Date: June 28th, 2012
Day 2 in Hong Kong began feeling fresh. I slept for more than 10 hours and the jet lag had nearly worn off. I repacked my bag and left the hostel to begin my photography for today.
A whole lot of luxury brands in the mall to the right
The IKEA store was only a minute walk away from where I was staying
Plenty of malls and shopping centers all around. This was Windsor House
I walked towards the MTR station
SOGO is a popular Japanese department store chain
This is the entrance/Exit E of Causeway Bay station
I got off at Central
Took the long walk to Exit J2 (Yup, Central is so big that the Exits are from A to J)
You come out to Charter Garden, a public open space
Bank of China building on the left, and Cheung Kong Centre to the right
Bank headquarters are all around
I noted down instructions from the website on how to get to Victoria Peak tram station
And I followed it accordingly
That’s the Citibank building
You pass by St. John’s cathedral
It’s a very uphill climb pretty much everywhere
Across the road and right is where the tram station is
I bought my Peak Tower return ticket, costs HK$65 (Rs. 467/$8/€6)
The history of the peak and other trivia are on either walls
I waited for the tram to arrive
It was amazing to see people living all the way up this hill
The angle at which this tram climbs is amazing!
If you want a view of the harbour, sit on the right hand side
The ride to the top takes less than 5 minutes
As soon as you enter the Peak Tower you pass through a souvenir store. There’s a Madame Tussaud’s up here, but was it crowded!
There wasn’t a second this wax figure of Pierce Brosnan was left alone. I can’t imagine how it must be inside the wax museum then.
I decided to have lunch from a restaurant on the same floor. I ordered a beef fried rice, but what I got tasted more like beef burned rice. It was terrible, and I just couldn’t finish eating it. Complete waste of HK$50!
I made my way up to the observation deck
You don’t need to pay HK$65 if you don’t want to go up to the observation deck on the Peak Tower, but I wanted the highest view possible.
Because this is what you get to see from up here
I know an image this small may not “W-O-W” you but the skyline of Hong Kong truly is amazing!
This is 428 metres above sea level
Panorama comprised of 5 shots
And to think people live up here
Up here are some of the most expensive (and exclusive) real estate properties
Hong Kong has 112 buildings higher than 591 ft!
The Peak Galleria mall behind the Peak Tower
I switched to my 70-200mm lens
Some power station?
Hong Kong is trying to make space for further urban development
The ever so busy Hong Kong bay
At 88-storeys, the International Finance Centre used to be the tallest building in Hong Kong
But in 2010, the 118-storey International Commerce Centre took the title away from it
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
I remember taking a photo from Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and thinking what a concrete jungle Singapore is. I take it back.
I counted how many floors each high rise had as I shot multiple time-lapse sequences
I went to the other side
The grey skies were clearing up a bit
There’s history for you to read up here
That big heart is where you can leave personal messages
I shot some more time-lapse sequences before deciding to leave.
The obligatory “See, I was there!” photograph
This was taken inside the Peak Tower, behind the glass
This is what the Peak Tower looks like
I stepped inside the Galleria mall to soak up some air-conditioning. Also, that beef burned rice was a pointless meal, as I soon found myself hungry again. Fortunately, a McDonalds is never too far away, and had teriyaki sandwich meal. (Hey, if you’re going to eat at McDs in a foreign land, at least try something different on the menu)
I went up to the rooftop to shoot some more timelapse sequences
Since I was going to be here until sunset, I chose to walk around
Because Victoria Peak is also a nice place to do just that
But before I went any further, I quickly went in here
It’s another observation deck, called Lion’s Pavilion
The lion roars over this Asian mega-city
The view from up here is a bit lower, but still good
I moved on
But stopped every so once in a while to take photos of the impressive skyline
The two competing towers
I like how they made this a nice place to take a stroll
You can go walk all the way down, but I didn’t want to
So I just walked back
It’s a bit cooler out here too
Ugh, why do people do this!
The sun was setting
I reserved myself a spot near the Lion’s Pavilion and set up my tripod.
I shot a whole bunch of timelapse sequences
Everyone atop the Peak Tower was waiting for the Symphony of Lights show, which takes place daily at around 8pm
I figured watching the show from up here would be all the more epic
Not every building gets in on the action
Those that do are quite a sight
But overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by the Symphony of Lights show – it’s not all that it’s made out to be
Here’s a panorama of the entire skyline before me
I shot a few more timelapse sequences
Learnt the importance of white balance when shooting at night
Once I felt I had taken enough photos, I packed up and headed back to the tram station.
But there was quite a queue for the tram going back down
The final shot of Hong Kong’s skyline from up here
There was a mad rush for seats. I didn’t rush, I wanted to take it easy.
My day was done anyway. I gave my friend Bikram a call and walked back to Central MTR station.
HSBC’s headquarters. By the way, Hong Kong dollars are printed by HSBC
The iconic Bank of China tower
The roads were quite silent
Back at Causeway Bay… wow, this place lights up at night!
I picked up a pizza from the Wellcome supermarket next door and had that for dinner at the hostel
It was quite windy at night, which I later learnt from my hostel roommates was because there was a typhoon passing through Hong Kong. I hoped it wouldn’t wreak havoc or rain heavily tomorrow as I planned to go to Ocean Park.
Today was a good start to my sight-seeing. Although I only used 91 photos above, I actually shot 2359 photos! You’ll see why when I put my time-lapse video together.
Previous post in the series:
Hong Kong 2012: Getting there
Tags: buildings, hong kong, hong kong harbour, icc tower, ifc tower, observation deck, peak tower, skyscrapers, tram ride, victoria peak