An icon is reborn20 October 2022
/ Hong Kong’s Peak Tram, one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, has recently returned to service with a new look and major upgrades /
Hong Kong, the metropolis where the East meets the West and centuries-old temples meet skyscrapers, was one of the world’s most visited cities until 2019. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic and strict derived travel restrictions (some of which are still in force in Hong Kong) have hit the city hard and as a consequence the tourism industry, which has always been one of the major pillars of its economy, collapsed completely. Just think that in 2021 the official number of visitor arrivals was just 91,000, compared with 58 million in 2019!
2022 marks an important anniversary in the city’s history: the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and although the city’s coronavirus curbs such as multiple COVID-19 tests and hotel quarantines continue to keep travelers at bay (Hong Kong saw just a total of 134,000 visitors in the past four quarters) the city wants to begin a new chapter of its history with a diversified range of great celebration events throughout the year.
Recently beloved tourist spots have also been renovating their offerings for visitors to rediscover the wonders of Hong Kong. One such revamped tourist favorites is The Peak, probably the most famous tourist attraction in the region for many reasons. Being the highest hill in Hong Kong Island, it offers stunning views of the city and Victoria Harbour, which dazzle both at night and in the daytime. Perched at the Peak at 396m above sea level is The Peak Tower, a very stylish building inside which there is a dazzling array of restaurants, shops as well as entertainment venues such as a Madame Tussauds wax museum. Moreover, the Peak Tower boasts the highest 360° viewing platform in Hong Kong, Sky Terrace, which stands at 428m above sea level.
The best way to get to the Peak Tower while truly experiencing the beauty of Hong Kong’s natural wonders is by tram, taking The Peak Tram, Asia’s oldest funicular railway, opened back in 1888. This double reversible funicular railway as it is technically known, features 2 trams in operation at all times and at the same time, one moving upwards, the other downwards and balancing each other on a cable that rises from 33m to almost 400m along a 1,270m track with a maximum gradient of 25.7 degrees.
Following a year-plus closure and an over 100-million-euro overhaul, a few weeks ago the Peak Tram reopened providing passengers with a more enjoyable and comfortable experience. Among the new additions are longer tram cars, made in Switzerland and equipped with larger windows (even on the roof), increasing capacity by 75% (now they can hold over 200 people per ride), and the refurbishment of the tram terminal. At the entrance and while waiting to board, guests are now kept entertained through 5 engaging zones. Centerpieces include the ‘Eye of Infinity’, a 10-metre-tall sculpture by Australian-Chinese artist Lindy Lee installed at the ticket entrance, and ‘Go Wild at The Peak’, an animated video that inspires visitors to learn and protect the animals found at The Peak, including toads, birds, porcupines and wild boars.
Other offerings include…
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