Saturday, February 6, 2016

Trip To Hong Kong 香港: Victoria Peak / The Peak 太平山 + Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Hong Kong 香港杜莎夫人蜡像馆

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Victoria Peak 太平山

Continuing from my 3 days 2 nights company trip to Hong Kong, we visited the Peak right upon our arrival in Hong Kong.

Victoria Peak / The Peak 太平山

Victoria Peak (also known as Mount Austin or The Peak) 太平山 is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Offering spectacular views over Central 中环, Victoria Harbour 维多利亚港 and the surrounding island, the Peak is a major tourist attraction and a must visit destination in Hong Kong, welcoming over seven million visitors a year. 

There are several ways to get up to the Peak. But we were told that the most quickest and scenic way to reach the Peak is to take a ride on the Peak Tram 山顶缆车, a 120 year old funicular railway that departs from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus 山顶缆车总站 on Garden Road.  

How To Get To Peak Tram Lower Terminus

You can easily reach the Lower Terminus on foot from Central MTR Station 中环站 within a 15 minutes walk. From Central MTR, take Exit J2, which leads to Chater Garden 遮打花园 where you will find the Bank of China Tower. From Bank of China, follow Garden Road 花园道 uphill to the Terminus.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi or catch Bus No. 15C from the Star Ferry Central Pier 中环天星码头. Travelling by bus is the most convenient and cheapest way to get to the Peak Lower Terminus. Bus services operate daily from 10.00 am to 11.40 pm. The journey takes about 15 minutes and cost just HKD 4.20 for a single ticket.

Peak Tram Ticket 

Single and return ticket are available. Prices of the ticket are as below:

Types of Ticket
Single
Return
Adult
HKD 28
HKD 40
Child (aged 3 – 11)
Senior (aged 65 or above)
HKD 18
HKD 11

Octopus cards are accepted for the Peak Tram, which will help you to avoid the long queue at the ticketing counter. 

Operating Hours

The Peak Tram operates from 7.00 am to midnight daily, departing every 10-15 minutes from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road.


Opening in 1888, the Peak Tram was the first cable funicular in Asia, which carries both tourists and residents to the peak of The Peak. It was initially used only for the governor of Hong Kong and residents of the Peak, but today it can be enjoyed by all visitors.

As the Peak Tram is the most popular way of getting to the Peak, do expect massive crowds, especially on weekends and public holidays. The Lower Terminus was insanely crowded with hundreds or even thousands locals and international tourists (mostly from Mainland China) who might have queued for hours to get on the Tram.  

During peak hours, you are expected to wait at least 2 hours for a short 7 minutes ride. Thus, it is best to avoid visiting on a weekend or public holiday. I would suggest visiting early on a weekday for a better experience.


But luckily, we were given priority access as a tour group. Even so, we still have to wait for 20 minutes just to get on the tram. Of course, I would certainly never pay HKD 28 and wait 2 hours for just a 7 minutes long ride. That will be such a huge waste of time.


There was no railing at the platform and I was worried that someone behind will accidentally push me off into the tracks. When the tram finally arrived, there was a lot of pushing and shoving. There was no proper crowd control and everyone around us was trying to push their way into the tram so they can get a seat. It was incredibly annoying. 

Once you are in the tram, try to grab a seat on the right side, which will offer you the best view. Please note that due to safety reasons, baby strollers are not allowed on the tram. So make sure the baby stroller is fully folded before you get on the tram. 







The ride uphill is very steep, practically 45 degree, so it can be extremely uncomfortable. Be prepared that you will be pressed into the old wooden benches of the Peak Tram. For those who are standing, please hold on tightly to the rails or handlebars to prevent falls.

But do not worry as the tram is perfectly safe. No accident of any kind has ever occurred since it started its operation in 1888. However, the steepness makes it extremely hard for us to take a nice photo.  Furthermore, there is actually not much of a view to see as the view is often blocked by trees.

To be frank, I do not really get what is the hype about the Peak Tram. It was an unpleasant but unforgettable experience.  Definitely, the 7 minutes tram ride is not worth the wait at all and certainly, I would not recommend taking the Peak Tram to the Peak.

Other Transportation

Besides taking the Peak Tram, there are other alternatives to get to the Peak. You can either take CityBus 15 or 15B which will take you all the way up to the Peak. 

