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A Peak Experience

Outdoor adventurers and anyone who may need a breath of fresh air in frenetic Hong Kong might do well to book a room with a harbor view at Bishop Lei International House not far from the 20 acres (8 hectares) of green at Hong Kong Garden and even closer to the Peak Tram, providing scenic transport to the top of Victoria Peak (The Peak), Hong Kong Island's highest mountain.
The peak - at 552 meters (1.811 ft.) - is a must-see for every Hong Kong visitor, but it is far more than a spectacular photo op. Make the most of it and make a day of it, beginning with a visit to the Peak Tram Historical Gallery, admission free with the price of the tram ticket.
The excitement is only just beginning as the tram transports you 373 meters (1,224 ft.) up a steep incline to the Peak Tower. The tram runs from 7 a.m. to midnight, so you won't have to walk back down after your hike - though you could.
Depending on your schedule and how much you want to hike, drop by the historic Peak Lookout Restaurant for breakfast (on weekends), lunch or afternoon tea. The view from the outdoor terrace looks towards Aberdeen.
Choose from several nature trails, but be sure to take water along, particularly in the summer months. The shortest takes only 5 - 10 minutes up Mount Austin Road to reach a playground. Farther uphill about 30 - 40 minutes is Victoria Peak Garden, a charming Chinese garden where the colonial governor's summer home once stood. The Hong Kong Trail takes 40 minutes to an hour to circle the peak. Serious hikers may want to consider going farther afield on the network of trails that wind all the way to Tai Tam and Shek O.
The Green Trail with bilingual signs starts just below the Peak Tower if you want to walk down to the Garden Road tram stop, but a relaxing return is to stop for refreshments at the tower in the late afternoon and catch a Peak Tram down just as the lights are beginning to come up around the harbor.