Doubledecker Tram, Hong Kong
Doubledecker trams have been trundling along the tracks on Hong Kong Island since 1904. Riding the tram is a relaxing way to take in the sights and sounds and despite the trams being the slowest way to get to your destination, locals use them as much as tourists so they are often quite crowded.
Its a pleasant way to travel on a hot day unless you are squashed together in the aisle downstairs, as the open windows provide a pleasant breeze at speed. Alternatively on a cooler day, the wind chill factor is definitely noticeable.
To get the most from the experience get on if possible at a terminus station. This will offer the opportunity to sit on the upper level at the very front of the tram. The four seats (two on each side of the narrow aisle) offer the best photo opportunities even though they are facing each other unless, as part of a tram modernisation program, the seats have already been readjusted to face forward. From this spot it is quite an experience to see the trams almost domino into each other at stops, as you are literally so close that you could reach out and touch the passengers on the tram in front of you.
The trams are easily the most economical way to travel along Hong Kong Island. Regardless of the distance travelled the adult fare which only increased last year is just HK$2.30 (previously HK$2.00). All trams are equipped with Octopus card readers making it unecessary to search for the correct change. Note though that if you do pay with coins the exact fare is recommended as change is not given. Everyone must get on through the turnstile at the rear of the tram. Payment is made before exiting, at the front of the tram only.
Waiting time for trams is usually only a few minutes, but is determined by traffic conditions meaning trams may bunch up and all arrive at the same time. During busy periods the tram may be too full to board meaning a short wait for the next one is necessary. I'd consider taking the MTR if you need to get to your destination at a specified time or if you have more than a small amount of luggage. Tram stops are approximately 250 metres apart.
Trams operate on six main routes between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan every day from 6:00 to 24:00. All run through Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. The Kennedy Town - Happy Valley Service loops around between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai as it passes by the famous Happy Valley Racecourse. Directions to the track are listed below.
Taking a tram ride for even a short part of the route, particularly between Wan Chai and Causeway Bay is especially enjoyable during the evening when the masses of neon lights look spectacular and millions of people are on the streets shopping. Its a leisurely and enjoyable way to get close to the sights and sounds of Hong Kong!
Taking the tram or "ding ding" as they are also often called is a great and cheap way to see the real Hong Kong. There are great eateries and shopping malls you can stop at. We just took it for fun and sat upstairs to enjoy the ride to and fro.
Hong Kong trams are one of the cheapest ways to see the north of Hong Kong Island. A journey costs $ 2 . Pay as you leave the tram. You can also use your octopus card.
The original Hong Kong trams were all single-deck trams. These were followed by open-air double-deck trams in 1912 and by enclosed double-deck trams in 1925. The trams run from Kennedy Town in the west to Shau Kei Wan in the east. There is also a line out to Happy Valley.
Sometimes the trams are very crowded and you have to stand, but if you can get a seat they are an excellent way to sightsee on Hong Kong Island.
I live in HK and wish to visit Turkey soon, and I found this very useful website by chance. Thus, I wanna contribute to this site too and I guess I know HK well enough to write some tips.
The tram network in Hong Kong island side is excellent, its definitely the cheapest transport (HK$2), it covers over 80% of HK Island, it runs as early as 6am to 11pm (not sure the exact time, but very long indeed). For local, its definitely a bit slow, as it stops nearly every 200 meters, but for tourist, espeically you have a lot of spare time, its definitely something enjoyable. Seats are not always available, but you won't have to stand more than 10 mins to find a seat as people get on and off all the time. The longest journey is about 1 hour from East to West. If you miss your destination, simply go to the opposite side and take the tram of the opposite direction.
For only HK $2 fixed fare you can ride the tram and go around some areas of Hong Kong Island! Fare is fixed so whether you rode at the 1st stop and hopped off the last stop, you will only pay HK$2. We rode the tram going to Central Park where a lot of Filipinos spend their Sundays for get together!
