Choose your mode of transport.
This century old TRAM has never failed to amaze visitors who come to visit HK either on a shoestring or as luxury traveler. It has been moving through the busy streets of HK for more than a 100th century now. Hong Kong has the largest fleet of double-decker cars in the world.
It got named their name from from the dinging sound used to warn other traffic and pedestrians that the tram is approaching. The bell was replaced by a beeping sound in 2000, but the public vehemently opposed the change, and the “ding ding” sound was shortly reintroduced.
It does not go to every hotspot in Hong Kong. So, it may not be the best way to tour HK on the cheap. But, it is definitely worth the $2.30 HKD to ride and see what you can see from the tram lines. It is the most economical and cheap option to get around in HK for budget travelers.
colorful painted tram
The trams are colorfully painted and decorated with advertisements which if you’ve noticed the best way to make a brand name popular by locals. The advertisement painted on the tram reminds me of the public bus running along in EDSA. You can pick the tram you want to ride based on the design and color of the tram.
the blue painted tram is coming
On my last day and last few hours in HK I decided to end my HK escapade by riding one of these century old tram. It was almost 11PM when we leave Mongkok after having some little bit of shopping and food trip. I was accompanied by a new Filipino found friend which I met in HK. And since it is getting late I was thinking that we will not be able to make it anymore as we still have to take train ride from Mongkok district to Central district (almost back out) which will be our starting point. But I told myself that there is no way I am leaving HK without trying the ride so given less than an hour we boarded the train to Central Station.
After15-20 minutes we exit out of the train station to find our way out to catch the TRAM. We were looking for board /exit signs leading to tram station but we did not find any so we asked the guy sitting in the ticketing counter for the way- he asked us which tram route we want to take which we cant answer right away cause we are not sure which route we want. Then we realized Central district is close to Sheung Wan and Wan Chai so we answered bac the guy we want to go to Wan Chai district- he then uses hand gestures directing us to our way out.
choose your route… (photo credit: JAY AREVALO)
When we reached the tram waiting platform the tram hasn’t not arrived so we studied the map while waiting for the tram arrived. The tram just basically goes in 1 direction so getting lost is the last thing you have to worry but for some reason I cant explain I was suddenly got worried of loosing track out way back to our hostels. Plus I feel bad is cause all of my gadgets already run out of battery charge- so how in the world will i be able to capture every aspect of the journey-but thank GOD cause my new found friend still have some few battery charge in his DSLR camera so I have to ask him to take some photos and I will just borrow some photos to feature in my blog.
After few minutes our tram has arrived and I was so excited to board. I did not forgot about the tips of some friends to enter via the back platform and make your way upstairs, grabbing the handle bars as you go- you will know why once you get inside.
BOARD AT THE BACK DOOR | ALIGHT AT THE FRONT DOOR
Trams can be boarded at designated tram stops which are located at an average of 250 metre intervals either at roadside stops or at central road islands separating carriageways. Standing in trams is allowed and is commonplace both upstairs and downstairs.
The Tramlines stretches from Kennedy Town in the west of the island to Shau Kei Wan in the east, passing both the bustling residential area and dynamic city center.
Read before you board.
look at that a century old mechanism still functional at this era.
THE SIX ROUTES AND APPROXIMATE JOURNEY TIMES ARE
Kennedy Town – Western Market (23 mins)
Kennedy Town – Happy Valley (60 mins)
Causeway Bay – Shek Tong Tsui (Whitty Street Depot) (45 mins)
Western Market – Shau Kei Wan (58 mins)
Shek Kong Tsui (Whitty Street Depot) – North Point (56 mins)
Happy Valley – Shau Kei Wan (42 mins)
Shau Kei Wan – Kennedy Town (85 minutes)
A full route map can be viewed or downloaded from here;
Inside the tram at the 2nd floor.
We were lucky cause there is not much passenger when we board the tram- just some tourist also wanting to experience the century old ride. It can get very crowded during rush hour due to the locals using it to commute so they can go to work or from just anywhere in HK island. Try to avoid the peak hours usually from 7AM where everyone gets ready to go to work and at around 6PM where everyone else is in a hurry to go home. It will be hard to move inside the tram at these hours as locals along with tourist are packed inside the tram like sardines- and you will most likely will not have the chance to take photos and enjoy the scene in the streets.
A tram ride is an exciting way for visitors to experience the colour and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s vibrant street life and this suggested trip enables the opportunity to take an upstairs front-seat “grandstand” ride through some of Hong Kong’s most interesting district. Imagine decades of butts have sat in these trams. Kidding it’s not like that. It is amazing how this tram can stand still amidst all the renovations and enovation’s it has gone through the years. I think locals still prefer using the tram as a way to transport themselves in getting from 1 point to another.
