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HongKong: When is the best time to visit the Peak?

HongKong: When is the best time to visit the Peak?

Jan 13th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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HongKong: When is the best time to visit the Peak?


Since it has previously been mentioned about possible fog which would obstruct full and complete view of the Hong Kong Island from the Peak, is there a certain time of day which I should avoid i.e. before or after noon?

Photography is my passion and I'm hoping to capture some beautiful shots in Hong Kong. It'll be too bad if I have the fog or the sun glaring into my camera when I'm at the Peak.


HappyTraveling is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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Sometimes the fog / mist seems to be there all day. Certain times of year will be worse than others as well.

I just look up at the peak - if I can clearly see the peak tower complex (quite unmistakeable) I reckon it will be okay.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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What you see is smog blown in from Southern China. It tends to stay throughout the day, and doesn't get burned off like fog does.

When I was growing up in the 70's and early 80's, air is clearer in winter time; but now it seems the opposite. During my visit 2 weeks ago, there was recording break low temperature, with strong wind blowing the smog away for a few days. But then before I left, temperature rose a bit, and the smog returned.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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When I visited a couple months ago there was indeed smog bad enough to obscure the view on one or two days. Other days it was clearer, maybe a morning haze that burned off by noon. I visited in early afternoon and it was clear, and also in the evening when it was a different - and wonderful! - sight altogether.
Seamus is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 01:13 AM
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HappyTraveling, you've already got good answers about the smog - it's a case of wait and see on the day, Im afraid. As far as the sun's concerned, no worries there. The Peak Terrace faces roughly NE, so you never get the sun directly in your camera.
Xenos is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 01:15 AM
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My general experience living there for 5 years that if it is foggy, it will remain so for most of the day, so you may have to be flexible and rearrange your schedule if there is a clear day or a foggy one. Hong Kong is not one of those “if-you-don’t-like-the-weather-wait-five-minutes” places. Bad weather tends to sock in for a day or more. Also, air pollution is a big and growing problem and may well obscure your ability to see across to the Kowloon side. It is a matter of luck and prevailing winds.

My favourite times are sunrise and the few hours afterwards, and dusk. As a photographer, the late afternoon and then dusk/twilight and night will give you great shots as the lights come up. I would try to go a few times, it is easy and fast to get up by the tram or a bus, and you can even take a taxi which is not that expensive, maybe $12.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 01:17 AM
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Also, while the Peak platform is a good place to take pictures, don't forget to walk around Lugard Road for other great vantage points. It is flat and takes about an hour to complete the circuit back to the tram area.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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Actually, the Peak area is lovely in the fog. Decided to go head up there a few trips back on a foggy day, and did the Lugard Rod walk. I had the place nearly to myself (all of the other tourists were waiting for a clear day), and it was terrific. The photos I took were the spectacular ones of the city and harbour -- you've seen them because everyone who goes to HK takes the exact same photo -- but I did get some very special photos of Peak flora through fog.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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Make sure you know that the fog and the smog we're talking about are two completely different things. HK has lots of fog in March/April, and the Peak is often covered in it (or low clouds). Not good for taking pictures of the city, but as rizzuto says, it's very lovely.

The $12 cab ride that Cicerone says is US Dollars. I think the Peak Tram (HK$20 one-way, $30 roundtrip) is easier, cheaper and more fun to get up and down the peak, even with photogear.

I'll also suggest another spot for photographs. Instead of heading West on Lugard road, you can walk East. I can't remember the name of that path, but I'll check my map tonite. In my opinion, you can get a better view of the city from that side of the Peak. However, the path itself isn't as dramatic - parts of Lugard road are actually bridges hanging over the side of the mountain.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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I think rkkwan is referring to Barker Road, which does have some great views as well. Another good place is to walk up to Victory Peak Garden, which is actually 500 feet higher than the Peak Tram and offers great views as well. It is a bit of an uphill walk, up and back would take about an hour. Look for Mt Austin Road on your right as you exit the Peak Tram Station, you will go a few hundred yards and pass a playground on your left, then continue uphill to the top.

Other good places for vantage viewing would be Old Peak Road, which is basically vertical in some places, love to watch the Philipina amahs with their baby carriages come down that road!

Another good place for photos is along Bowen Road. This is a flat pedestrian-only road which offers good harbor and Wan Chai/Causeway Bay views, as well as good views of Happy Valley racetrack. There is also a shrine called Lover’s Rock which women visit to pray for good husbands. You can reach Bowen Road from Hong Kong Park (a good bit of uphill walking mostly on stairs), or you can take a cab or mini-bus to where Bowen Road begins at Magazine Gap Road. Out and back from the Magazine Gap or Hong Kong Park would be about 4 miles. You can also walk one way and catch a bus where Bowen Road ends at Stubbs Road and get back down into Central.

