It's Hong Kong's greatest misnomer—the Peak Tram is actually a funicular railway. Since 1888 it's been rattling the 1,365 feet up the hill from Mid-Levels to the Victoria Peak tram terminus. As well as a sizable adrenaline rush due to the steepness of the ascent, on a clear day the trip offers fabulous panoramas. Most passengers board at the Lower Terminus between Garden Road and Cotton Tree Drive. (The tram has five stations.) The fare is HK$28 one way, HK$40 round-trip, and the tram runs every 10–15 minutes between 7 am and midnight daily. Bus 15C shuttles passengers between the Lower Terminus and the Star Ferry.
Old-fashioned double-decker trams have been running along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island since 1904. There is bench seating on the lower deck and seats on the upper one, although trams are now being renovated to replace the benches with single seating, and the entrance turnstiles with electronic barriers. Most routes start in Kennedy Town or Western Market, and go eastward all the way through Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, North Point, and Quarry Bay to Shau Kei Wan. A branch line turns off in Wan Chai toward Happy Valley, where horse races are held in season.
Destinations are marked on the front of each tram and route maps are displayed at the stops; you board at the back and get off at the front, paying HK$2.30 regardless of distance (by Octopus or with exact change) as you leave. Avoid trams at rush hours, which are generally weekdays from 7:30 to 9:30 am and 5 to 7:30 pm. Although trams move slowly, for short hops between Central and Western or Admiralty they can be quicker than going underground to take the MTR. A leisurely top-deck ride from Western to Causeway Bay is a great city tour. Note, though, that there is no air-conditioning on trams.
Hong Kong Tramways (2548–7102. www.hktramways.com.)
Peak Tram (2522–0922. www.thepeak.com.hk.)
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