Victoria Peak
Overview
 
Victoria Peak is a mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. The mountain is located in the western half of Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

. With an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft), it is the highest mountain on the island proper, but not in the entirety of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, an honour which belongs to Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan has the highest peak in Hong Kong, with an altitude of 957 m. It is located approximately at the geographical centre of the New Territories....

.

The actual summit of Victoria Peak is occupied by a radio telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s facility and is closed to the public.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Victoria Peak is a mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. The mountain is located in the western half of Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

. With an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft), it is the highest mountain on the island proper, but not in the entirety of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, an honour which belongs to Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan has the highest peak in Hong Kong, with an altitude of 957 m. It is located approximately at the geographical centre of the New Territories....

.

The actual summit of Victoria Peak is occupied by a radio telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s facility and is closed to the public. However, the surrounding area of public parks and high-value residential land is the area that is normally meant by the name The Peak. It is a major tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

 which offers views over Central
Central, Hong Kong
Central is the central business district of Hong Kong. It is located in Central and Western District, on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula...

, Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong's establishment as a British colony and its subsequent...

, and the surrounding islands.

History

As early as 19th century, the Peak attracted prominent European residents because of its panoramic view over the city and its temperate climate compared to the sub-tropical
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth Governor of Hong Kong
Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

, Sir Richard MacDonnell
Richard Graves MacDonnell
Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell KCMG CB was an Anglo-Irish lawyer, judge and colonial governor...

 had a summer residence built on the Peak circa 1868. Those that built houses named them whimsically, such as The Eyrie, and the Austin Arms. See First houses on the Peak
First houses on the Peak
Hong Kong's original Peak District was named the "Hill District". It included Mount Austin , Mount Gough, Mount Kellett and the area around Magazine Gap. Many homes were for summer use only, to escape the heat of Central, and were referred to as "bungalows"...

.

These original residents reached their homes by sedan chairs
Litter (vehicle)
The litter is a class of wheelless vehicles, a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Examples of litter vehicles include lectica , jiao [较] , sedan chairs , palanquin , Woh , gama...

, which were carried up and down the steep slope of Victoria Peak. This limited development of the Peak until the opening of the Peak Tram
Peak Tram
The Peak Tramway is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, which carries both tourists and residents to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. Running from Central district to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels, it provides the most direct route and offers good views over the harbour and skyscrapers of...

 funicular
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

 in 1888.

The boost to accessibility caused by the opening of the Peak Tram created demand for residences on the Peak. Between 1904 and 1930, the Peak Reservation Ordinance
Peak Reservation Ordinance
The , commonly known as Peak reservation Ordinance, was a racially-based zoning law passed by the Hong Kong Government that reserved the Victoria Peak as a place of residence to non-Chinese people except with the consent of the Governor...

 designated the Peak as an exclusive residential area reserved for non-Chinese. They also reserved the Peak Tram for the use of such passengers during peak periods. The Peak remains an upmarket residential area, although residency today is based on wealth.

Tourism


With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower
Peak Tower
The Peak Tower is a leisure and shopping complex located at Victoria Gap, near the summit of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It also houses the upper terminal of the Peak Tram. Both the Peak Tower and the Peak Tram are owned by the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels group, the owner of...

 and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.

The Peak Tower incorporates the upper station of the Peak Tram
Peak Tram
The Peak Tramway is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, which carries both tourists and residents to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. Running from Central district to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels, it provides the most direct route and offers good views over the harbour and skyscrapers of...

, the funicular railway
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

 that brings passengers up from Hong Kong's Central district
Central, Hong Kong
Central is the central business district of Hong Kong. It is located in Central and Western District, on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula...

, whilst the Peak Galleria incorporates the bus station used by the Hong Kong public buses
Buses in Hong Kong
Bus services in Hong Kong have a long history. As of 2005, five companies operate franchised public bus services. There are also a variety of non-franchised public buses services, including feeder bus services to railway stations operated by MTR, and residents' services for residential estates...

 and green minibuses
Public light bus
A Public light bus is a common public mode of transport in Hong Kong. It mainly serves the area that standard Hong Kong bus lines cannot reach as efficiently. It is also colloquially known as a minibus or a van, defined as a kind of share taxi....

 on the Peak. The Peak is also accessible by taxi
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

 and private car via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centres in the world. It occupies an area of 5.6 hectares at Mid-levels, on the northern slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong...

