Hong Kong, as everyone knows, is a fast-paced modern city, defined by its towering skyline and work-hard-play-hard culture.
But amongst all the craziness is a reminder of the slower pace of life of the city’s past – the tramlines.
The Hong Kong trams run the full length of Hong Kong Island, from Kennedy Town in the West, to Shau Kei Wan in the East, carrying a daily average of 230,000 passengers.
From a visitor’s point of view, they offer a great opportunity to take a voyeuristic journey through Hong Kong’s suburbs, and watch the layers of daily life unfold. Perch above the crowds on the upper deck and enjoy the lurching and rocking movement, the distinct ‘ding ding’ of the bell, and the scent of nostalgia drifting through the open windows.
To discover your own slice of Hong Kong life, board the tram in Kennedy Town on the far western tip of Hong Kong Island. With only six tram routes, and the destination clearly displayed on the front of every tramcar, you can’t go too far wrong. Tram stops are spaced nearly every 250 metres, so you can hop-on and hop-off whenever you fancy.
It may not be the quickest or most efficient form of transport, but it is certainly the most atmospheric. And at just HK$2.30 per ride (around .30c USD), it is the best value sightseeing tour you are likely to find.
Tips for riding the tram:
1. Enter from the back, leave from the front
2. Pay on leaving the tram
3. Each ride costs HK$2.30, regardless of distance travelled
4. No change is given
5. Buy an octopus card (for use on all public transport) to save searching around for change
6. Avoid peak hours if you want to get a seat
7. Ride up top for the best views
8. Take the front seat and pull down the window for a cooler experience in the Summer