Double-decker trams run along the northern side of Hong Kong Island for 16km between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, with a branch circulating the Happy Valley racecourse. They were first operated in 1904 and have become a classic tourist attraction, as well as a popular form of transportation ever since. You could say that the symbol of Hong Kong is its trams just like London has its red double-decker buses and New York its yellow cabs. The trams are great fun, if a little jerky and bumpy but only cost HK$2 for a single ride.
On Hong kong Island I found the trams to be so cheap and and a convenient way to get from one end of the island to the other. Its a cultural "must". After a few rides you work out that you slowly work your way to the front of the tram after each tram -stop. They are crowded and squashy in peak times but you shouldn't go to HK and not take a ride. Its fun!
This is an excellent and cheap way of seeing Hong Kong. Use an Octopus card or put 2 HK$ into the metal box at the front of the tram when you're getting off. Take a tram out to Kennedy Town and see the traditional Chinese medicine shops. Or take one out through Wan Chai to Happy Valley. Most of the trams advertise HK products - great fun!
Taking the tram, is a must in my opinion. Its fun and cheap. If i didnt not recall incorrectly it was only a HK2 for any destination. That is really dirt cheap in Hong Kong transportation. But the only think about it is that it can be confusing to know where the tram goes to, so ask the locals most hong konger know english. another thing, trams are slow so its more adviceable to take a tram for near by places. Never the less the ride itself is an experience, its non AC, but feel this authentic feeling being on a tram
on HK island, you can find a easy & relaxing way to enjoy your trip
all you need is to jump on a tram & get a seat, enjoy the relaxing pace of life in HK.
on upper decker, it allow you to have a better view.
just only pay HK$2 in exit, no matter how many stations you go.
Only one of 3 tramways in the world that have regular operations of double-decker trams, are the trams in Hong Kong.
Not only are they a form of transport, they have also become a major tourist attraction, being very popular amongst visitors.
The tram line is 13kg long mostly street running along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island from Kennedy Town town to Shau Kei Wan.
The tram is a very inexpensive way to get around, with a journey costing only about HK$2 for a journey of up to 13km!
Doubledecker trams are always fun to ride, even for a local resident. However, where should a tourist go on the tram? A complete leg from Kennedy Town to Sai Kei Wan?
Although a ride of any length will charge you the same fare of HKD$2, time may limit in your whole trip. So try a shorter leg like beteen Whitty Street and Causeway Bay of about 40 minutes. This trip get you to three very contradicting areas: the old Western District, the ultra-modern Central and the dazzling Causeway Bay. Take a walk at the Western District, where you can find the infamous dried food shops and Chinese salted fish. But remember to go during office hours--these rich shop owners are lazy.
or you don't need to get off from the tram to experience the dried food--just take a deep breath--wow, that is the mixed odour from million-dollar-worth dried food!
You better hold your breathe for the rest of the ride. Doubledecker buses offer burnt composites from their diesel engines and hot air released from their air-conditionings. However, never put down your DC as views are really great on trams. Try occupy the seats at front on the upper deck at the terminus (Kennedy Town / Whitty Street / Western Market /...) for best views of the street.
And if you prefer a late night ride, skip the Western District. Old people in the old town apparently go to sleep early. Same theory applies on North Point too.
Note trams get crowded in peak hours and prepare to get off sooner before it stops.
Well, actually traffic jams are fortunately not very common in Hong Kong, but I would still advice You to ride the tram for a great view of the big Hong Kong Island streets. At 2 HKD they are extremely cheap, and although the ride is slow, and because it is really bumpy, it is a truly great way to get the feeling of old vs new / east vs west into Your body.
These trams are and were an attraction to me. Those that know me know I love all things trains. The double deck trams of Hong Kong Island with an Octopus card are about 25 US cents. You do have to pay at the end of the line again to come back. But get a seat upstairs at the back of the tram and watch the world go by.
Do the locals a favor though and DON'T do this during rush hour. You may be on holidays but most people are just going through the motions going to and from work.
This double decker tram was so cool, I got on it, with no intention of going anywhere, just so i could go on it!!
I remember seeing them a lot in the city centre, so I know they are good forms of transport. I dont think they were that expensive either..but i remember you pay the driver as you leave, and you need the exact change!