Busy street of HK (photo credit: JAY AREVALO)
A tram ride is an exciting way for visitors to experience the colour and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s vibrant street life and this suggested trip enables the opportunity to take an upstairs front-seat “grandstand” ride through some of Hong Kong’s most interesting district.The open windows and minimalistic decor of the tram make you feel more like you’re actually gliding through the streets and being part of it all. An absolute steal, you’d be crazy to miss it.
I strongly suggest to do a little bit of research prior to the trip as to what are the places of interest you can find in every district. And to give y’all some idea here are some of known districts that the tram ride will pass by.
It is great experience if you’re going on a short distance, but if you’re going anywhere that takes more than 10 minutes I would advise you to use the MTR or walk if you have the time.
1. Sai Wan & Sheung Wan-You will find the array of shops sells the traditional Chinese medicine and the flavored dried seafood.
2. Central-Here, skyscrapers and marble shopping malls sit side by side. The bamboo-like Bank of China is in the middle background, the most recognized skyscraper in Hong Kong and a master piece in the architectural history.
3. Causeway Bay- serves as a very popular center for shopping, dinning and nightlife in Hong Kong. As your tram rolls along the Hennessy Road, you will be amazed at the constant ebb and flow of people.
4. Happy Valley- popular for thrill of horse-racing in Hong Kong
5. Tai Koo Shing & Sai Wan Ho & Shau Kei Wan- When the Tram arrives at Shau Kei Wan terminal, you can walk towards the East Street, passing through the channel, then you will find the Tam Kung Temple. As God of the sea, Tam Kung has always had a strong followings among the local fishermen, and the temple provided them with a venue for village meetings in days gone by.
Another tram approaching to us. (photo credit: JAY AREVALO)
We were filled with too much happiness that we did not notice we already arrived in Wan Chai district where we supposed to embark- our butt seems like it got stucked in the wooden seat so we decide to continue the journey until we arrive to a district not familiar to us anymore. If you feel like you are lost-just don’t panic and just stay on your seat until you when can a see train station where you can simply alight and take the train back to your hostel. If only my camera is with me so I can take lots of photos of the busy streets of HK and some happenings inside the tram. What a way to tour the cities in cool breeze while you listen to the tracks in your Ipod. We could have explored atleast 1 district like Wan Chai district but no time at all so maybe next time as I promise myself I will be back here SOON.
time to alight.. sigh (photo credit: JAY AREVALO)
Few minutes before midnight when we alighted the tram as we spotted a train station. We need to catch the last trip of the train going back to TST so even if we would like to continue the journey we just embarked-as we dont wanna end up hailing a cab to take us back to our respective hostels-which only means additional unnecessary expenses.
REMEMBER to pay at the front door before you alight using your Octopus Card or by giving the exact amount of coins.
Waiting for the last trip of the train. (photo credit: JAY AREVALO)
And so we were lucky to catch up the last trip of the train. Inside the train we cant help talking about our experience riding the tram. One of the most unforgettable ride of my life-just so glad I did not backed out. Technically speaking this is the last activity we had in HK before I traveled to Macau. And if I may say so-
THE BEST WAY TO WRAP UP YOUR DAY IN THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE HK..
-Fare is currently HK$2.3 per journey for adults, HK$1.2 child (3-11) and HK$1.1 seniors (65 and over)
-Go upstairs and take the front-seat “grandstand” to witness some of Hong Kong’s most interesting district.
-Fare is paid on disembarking and the Octopus Card reader and coin box are located by the exit next to the driver.(no change is given)
-Feel the moment while watching the hustle and bustle around you and don’t forget to take great photos from these trams also.
-Best to try out whether night or daytime.
-Before boarding know your route and the places of interest on each district so you can HOP ON HOP OFF from 1 district to another.
-AVOID PEAK HOURS.
-Though HK is super safe you need to watch your belongings while inside the tram or don’t bring anything at all just you and your camera
-Remember to board at the back door and embark at the front door where payment is made for the ride.
-Download the map or make a print out and bring it along with you.
-TRAM OPERATES DAILY FROM 6AM-12AM( check their website for maintenance ongoing)
-Talk and mingle with locals and other tourist while doing the ride-the best way to meet new people.
-If you don’t know what to do and what to expect-just simply let the locals board and leave the tram and just watch how did they do it. (save yourself from getting embarass).
-Enjoy the DING DING sounds in every stop of the tram.
-The tram is quite slow moving so if you are in a hurry avoid taking the tram.