the advertisement and tourism booklets, there is in fact another shopping mall beside it- Peak Galleria. Peak Tower opened the top floor to the visitors with an additional of HKD29 (we could opt to buy the ticket together with the tram's ticket), while Peak Galleria offered its top floor to us free of charge. So, we chose to take the generous offer from Peak Galleria. It was extremely foggy when we reached the Peak in the morning. So, we roamed around the shopping malls, enjoyed the cooling air outside the building, and after 2 hours of waiting, the view was getting clearer and eventually, we saw view that we had expected to see.

We could see many of the skyscrapers below us from the Peak Tower.

This is how Peak Tower looks like, from Peak Galleria.

Peak Galleria has a less fancy look than its counterpart. However, it offered a free observatory platform to us. Photo taken from the exit of Peak Tower.

Hong Kong Island and Kowloon from the observatory platform of Peak Galleria.

Another side of the platform offers different view of Hong Kong.

We would like to drop few advices. To get to the Peak Tram Station, first, follow the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Tower as these two buildings are prominent and easy to recognize. The tram station is located beside Citibank Tower. Second, try not to buy the ticket to the observation platform of Peak Tower at the foot of the hill. Take a look on what Peak Galleria can offer free of charge, before you make your decision to proceed with the payment for Peak Tower. We couldn't find much choices of food at the Peak. However, Starbuck, Burger King, and a few coffee houses were there for us. By the way, not all the food and souvenirs available at the malls up there were expensive. We found that a few souvenirs sold were in fact cheaper that what we could get in Temple Street. Must visit? Definitely!

We met Bruce Lee at the Peak Tower, and he didn't mind to pose with our parents :p

After we came down from the Peak, we took the electric tram from Chater Garden to Wan Chai (弯仔). Then, we took a 15-minute walk from Wan Chai tram stop to Golden Bauhinia Square (金紫荆广场). To reach the square from Wan Chai, what we did was keep walking towards the sea (north).

This is one of the electric tram (with Picasso painted on it). We can see Chater Garden behind this tram.

Golden Bauhinia Square. We can see Kowloon commercial area far behind on the other side of Victoria Harbour.

Closer look on the sculpture of bauhinia with Hong Kong Convention Centre at the back.

Well, about Golden Bauhinia Square, there was really not much thing to see, except the 6-meter tall sculpture of golden bauhinia which was given by Central Government of China to Hong Kong on 1st July 1997, as a symbol of forever growing and prosperity. Historical value was what we could find at the square.

To be frank, the square was not an attractive site. We walked a little bit north to the esplanade by the strait to take a rest. We found that the scenery of Kowloon on the other side of the strait was much better than the square.
Kowloon from the esplanade.

We went to Causeway Bay (铜锣湾) in late afternoon, followed by Tung Choi Street (通菜街) and Ladies' Street (女人街). We took our dinner at Ladies' Street before we went to Avenue of Stars to witness the world's largest light and sound show- The Symphony of Light. For us, the avenue itself was lack of attraction, while the light and sound show was a little bit disappointing as well.

However, we would like to put things in this way- the admission for Avenue of Stars is free, so as for the show. So, if you have a night to spare, then it will do you no harm to take a leisure evening walk down the avenue and enjoy the night scenery of Hong Kong Island, then find a nice place to sit and watch the show. Well, just don't get dissapointed if you can't catch these two attractions in your itinerary.

The iconic sculpture at the entrance of Avenue of Star.

Sitting at the avenue, the night scenery of Hong Kong Island can clearly be seen.

The night scenery itself is the best part of the show.

We used MTR to go to Avenue of Stars. The avenue is just next to Tsim Sha Tsui East Station (尖东站). It can be assessed through the underground walkway from Tsim Sha Tsui Station (尖沙咀站) as well. The walk from Tsim Sha Tsui station to Avenue of Stars took us around 10 minutes. Rain started a few minutes before the show started. As we brought our umbrella with us, we won the advantage of getting a good open place to sit and watch the show, while many others were busy running and hiding to avoid getting wet. We went back to Mong Kok to continue our shopping after the show.

Sixth day, we travelled north to Shenzhen in the mainland of China. However, we would like to share about Accommodation, Food, and Shopping in Hong Kong first. Follow us now.


  1. there were no such things as absolutes, not in life or in people. it was day by day, if not moment by moment. all you could do was take on as much weight as you can bear.and if you're lucky, there's someone close enough by to shoulder the rest. Cheap Flights to Hong Kong

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  2. your parents are cute