Whenever tourists come to Hong Kong, the first things they remark about are the pollution and the crowds. And right after that? The amazing Central–Mid-Levels Escalator, which is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. Here’s how it came to be.
Built back in 1993 by a French engineering company, the 800-meter-long Central–Mid-Levels escalator was originally conceived as a way to decrease traffic, pedestrianize the area, and help people commute to work. And that it does, of course, chugging downhill during rush hour from 6-10am and then switching uphill between 10:30am and midnight.
From its starting point at the bottom of Cochrane Street to its finish up at Conduit Road, the entire trip takes about 20 minutes, climbing a total of 135 meters across 20 different escalators. Carrying upwards of 60,000 passengers a day, the moving walkways have become a destination for shoppers, bar hoppers and gourmands alike, making it one of the crucial arteries on the island.