By: Manvel Keshishyan

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is the top tourism destination in the city. The 552-meter mountain provides a breathtaking view over the city as tourists describe it. Usually, they get there by tram. The peak time to get to the Peak, as locals call it, is the Saturday evening. The lineup for the tram can stretch almost 100 meters.

Taxi drivers usually approach to the people in the queue and suggest driving them to the Peak for HK$400. By contrast the Peak Tram ticket costs HK$85 for adults, but on a Saturday night the wait can stretch to two hours.

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Taxi driver talks up tourists to drive them to Victoria Peak

The target groups for them, they said, are Europeans who are easily fed up of waiting and give in easily. The others have to wait longer. On that day it took those about 2 hours to get to the tram, which runs every eight minutes

The tram is believed to be 130 years old. But nobody doubts its solidity and security. Inside, the excited passengers tried to take photos of the changing city views. After 10 minutes, they arrive at the Peak with all of its glory.

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Tourists enjoy Hong Kong view

”Victoria peak is awesome, really a perfect view. Many people around  us, the atmosphere, it is very impressive,” said Christian,25,a German coming from Shanghai with his friend Alex Dick, 22.  Young men say they prefer Hong Kong over Shanghai.  They like the mix of modern buildings and nature trails. Alex and Christian signify also captivating night life of the city, which seems vibrant 24/7. 

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Alex and Christian and Alex, from Germany, at Victoria Peak

”But the prices are too high compared even to Shanghai, which is hard to call a cheap city,” said Alex.   “We spend at least HK$300 per day. It is hard to find cheap food. We just go to 7-Eleven to grab a sandwich for breakfast, because otherwise we couldn’t afford our stay. Even just a bottle of water is three to four times as expensive as in Shanghai.”

The two friends will leave Hong Kong for Germany in a week. Alex, who is visiting for the first time, said he would like to come back after becoming a successful manager to afford his stay and enjoy the city.

Tsim Sha Tsui

”Hello, are you a tourist?’’I asked a girl standing at the harbor and looking at the buildings on the other side of the sea in Tsim Sha Tsui.  ”Yes?”  She answered surprised and full of expectations.

”I make reports about tourists to …”

”Oh, I am not a tourist. Just my name is Theresa,” said the girl, laughing and pointing out the area where I could meet tourists. That was close to Star Ferry, the iconic passenger service company founded at the end of the 19th century. The area is surrounded by museums, restaurants, parks and stores. The daily Symphony of Lights laser show launches at 9 pm.

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Sea view; TST promenade

Not far from the TST promenade is the Avenue of Stars, where visitors can see more than 100 Hong Kong film industry celebrities’ stars embedded in the sidewalk. Presumably only a few names, for example Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, will ring a bell for foreigners. Now the area is under reconstruction and the statues have been relocated.

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Avenue of Stars is under reconstruction