Peak - Literary Works
A Retreat of the Elite
Wiltshire, Trea (1991) Hong Kong – Last
Prize of empire.
Hong Kong, FormAsia Books Ltd, pp. 52-54.
at the top of Victoria's scenic Peak became an attractive
and practical alternative with the opening in 1888 of
the Park Tram. Though a heavy landslide nearly sent the
tramway's first operators into liquidation, the funicular
railway that ran between Garden Road and Victoria Gap
– 397 meters above sea level – soon became one of Hong
Kong's most famous landmark.
Since 1901, the Governor had maintained a spectacular
summer lodge on the Peak's summit and the front seat of
the tram was always reserved for him. On arrival at Victoria
Gap, liveried sedan-chair bearers would carry him on the
15-minute journey to Mountain Lodge. In 1907 Lady Lugard,
the Governor's wife, noted that "the air grew cooler
every minute" as the sedans swayed along the narrow
mountain road 10 the manicured lawns, tennis courts and
the flower-filled gardens of her summer retreat.
The Peak Reservation Ordinance of 1904 restricted residence
on the Peak to those approved by the Governor. So only
the socially acceptable could live with a view of one
of the world's most spectacular harbors stretched out
before them, a view which today costs just the price of
a ticket on the Peak Tram.