Victoria Peak, also known as Mount Austin or The Peak, is the highest mountain in Hong Kong Island. While it is called The Peak, it does not refer to the actual highest point of the mountain. The actual summit of Victoria Peak houses a radio telecommunications facility and is off-limits to the public. The major tourist attraction that is The Peak refers to the public parks and high-value residential areas (properties in this area are some of the most expensive in the world!) surrounding the mountain.
With an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft), Victoria Peak offers spectacular panoramic views of Hong Kong and its harbours. Around seven million visitors flock to The Peak every year to marvel at the stunning cityscape below. There are two major leisure and shopping centers in Victoria Peak: the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, which are adjacent to each other.
Aside from a bevy of top-notch restaurants and specialty shops, the Peak Tower also houses the upper terminal of the Peak Tram, a funicular railway that carries tourists and residents to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. The Peak Tram provides the most direct route from Central district to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels. It also offers good views of the harbour and skyscrapers of Hong Kong.
Other attractions at the Peak Tower are Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and a viewing platform called Sky Terrace located on top of the building. Enjoying the magnificent view at the platform is not free, though. Guests need to pay an HK$30 fee to take a peek of the spectacular scenery, granted that the day is clear and fog does not obscure the view. Severe air pollution over the years has affected the views from this venue.
The Peak Market offers cheap souvenir items perfect to bring back home such as refrigerator magnets, Chinese dresses, and Buddha figurines. The prices of stuff here are relatively cheaper than those sold at the nearby Peak Tower, making it a favorite haunt by bargain hunters.
Another shopping complex and tourist attraction in Victoria Peak is the Peak Galleria, which was built atop the bus station for public buses and green minibuses that serve the Peak. It also houses restaurants and shops that offer relatively cheaper goods and food compared to the adjacent Peak Tower. There is also a viewing deck on level 3, which is larger than the Sky Terrace and is free of charge.
Other notable tourist attractions in Victoria Peak are the Victoria Peak Garden, a Chinese style garden that also offers magnificent views of the city; and Lugard Road, a popular walking path in The Peak that also has a sweeping view of Hong Kong.