The city of Hong Kong is built on some serious hilly terrain and one is not always far from the hillsides if they bother to look up between the skyscrapers for that sliver of green forest and granite above them.
Despite some extensive land reclamation on both sides of Victoria harbour and particularly so on Hong Kong island side land is still scarce and a premium resource so much so that more and more buildings have to be built on the hillsides but that came at a price : all the roads hug close to the hillsides and are dangerously windy as well as being so narrow that at peak time traffic simply clogs up.
So born the Central-Mid-Levels elevator system to facilitate residents on the western side of Hong Kong Island to get to work easily – a meandering system of 20 escalators and 3 moving walkways between the many skyscrapers on the steep hilly streets of Hong Kong Island . The system is not continuous and at places it is connected via a series of footbridges. If one starts from the harbour front it takes about 20 minutes without stopping in between to reach the affluent district of Mid-Levels some 135 meters a.s.l. covering a distance just shy of 1 km.
The course of the Central-Mid-Levels elevator system
Whether it has served it’s purpose is yet to be seen as the traffic is still pretty jam-packed most of the time but the system has become a tourist attraction for it is reputed to be the longest outdoor escalator system in the world and it really brings people to see the different facets of Hong Kong society cheaply and comfortably as the system courses through the different districts of Hong Kong, from the impoverished to the well-off and finally to the realm of the super-rich.
So hold tight to the handrail as we begin the tour to see a part of Hong Kong Island that I always find fascinating. We’ll begin by taking a ride on the iconic Star Ferry from Kowloon side first 🙂
Downhill direction: Mid-Levels – Central 6am to 10am daily
Uphill direction: Central – Mid-Levels 10am to midnight daily
This has to be my most ambitious project up-to-date with over one hundred 360° panoramas shot over a couple of months with information assembled from several sources to give you not just an immersive tour but also history and current affairs about this colony of Britain that was handed back over to China in 1997. You will enjoy more of the Monkey Hill Tour if you also take your time to try this tour as well !