CityBus 15

For those who choose to take Bus 15, the journey will take about 40 minutes to an hour (depending on local traffic volume). The bus fare is extremely cheap, which costs HKD 9.80 per adult and half price for children. If you are unsure where to board the bus, please check out the bus 15 route online.

CityBus 15B

CityBus 15B to the Peak runs from Tin Hau MTR Station on Sundays and Public Holidays only. The journey will take about 20 minutes and costs HKD 9.60 per adult. Concessionary tickets are available for children and elderly holding identity document.  If you are unsure where to board the bus, please check out the bus 15B route online.

We took the tram up and a bus down from the Peak. Surprisingly, the view from the bus was actually much more stunning than the view from the Peak Tram. If you hate the massive crowds, I would recommend taking a bus or taxi to the Peak. 

However, if a ride on the Peak Tram is on your must do list, I would recommend taking the Peak Tram down from the Peak. The queue were usually shorter for the return journey. But still, do expect to wait for at least 30 minutes to get on a tram.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Hong Kong 香港杜莎夫人蜡像馆 

After a short 7 minutes ride, we arrived at the Upper Peak Tram Terminus located at the Peak Tower 山顶凌霄阁. Apart from the Upper Peak Tram Terminus, the Peak Tower also included several famous attractions such as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium. 

Our tour package includes an admission to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum located on the ground floor of the Peak Tower. Exhibiting over 100 life-size wax figures of local and international celebrities, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is impressive with its lifelike scenes and wax models.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Hong Kong is divided into 10 different themed zones. There are actually nothing much to do except walk around and take photos with some of the famous celebrities from around the world.

If you love to have your photo taken with your favorite movie or sport stars, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum might be a good place to visit. The Wax Museum offers visitors the unique opportunity to meet and get up close with some of the most famous Hollywood A-listers, Asian celebrities,  music superstars, TV personalities, sport stars and historical and cultural icons.

Hong Kong Glamour

In the Hong Kong Glamour zone, be prepared to meet some of the most famous celebrities such as, Bruce Lee. Lin Chi-Ling, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Lang Lang, Kelly Chan, Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau, Edward Pattinson, Louis Koo, Ethan Ruan, Huang Xiao Ming and many more.






Royal Family

Get the chance to meet with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Diana in the Royal Family zone.





Historical and National Heroes

Walking further in, we came to the Historical and National Heroes zone where you will get the chance to meet some of the world's most famous historical and political leaders and icons from the world of Science and the Arts.

Some of the famous faces featured in this zone includes  William Shakespeare, Albert Eisenstein, Charles Dickens, Xi Jinping, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi and many others.



TV Studio

The TV Studio is equipped with a control panel, a video camera and a live video monitor.  



Visitors can even sit on the sofa and get a taste of star- studded interview with Sandra Ng on "Sparkling Club 星星同学会," a famous celebrity talk show in Hong Kong.


World Premiere

The World Premiere zone features a range of famous movie stars from the early black and white Hollywood Era to contemporary Asian film industry.

In this zone, you will be able to meet movie stars such as Marilyn Moore, Amitabh Bachchan, Leo Lai, Audrey Hepburn and many more.



Kung Fu Zone

The newly added Kung Fu zone features some of the famous Chinese Kung Fu movie stars in the world. Fans of Kung Fu movies will get the chance to practice Kung Fu with some of the biggest stars in Chinese Kung Fu movies.

Some of the most famous Kung Fu actors featured in this zone includes Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Michelle Yeoh.




K-Wave Zone

With the Korean Wave taking Hong Kong by storm, the K-Wave zone was recently added at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Hong Kong.

The K-Wave zone brings together some of South Korea biggest stars like Kim Soo Hyun, Bae Yoon Joon, TVXQ, 2PM's Nichkhun and Super Junior's Choi Siwon.









Set against the distinctive backdrop of Myeongdong Street, the K-Wave zone is known to be the first K-pop themed zone in Madame Tussauds worldwide. 




The Champions 

The Champions zone offers visitors the chance to get up close to some of the famous sporting stars in tbe world.

Some of the famous sport stars you will meet in The Champions zone include Yao Ming, David Beckham, Liu Xiang, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods and many others.




Music Icons

The Music Icons zone offers visitors the chance to get on the stage and take a photo with your favorite music stars. Experience a music tour through the decades featuring legendary musical icons from around the world.

