Despite having visited Hong Kong three times, I have never visited the Peak. This time, I also almost crossed it off my itinerary, because the weather was positively sweltering. But, my friend Carol said, “oh you have to go to the Peak!” Since Carol is my go-to expert for so many things in life, I decided to take her advice and make my my way to the Peak.
這次來香港最平靜的經驗就是來到太平山的盧吉道。我其實是一個很矛盾的人， 喜歡都市生活， 但又怕人多， 吵雜，要排隊的地方。 不太喜歡大自然， 但又渴望寧靜，空曠的感覺。來到太平山，意外發現其實我也沒有那麼矛盾， 因為太平山旁邊的盧吉道讓我享受到 “the best of both worlds.”
Usually people take the Peak tram to the top, and the tram stop is just a short walk from MTR Central Station. When I got to the station at around 10 am on a Thursday morning, the line was already a bit long. I thought a combination of my three greatest fears: crowds and heights and confined spaces would be too much drama before lunch time, so I opted to take a quiet taxi ride up to the top. It was a little bit expensive, but I decided it was worth the 15 minutes of tranquility.
After doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I wanted to skip the very touristy parts of the Peak experience (which is to view the Peak from the Peak Tower) and take a walk around Lugard Road, which is also known as the Peak Circle Walk. According to several websites, this walk circles around to the highest point on Hong Kong island, so the view is spectacular.
Lugard Road was built in 1913-14, and is named after Hong Kong’s 14th Governor, Sir Fredrick Lugard. (If you want to see the arduous building process of this road, please see here! ) It’s a semi-circular road, that begins and ends at the Peak Tram Station.
盧吉道可以讓你繞一圈， 慢慢的欣賞香港壯觀的都市的美景。 路上人少， （大部分是當地人），而且氣候也很涼爽， 也可以聽到鳥跟昆蟲的叫聲。
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the weather was nice and cool on Lugard Road. There are enormous trees and lush vegetation on both sides of the road, and all you really hear are the chirping of birds and crickets (and other unidentifable wildlife) As much as I am a city person, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and concrete, and be one with nature (yes, I can hear some of you laughing. I know, a walk along a paved road with iron fencing is not truly an “experience in nature,” but please humor this person who has concrete in her bones and electricity and Wifi humming through her veins)
About 10 minutes or so into the walk, spectacular views begin to emerge. You can also see the ominous cloud cover, hinting at the imminent arrival of Typhoon Rammasun.
Along the way, the way, there are truly magnificent views of the frenetic density of Hong Kong. You also experience a respite from the sorching temperatures, the pulsating crowds and traffic.
During my walk, I only saw a handful of people, who were either walking, or there for their daily run. (It was also amazingly quiet, aside from occasional rumbles of thunder and chimes and chirps of wildlife)
Towards the last 10 minutes of my walk on Lugard Road, it really started to rain. At first, all the raindrops were caught by the canopy of vegetation, but a few minutes later, it was just sheets and sheets of water pouring from the sky (sort of similar to sheets of dough being rolled out of a pasta maker). Luckily for me, I ran into a elderly couple, who came well equipped with an umbrella. They were nice enough to share one of their umbrellas with me. On the way down, we chatted about life in Hong Kong and Taiwan. (it turns out local people come to the Peak too! Only they skip the Peak Tower and the tram, and all the restaurants. They take the bus up and head straight for Lugard Road, for a invigorating walk. They mentioned that they deliberately chose an overcast day, because it’s “nice to feel the rain in the trees.”)
I finally made it down to the end of the loop in about an hour and a half. Most other websites and blogs say the walk only takes about 45 minutes to an hour (!!) so I guess I really took my time, but I really enjoyed the experience, and I would do it again on my future trips to Hong Kong. (Thanks, Carol!)
這幾天，剛好碰到颱風天，所以風有一點大，但到我快走完的時候才真正的開始下雨。 我還很幸運的碰到一位中年夫婦，善良的阿姨還跟我 share 雨傘，邊走，邊聊天。下山的時候， 還特別叮嚀我， “如果還打得住，下山再吃飯， 在上面吃飯太貴了！”哈哈。 我有聽話喔~ 接下來跑去吃了什麼， 看下個blog post 就知道了！：D
If you like, you can also do a virtual walk of Lugard Road here。