View from the 56th floor of the Hopewell Center

View from the 56th floor of the Hopewell Cen­ter

I squint my eyes try­ing to get the sen­sa­tion of fly­ing, or per­haps rap­pelling. It’s been over a year since I’ve rap­pelled from a height like this, and nev­er from a build­ing. I’m inside the Hopewell Cen­ter Obser­va­tion Ele­va­tor, a free gut wrench­ing ride above the city.

It’s over in 45 sec­onds. Hid­ing in the ele­va­tor I push the but­ton again. With­in moments I’m fly­ing back up to the 56th floor. A beau­ti­ful scenic view of Wan Chai in Hong Kong from a curved glass obser­va­tion ele­va­tor and it’s free.

It’s the Obser­va­tion Ele­va­tor of the Grand Buf­fet; an expen­sive restau­rant on the 62nd floor with large win­dows com­mand­ing a great view of the city, slow­ly revolv­ing, com­plet­ing a full turn once every hour. But no need to eat at the restau­rant. Just keep rid­ing the ele­va­tor until you’ve got­ten your fill of views or per­haps get kicked out.

Looking down from the elevator

Look­ing down from the ele­va­tor

Maybe it’s the kid inside me or just for excite­ment but I’m back a few days lat­er.  Four rides lat­er I think maybe peo­ple are start­ing to look at me fun­ny. That’s enough — for now. But I’ve nev­er seen it at night. Hmm­mm.

Getting There:

Hopewell Center (Bottom)

Hopewell Cen­ter (Bot­tom)

The Hopewell Cen­ter
183 Queen’s Rd E, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

MTR: Take the Wan Chai metro stop, exit B2, cross John­ston Road, head South on Spring Gar­den Ln.

From the Trol­ley (Ding Ding): Luard Road stop, Head south on Tai Wong St, Turn left onto Queen’s Rd E.

Map from MTR to Hopewell Center

Map from MTR to Hopewell Cen­ter

At the Hopewell Cen­ter, go up the esca­la­tor to the 3rd floor. There are a few dif­fer­ent ele­va­tor options, take the ele­va­tor going to the 17th floor. On the 17th floor find the entrance to The Grand Buf­fet. This is the obser­va­tion ele­va­tor. I was nev­er both­ered or ques­tioned by the recep­tion­ist here, just walk on through to the ele­va­tor (though I won­der if that will change on your 14th ride).  It goes up to the 56th floor. Just stay inside and return to the 17th floor. The ride lasts about 45 sec­onds or so. Once back at the 17th floor why not hit 56 again?

There is free WiFi at McDonald’s on the 3rd floor. There’s also a Star­bucks but with you have to buy some­thing for the WiFi code.

New York Skyline

New York skyline from 30 Rockefeller Plaza - Empire State Building

New York sky­line from 30 Rock­e­feller Plaza — Empire State Build­ing

Since I first arrived in Hong Kong I’ve always likened it to New York City. Here are a few sky­line shots when I was there in 2009 work­ing on the film “Date Night”

View from the top of the Empire State Building

View from the top of the Empire State Build­ing

Sunset on Po Toi Island

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