Traversing Hong Kong on the trams and enjoying the amazing light show of the cityscape on a nighttime harbour cruise
Before leaving Hong Kong we had a couple of things to do on our bucket list; ride on a tram and take a harbour cruise at night.
The Hong Kong tramway is the cheapest way of getting around Hong Kong; $HK 2.60 ($0.33) per trip. Unfortunately, the routes are limited to along the shorefront from Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan, with a branch circulating through Happy Valley (which is unfortunately where our hotel was located).
The tramway is a narrow-gauge system, with the tracks only being 3 foot 6 inches wide. The trams, known to the locals as “Ding Ding” (the noise made by the bells on the trams) are only about 6 feet wide and are two storeys high. Many had wooden bench seats, which were not overly comfortable – luckily the rides are fairly short.
So, we took full advantage to the trams to get around central Hong Kong on our last evening in town. To be honest it was hot, crowded and uncomfortable, but was a lot more fun than the more sterile metro service or local buses. This was the mode of transport we used to get to the central piers for our night cruise around the harbour.
We had not managed to get ourselves organized with eating to before we got to the central piers and there was not a great deal of choice once you’re there. So, I recommend eating before you arrive otherwise you’ll end up eating a lot of not so healthy snack foods like we did!
Star Ferry runs Victoria Harbour tours, with several evening trips. The day time trips run at $HK105 (about $US13.5) which jumps up to $HK190 ($US25) for the evening tours.
The tour takes about an hour. What we found unfathomable was the fact that everyone rushed inside the ferry and we ended up with the outside deck almost to ourselves.
Hong Kong living is very much vertical. Virtually everyone lives in an apartment. With Hong Kong Island built on a hill, the skyscrapers climb, providing a greater perception of depth and intensity. Once out on the water, you are surrounded by monstrous structures on both Hong Kong Island and over on the Kowloon side of the harbour. The environmentalist in me was concerned about the cost of electricity, but the illuminated cityscape is amazing. It is not just that the buildings have all their lights on, several buildings actually have incredible moving light shows. Truly stunning!
Planning your trip
Getting to Central Star Ferry Pier
– Take MTR to Hong Kong Station or Central Station,
– Take Exit A2 at Hong Kong Station or MTR Central Station Exit A.
– Walk to the pier along Man Yiu Street.
Best time to visit Hong Kong
The best time to visit Hong Kong is during autumn and early winter, specifically from late September to late December. The great weather, temperatures and outdoor activities make this our pick. However, there are plenty of reasons to visit Hong Kong as it is a year-round destination as well, as you will soon see.
Where to stay
1. LITTLE TAI HANG
Featuring stunning views of Victoria Harbour with pockets of greens, Little Tai Hang offers cosy accommodation in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. It is only a 5-minute walk from Exit A1 of Tin Hau MTR Station. Free WiFi is available in all areas.
Little Tai Hang is a 10-minute walk from Causeway Bay shopping area, while Central and Wanchai can be approached within 15 minutes by public transportation. The property is a 24.9 miles away from Hong Kong International Airport
2. THE BAUHINIA HOTEL
The Bauhinia Hotel – Central is located in Sheung Wan’s business area, a 2-minute walk from Sheung Wan MRT Subway Station. This non-smoking hotel offers rooms with a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
Modern décor and large windows feature throughout guestrooms at The Bauhinia. Each well-appointed room is fitted with an iPod docking station and DVD player. Hot shower facilities are in the en suite bathroom.
With a 24-hour front desk, the hotel provides currency exchange and fax/photocopying services. Laundry and dry cleaning services are also available upon request.
3. HONG KONG HOSTEL
Situated in one of the most convenient point in the heart of the lively city, Hong Kong Hostel is at the junction of Paterson Street and Kingston Street of Causeway Bay –where Fashion Walk is located, 5 minutes away from metro station and nearby most of the fancy and most renowned shopping malls like Sogo, Hysan Place, Time Square and Lee Theatre, as well as Victoria Park-the biggest park in Hong Kong and a huge variety of restaurants with international and local cuisines .
With 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, the hostel has been constantly improving to cope with the ever-changing environment in the tourism market. Guests with all different ages and backgrounds are all welcomed to come and enjoy a wonderful stay.