When I first went to Victoria Peak, I had the idea that I would take the bus up and take the tram down so as to experience the “best” of both. But my little detour and pressing need to head to lunch previously made it a little impossible for me to take the tram, as well as in take in the view that was offered. So the Monday morning after New Year’s Day, I left the hotel a tad earlier than usual so as to incur as minimal a wait (read: half an hour) as possible for the tram to take me up and down.
Even though you can purchase separate rides and opt out of Sky Terrace 428 (it’s just a deck where you can overlook the city), it only makes sense to get everything together, since it is, after all, the meager equivalent of $10 USD. The highlight of the tram ride isn’t necessarily the view, but rather, the intense feeling of defying gravity, being slowly pulled up the hill by the tram’s grip on the rails. The experience is all the more amplified if you have the fortunate or unfortunate – depending on how you see it – opportunity of standing for the duration of the ride (about 5 or so minutes).
The view from the terrace is an impressive one. But what makes it “impressive,” at least for me, isn’t the fact that I can see so far, but that I can look and begin to point out buildings that I have familiarized myself with in the past several days. It’s not that I’ve been into each of these buildings, but rather, it is my recognizing of certain constructions and noting them as more remarkable than others. The adjacent mall’s rooftop does not boast the same view, since it is blocked in part by the terrace, but it does have its green space and own air of escape in the modern cityscape.
From there, I embarked on a ridiculous three-transfer trip to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum with an interlude of what would be a time-saving shortcut, which ended up only leading me more astray. With a student ID, the fee was only 5HKD for entry, and it came with what seemed to be a laminated promotional “trading” card for one of the other exhibits, along with a magnet for another. The main intention in coming to the museum was to see the “Fashion Visionaries” exhibit, which I did, and I must say that while I was impressed with the amount of content, I wasn’t particularly enthralled by the talent (or not as much as I had expected to be). That said, that is most certainly a review for another day. Walking through the other exhibits, it becomes quite apparent that the Heritage Museum takes great pride in its strides to bring the cultural history – both recent and past – of Hong Kong to the public, what its diverse themes and well-curated displays.
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
1 Man Lam Road
Sha Tin, Hong Kong
On a side note, the museum finds itself in the much more residential side of Kowloon (in stark comparison to the bustling streets of Tsim Sha Tsui). And I suppose I say this because I noticed a quieter part to Hong Kong. There were no hordes crossing the street or crowded sidewalks. Instead, there was room to stroll and bicycles passing alongside me.
After spending some hours in the museum, I decided to head to the Wong Tai Sin Temple, since I was so close to it. The temple is regarded as one of the most famous in Hong Kong, and it seemed quite so with many at the Temple burning incense and praying at sunset. Not knowing the procedure for praying, I merely watched for some time, before leaving and heading to dinner in the Wanchai district.
Having had my fill of local fare, I opted for Thai cuisine at Chili Club Restaurant. I must say that it was most certainly different from what I’ve tasted before. The Tom Yum Po Tak – spicy and sour seafood soup – was hot on account of the chillies, but was at the same time refreshing with its heat. While sipping my soup, I also had my share of gPoo Phad Phong Ka-Ri – fried crab with curry. The crab was followed by another dish – Pla Ma-Now Pa Sa (steamed fish served on stove tray with lime juice, chili and garlic). In writing my account of what I ate, I’ve noticed that during my stay in Hong Kong is that the food isn’t necessarily always made with better technique, but the seafood’s freshness is the one line of consistency that each restaurant has brought thus far.
Chili Club Restaurant
88 Lockhart Rd., 1/F
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2527 2872
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