Hong Kong Trams traverse the Northern part of Hong Kong Island on a East-West direction, they are cheap, clunky and slow, but a very unique experience and a sightseeing attraction on its own. At only HK2.30 per ride (about US$ 0.30), another of Hong Kong bargain deals!
But this is no ordinary transportation option, the rackety double-deckers have been traversing these routes for over a century.
They have been very much a part of the Hong Kong landscape and culture and are beloved by the locals who still use them to carry on their daily routines... to get to work, go shopping, or to the races! Yes, there is a dedicated loop that brings you to the Happy Valley Horse Races.
So riding on one of these relics will give you a very unique glimpse of every-day Hong Kong street life, as you are travelling literally close to the ground.
The locals refer to them as the "Ding Ding", because of the constant noisy chiming along the way.
There are several routes, spanning from Kennedy Town on the West to Shau Kei Wan in the East with over 100 stops in between the 13 kilometer stretch. If you go
along the route, you will not walk a block without a Ding Ding Tram stop.
Hong Kong Trams come in handy for getting around the busy Hong Kong Island northern area. The different routes,
altogether there are six that overlap each other, are convenient for exploring the busy districts in Hong Kong Island's northern shoreline.
Riding the Ding Ding Tram towards Central, IFC in the background
The roughly 8 mile stretch will take about an hour and a half to traverse from one end to the other. Although
the most lively portions will be between Sheung Wan and North Point.
If you are
in a hurry, take the MTR, the Central line goes through an identical route and can whisk you in minutes.
But of course
riding the tram is more so for that unique peek into Hong Kong's authentic traditional and modern life, the trams
take you through the old dry food and medicine markets, swanky shopping centers and arcades, the towering skyscrapers, ancient
temples, antique galleries, neon-clad perky neighborhods and more.
Hong Kong Tram near Admiralty in front of Pacific Place, a popular Shopping Center
Trams also traverse the old neighborhood of Sheng Wan
In Sheung Wan, old traditional stores line the streets, fun to get out for a stroll
And through the Central Business District, skyscrapers frame both sides of the street
Enjoy colonial architecture as well, this is Western Market near Sheung Wan
Single Fare for the Trams is HK2.30 regardless of where you get on or off. You pay when you exit the tram.
You can use your Octopus Card to ride the trams, which will save you
having the exact change needed for each ride.
Sightseeing with the Ding Ding Tram
Trams go through the main areas in Hong Kong Island, and are ideal to use on a hop-on hop-off route combined with walks to explore on foot some of the most colorful and lively neighborhoods. See the Tramoramic Golden Ticket pass below.
Here are some of the main areas and points of interest in each one. As mentioned before, the most interesting spots will be
between Sheung Wan and North Point:
Sheung Wan: Stops for Dried Seafood Shops, Western Market, Midlevel Escalators
Central: Stops for HSBC Bank, Bank of China, Statue Square
Admiralty: Stop for Pacific Place
Wanchai: Shopping and hopping nighlife
Happy Valley Loop: the horse races
Causeway Bay: SOGO and more shopping, Victoria Park
This is a fantastic deal! You first get oriented with a one-hour tour aboard a vintage open-top tramcar where you get to
learn about all the landmarks along the way with the narrated commentary which has been put together by knowledgeable tour guides and historians.
Then you get a Golden Ticket which allows you for unlimited travel on the trams for an additional two days.
There are several departure times throughout the day for the one-hour orientation tram tour which you can take from either:
Avoid the trams during rush hour, specially in the busy central areas, as they will be packed. It is not much fun to ride
the trams when you are packed like a sardine with wall to wall people
Try to get on one of the terminus and get a great front sit in the top deck
Get an Octopus Card which saves you from having correct change each time or the Tramoramic Tour (see above) which allows for unlimited travel for two days
"The tram" as referred to by a local, normally means the ding ding trams, "the tram" as referred to by visitors, normally means the
"Peak Tram" that brings you to Victoria Peak.
One of our favorite walks combines a ride on the Ding Ding Tram from the skyscrapers of Central to the lively street
scene at the dried food stalls and traditional medicine shops of Sheung Wan,
the antique galleries of Hollywood Road, trinket markets at Cat Street,
the colorful Man Mo temple and the novel Mid-Level escalator:
Exploring the Sheung Wan Highlights