Yes, my cab fare estimate was US Dollars, not Hong Kong ones.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Correction to my previous post about a foggy day on the Peak:

I should have typed "The photos I missed were the spectacular ones of the city and harbour..." (but in fact managed to type exactly the opposite ... sorry!)

DonTopaz is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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I have to agree with rkkwan about the Peak Tram v getting a taxi. After all, you can ride in a taxi anytime, anywhere, but riding the Peak Tram (like riding the Atar Ferry or the top deck of a double decker bus to Stanley) has to be part of the unique Hong Kong Experience
Xenos is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Sorry for the typo - that should have been Star Ferry obviously!
Xenos is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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I was so mad..We took the ferry to HKG Island. Got on a bus that we thought was taking us to the Peak Tram..Suddenly we found ourselves going up the mountain on the bus, and it wasn't stopping..We eventually ended up at the Peak, so we missed the tram ride up!! I couldn't believe it..We did take it down though!
TracyB is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Yeah, be careful. The shuttle bus to the lower Peak Tram station is #15C. The bus that goes all the way to The Peak is #15. You can also take the green minibus #1. [The big bus and the minibus use different routes.]
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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Got home and looked up my map. What I was referring to is to walk East from the Peak Tram on Findlay Path, stop at the Lion Pavilion (which also offer a great vista), and then continue on Plantation Road. Soon, you'll come to the junction of Plantation Road and Severn Road. Severn Road is a long loop around Mt Gough, while the Plantation Road loop is shorter. If you choose to stay on Plantation Rd, then you will come to Pollock's Path. It's a dead-end up Mount Gough, and at least back in the 80's, the vista from there is excellent.

Either Plantation Rd or Severn Rd will loop to the south side and you can get back to the Peak Tram on Plunkett's Road, or cross over Peak Road and hike around Mount Kellett on Mt. Kellett Road. That loops has a excellent view of Pok Fu Lam, Aberdeen and the Lamma Island, and past the Matilda Hospital.

This all sounds more complicated than it really is. You really can't get lost up there. All the paths are very safe, around expensive mansions and condos, and are nice quiet walks, not that the Lugard Road loop is crowded at all.

[Cicerone mentioned Barker Road. No, don't take that walk, as Barker Road is not a loop and dropped you down to Magazine Gap. From there, you have to take the #15 bus or the green #1 minibus back to the Peak Tram or down to the city. Too far to walk back.]

I also second the suggestion of going up to the Peak Garden on Mt. Austin Road. I went up there during my previous trip, and the walk and the garden up there is virtually unchanged from the 70's or 80's. Still pretty quiet, and because of high-winds, the trees don't seem to have grown any taller either.

You really can't lose taking another of the walks up The Peak. I think our point is that don't just go to the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria. There's more up there.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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Tracey, that must have been so frustrating! I didn't notice what number bus we caught to the tram station, but it said "Peak Tram" on the front, so we assumed it was the right one. We were the only two people on it, so it was hardly worth the driver bothering, especially as he had to spend about 5 minutes persuading the driver of the double decker in front of us to shift, so we could get out of the bus station.

At least arriving at the top by bus, you didn't have the torment of trying to find the escape route from the Tower when you got there
Xenos is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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It certainly was frustrating..it was one of those days..Believe me, that wasn't the only thing that happened that day, but i won't get into it!! The drive was nice though..But it was funny because we kept saying out loud..Gee, by the time we get to the Tram we are going to be all the way up the mountain!! We really thought that we were eventually going to ride up on that tram...When the bus finally stopped, we were standing there like 2 dumb tourists..not even realizing we were at the top already..We had a good laugh anyhow!! Thank god at least we got to take it down...But as rkkwan said, we got on bus 15 instead of 15C and that is why it happened!!






TracyB is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:16 PM
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My husband & I always go to the peak in the afternoon and do the walk around Lugard Road. On our last trip (May 2004) we went late afternoon and got great pictures of the harbour in the daytime. We then walked around the loop and got a few goods sunset pictures on the west side from Lugard Rd. and then headed back to our usual spot just past the Peak complex and waited until it got dark and took some spectualar night pictures. It was definelty worth carrying the tripod around all day.

Betty in Toronto
4 visits 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2004
Planning next trip September 2006
BettyInToronto is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Yes Tracy B I did the same as you but it wasn't so bad for me because I had previously done the tram trip on several occasions. What I usually do now is go up by tram and back on the double decker bus which you catch at the back of the Peak . That way you get an entirely different look at things and its fun sitting in the front seat uptairs coming down those winding roads.I like the view from the Peak by day and again at night with the lights of Hong Kong on display.And do make sure you do the walk around the Peak ( about one hour and lovely views. Enjoy!
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