Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Trip to the Peak

This morning's slightly hazy view of Hong Kong from The Peak
Today was my mom's last day in Hong Kong and because the weather has been quite clear she suggested we go up to the Peak.

After a quick breakfast we headed up by taxi and made it there just after 10am. We walked the circular route and were pleased to find the beginning of Lugard Road was relatively quiet save for a few people who seemed to be regulars on this path.

When we arrived at the clearing, we could see the air wasn't as clear as we thought, with smog deterring our view of Kowloon and beyond. Nevertheless it was better than when I took my dad up there in April.

Then we continued on our walk and could hear the construction at 27 Lugard Road where developers are converting a 97-year-old residence into a 17-room boutique hotel.

Lining the gate at the bottom of the hill below the hotel were several posters and papers in English and Chinese condemning the development that the Town Planning Board approved a few months ago.

The introduction of a boutique hotel where people either walk or jog and take their dogs for walks will be interrupted by vehicles ferrying guests to and from the hotel. The biggest argument against the hotel was safety but also the environmental impact.

But apparently the Town Planning Board ignored pleas to keep things are they are and developer Crown Empire which bought the property last year for HK$384 million also has the Butterfly and Serviced Apartment Group in its portfolio.

We were dismayed to see this happening and that vocal protests fell on deaf ears.

Further along the path we could see other homes that were either abandoned for many years or didn't seem to be kept up very well. For sale and for rent signs have been hanging on the gates of some properties for a long, long time with no takers. While the property is worth a lot there, it must be a conundrum as to what to do with it as the area is so popular with residents and tourists.

We finished our walk in just under and hour and then decided to take the Peak Tram home. We caught it just in time and when we arrived at the bottom we saw hordes of people in the queue waiting to get on.

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