VICTORIA PEAK, PEAK TRAM

Audio File length: 2.11
English / USA Language: English / USA

However you choose to reach Victoria Peak – with the funicular, by bus or on foot – the story of the Peak Tram is fascinating and well worth a listen.

As I’m sure you know, for almost a century and a half, Hong Kong was under the control of the British Empire, and from the second half of the 19th century it began attracting large numbers of Europeans, especially English, who settled there permanently or spent lengthy periods in Hong Kong for business.

Many of them, such as the British Governor, quickly realized that Victoria Peak was an excellent place to build a summer residence. Other more forward-looking individuals reckoned that building an elegant hotel in such an enviable location, in the midst of the greenery, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center and with such marvelous views, would probably be a smart business move.

Because of the growing number of both residents and hotel guests, it became increasingly compelling to find a means of transport that would have less trouble reaching the peak than cars. 

The solution came in 1888 with the inauguration of the first funicular in Asia: the Peak Tram, which you yourself might be taking a quick trip on.

Over the years, the Tram has survived wars and the advent of more modern means of transport. It is, of course, more technologically advanced today, but its original charm remains unaltered.

It has also become much more eco-friendly: it originally ran on a steam boiler stoked with coal, while today it runs on electricity.

To find out the whole story of the Tram and how it has changed over the years, you can visit the informative Peak Tram Historical Gallery exhibition, featuring over 200 artefacts, including many period photographs, which will take you on a journey back in time.

 

An interesting fact: the carriages of this funicular have become a part of the film history. They were featured in a number of movie scenes with Clark Gable in the 1950s, as well as in an episode of the popular TV series, “Love Boat”.

 

Our visit to Victoria Peak ends here. MyWoWo would like to thank you - see you again at another Wonder of the World!

 

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