There is no address in Hong Kong that can evoke as much prestige as having “The Peak” as your place of residence. This exclusive residential area is situated near the summit of Victoria Peak which is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island (at an Altitude of 552 m) and is surrounded by lush green country parks. Being this high up on the on the island, many of the residences on the Peak offer arguably the best views in Hong Kong, overlooking the Hong Kong Island cityscape towards the Kowloon peninsula.
This unique vantage point is capitalised upon by the nearby tourist attraction Peak Tower and Galleria which provides elevated viewing platforms and is one of the “must see” attractions in Hong Kong. This coveted high-up living with its obvious advantages also has the benefits of cooler temperatures, fresher air and cool evening breezes but living at this altitude in Hong Kong has certain drawbacks including a high degree of fog and mist where visibility is severely limited and extremely high humidity especially during the summer.
Starting in the 1860’s the British colonialists began to build dwellings on hillsides to take advantage of the cooler climates at higher elevations, the peak being the highest was an ideal location and was soon reserved only for the upper echelons of the European Society in Hong Kong. From 1867 until after the Pacific War, during summertime the then Governor of Hong Kong would reside at Mountain Lodge which was located at the very apex of the colony, overlooking all of its citizens.
This exclusive neighbourhood for the elite and the extremely wealthy was contemptuously segregated both socially and racially. Even among early colonialists the Peak was a symbol of eminence and an epitome of urban snobbery with its residents looking down on everything and everyone.
The early residents of the Peak would mostly commute by Sedan Chair carried by their servants until in 1888 the peak Tram line was completed, this steam powered funicular railway was the very first tramway to be built in Hong Kong. Till this day this Tramline still runs, although converted to electric, riding the Peak tram is part of the experience when visiting The Peak Tower and Galleria.
Today the neighbourhood largely consists of sparsely built low rises comprising of luxury townhouses and some refurbished colonial blocks. The Mountain Lodge is long since gone succumbing to the damp and humid climate, but the exclusivity of the Peak still remains with some of the most expensive real estate not only in Hong Kong but in the whole world.
Information on Jardine’s Lookout provided by Home Net, Licensed Hong Kong Real Estate Agency.