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.
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.
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.
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
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”