Hong Kong’s historic Peak Tram reopens with a new look

(CNN) – Hong Kong’s Peak Tram, one of the city’s most recognizable tourist attractions and Asia’s oldest funicular, will reopen to the public on August 27 after a year-long closure.

The tram, which has been carrying locals and tourists to the highest point of Hong Kong Island since 1888, is now in its sixth incarnation.

Among the new additions to the attraction are longer cars, meaning the tram can now hold around 200 people per ride. The entire area — from ticket lines to train cars — has been made step-free to better accommodate wheelchair and stroller users.

Located in central Hong Kong near the American Consulate, the visitor entrance houses multimedia exhibits tracing the history of the tram from the Victorian era to the present day.

While waiting in line to board, guests can watch an animated video featuring some of the animals that call Peek home, including toads, birds, porcupines and wild boars.

According to the artist, Eye of Infinity represents Hong Kong’s “sense of ascension”.

PEAK TRAMWAYS COMPANY LIMITED

A work of art by Australian-Chinese artist Lindy Li, the stone sculpture Eye of Infinity, now dramatically marks the ticket entrance.

In just a few minutes, passengers climb 396 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level, with a maximum elevation of 25.7 degrees.

Guests in the last car can opt to back up the hill so they have an unobstructed view, but there’s no bad place to sit.

On the east side of the tram tracks, keep an eye out for two vintage peak tram cars — versions four and five respectively — and the huge yellow pulleys that help power the trams.

Sixth generation trams replace the earlier dark-red ones.

Sixth generation trams replace the earlier dark-red ones.

PEAK TRAMWAYS COMPANY LIMITED

Victoria Peak — known to locals simply as “The Peak” — has long been one of Hong Kong’s most iconic areas.

During British colonial rule, The Peak was reserved only for Westerners, who were transported up the hill in sedan chairs. The original trams had three separate classes of seating — one for white foreigners living at these special addresses, one for the police and soldiers responsible for keeping the area safe, and one for the large peak house servants.

The law barring natives from The Peak was finally repealed in 1947.

These days, you’re just as likely to see locals walking their dogs as tourists checking out the observation deck at the summit. His most notable structure is the Peak Galleria Mall, which was designed to look like a giant walk.

Attractions include tram terminus Monopoly dreamsAn immersive experience based on the popular board game, Madame Tussauds wax museum and many shops and restaurants.

Travelers interested in going further can opt to take the tram to the top, then walk or climb one of the many trails to the base.

The total cost of the renovation came to $799 million HKD ($102 million).

Tickets can be purchased online in advance, starting at $47 HK ($6 US) one-way for adults and $24 HK ($3) for children and seniors.

Source link

Leave a Comment