.

Victoria Peak Garden
Victoria Peak Garden
Victoria Peak Garden is a Chinese style garden, managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It was once an alternate home for the Governor of Hong Kong. The residence, Mountain Lodge, has been demolished, but the park remains as an attraction at the Peak.It is a vantage point which...

 is located on the site of Mountain Lodge
Mountain Lodge
Mountain Lodge was the former summer residence of the Governor of Hong Kong on Victoria Peak on the Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. The second building was a two storey Renaissance style home and was demolished in 1946...

, the Governor's old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit. It can be reached from Victoria Gap
Victoria Gap
Victoria Gap is an area and a mountain pass located between the summits of Victoria Peak and Mount Gough, on Hong Kong Island, in Hong Kong. Its altitude is some 150 metres below the summit of Victoria Peak...

 by walking up Mount Austin Road, a climb of about 150 metres (492.1 ft). Another popular walk is the level loop along Lugard Road
Lugard Road
Lugard Road is a popular walking path in Hong Kong. The road is semi-circular and links with Harlech Road to surround Victoria Peak. It is notable for its view, tranquility, and simplicity: continuing along the path will take visitors back to the Peak Tram station...

, giving good views of Hong Kong's Central district and Kowloon, and then returning via Harlech Road, encircling the summit at the level of the Peak Tower.
There are several restaurants on Victoria Peak, most of which are located in the two shopping centres. However, the Peak Lookout
The Peak Lookout
The Peak Lookout is a restaurant located at Victoria Gap, near the summit of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It is housed in a 19th century Grade II Historic Building...

 Restaurant, is housed in an older and more traditional building which was originally a spacious house for engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s working on the Peak Tramway. It was rebuilt in 1901 as a stop area for sedan chairs, but was re-opened as a restaurant in 1947.

Rickshaw ride is also available outside the Lion Pavilion on Findley Road, provided by one of the few remaining licensed rickshaw pullers in Hong Kong.

Natural history

The Peak is home to many species of birds, most prominently the Black Kite
Black Kite
The Black Kite is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors. Unlike others of the group, they are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. They spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. Their...

, and to numerous species of butterflies
Butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

.

Alternative names

NameNative Cantonese
Standard Cantonese
Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is a language that originated in the vicinity of Canton in southern China, and is often regarded as the prestige dialect of Yue Chinese....

 (Jyutping
Jyutping
Jyutping is a romanization system for Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong in 1993. Its formal name is The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Cantonese Romanization Scheme...

)
Etymology
太平山頂 taai3 ping4 saan1 deng2 literally means "pacific mountain peak" or "mountain peak of great peace"
山頂 saan1 deng2 corresponds to the English name "The Peak"
扯旗山 ce2 kei4 saan1 literally means "flag-raising mountain"
爐峰 lou4 fung1 literally means "furnace peak"
維多利亞山 wai4 do1 lei6 aa3 saan1 A phonetic transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 of the English name "Victoria Peak"
柯士甸山 o1 si6 din1 saan1 A phonetic transliteration of the English name "Mount Austin"

See also

  • List of mountains, peaks and hills in Hong Kong
  • The Peak Hotel
    The Peak Hotel
    The Peak Hotel was a hotel at upper terminus of the Peak Tram in Hong Kong. It started as a bar and restaurant, and a hotel with twenty bedrooms for summer visitors opening about the same time as the Peak Tram, in 1888....

    , a hotel located on Victoria Peak from 1888 to 1936
  • List of buildings, sites and areas in Hong Kong
  • Tourism in Hong Kong
    Tourism in Hong Kong
    The tourism industry has been an important part of the economy of Hong Kong since it shifted to a service sector model in the late 1980s and early 90s...

  • List of places named after Queen Victoria
  • Peak Reservation Ordinance
    Peak Reservation Ordinance
    The , commonly known as Peak reservation Ordinance, was a racially-based zoning law passed by the Hong Kong Government that reserved the Victoria Peak as a place of residence to non-Chinese people except with the consent of the Governor...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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