Some of the famous music icons featured in this zone include Jay Chou, Elvis Presley, Teresa Teng, Anita Mui, Leo Ku, Michael Jackson, Miriam Yeung, Leslie Cheung, Lady Gaga, Madonna and many more.





Fantasy Kingdom

The last zone featured in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Hong Kong is the Fantasy Kingdom, a world full of virtual characters and superheroes.

Some of the virtual superheroes featured in this zone include Spiderman, the Hulk, Iron Man, Astro Boy, X-Men, Doraemon and many others.






Some of the virtual characters from movies that you will also find in this zone includes Monkey King (starred by Donnie Yen), Buffalo Demon King (starred by Aaron Kwok) and White Snake Spirit.




We exited through a souvenir shop offering a wide range of souvenirs and gifts including personalized wax hands, mini look-alike figurines, 3D glass cubes and many other typical tourists souvenirs. But of course, price of souvenirs are not cheap. 

The Peak Tower 山顶凌霄阁

The Peak Tower is a leisure and shopping complex offering a wide array of entertainment, shopping and dining options.


Visitors will be able to find all sorts of products, ranging from typical tourists souvenirs such as postcards, key chains and magnets to Chinese artworks, silk, watches, fashion apparels, antiques and electronic gadgets.Most of the souvenirs and items sold at the Peak are being charged a premium price.

You will probably find many similar items selling at a much more cheaper price in other places in Hong Kong. Thus, I would not recommend doing any shopping at the Peak unless you do not have any time to shop in Hong Kong. 

From the Peak Tower, we get to enjoy a stunning view over Hong Kong's skyline.


I have the feeling that the mall is cater more to rich Mainland Chinese tourists, who seems to be more interested in shopping than enjoying the view.



Located at the top level of the Peak Tower is the Sky Terrace 428 凌霄阁摩天台428. Standing at 428 metres above sea level, the Sky Terrace 428 is the highest open-air viewing platform in Hong Kong offering a 360 degree panoramic view of Hong Kong. said to offer visitors the best view of Hong Kong. 
The admission to Sky Terrace 428 is however, not free.  Prices of ticket are as below:

Adult
HKD 48
Child (aged 3 – 11)
Senior (aged 65 and above)
HKD 24

If you are taking the Peak Tram, you might want to consider buying a combo package of Peak Tram Sky Pass (inclusive of the Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428) at a discounted price. Prices of the Peak Tram Sky Pass are as below:

Types of Ticket
Single
Return
Adult
HKD 71
HKD 83
Child (aged 3 – 11)
Senior (aged 65 and above)
HKD 33
HKD 40

Our ticket does not include an admission to the Sky Terrace 428. So, I am not sure whether it is worth to pay extra for a view that you can enjoy for free.
Operating Hours

The Sky Terrace 428 operates from 10.00 am to 11.00 pm on Monday to Friday and 8.00 am to 11.00 pm on weekends and public holidays.

Adjacent to the Peak Tower,  you will find the Peak Galleria 山顶广场 where several restaurants and shops are housed. Other than that, the Peak Galleria also serves as a bus terminal for public buses, as well as taxi stand. Located on level 3 is a free-entry observatory deck, larger than the Sky Terrace 428.

We have our company group photos taken in front of the Peak Galleria. But sadly, I did not get to visit the observation deck in the Peak Galleria due to time constraint. 


The Peak is a great place to enjoy the cool climate and have a cup of coffee. However, we spent most of our time taking photos in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. I wish we were given more time to explore the rest of the area.



A trip to Hong Kong is never complete without visiting the Peak. Undoubtedly, this is the best place to enjoy the magnificent views and skylines of Hong Kong.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 3D2N Company Trip Summary + Itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 3 days in Hong Kong. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 3 days adventures in Hong Kong! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

4 comments:

  1. wow.. what a wonderful trip... it's always a great advantage to travel in a group.. :=-)

    but sometimes we move too slow when we travel in a group.. just like a convoy of battleships.. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a really great trip. But to be frank, I hate to travel in a big group. We have constantly wait for other people and cannot go anywhere as we like. I prefer having the freedom to choose where I want to go and go whenever I would like to.

      Delete
  2. May I know what time you left The Peak?

    ReplyDelete