Traversing Hong Kong on the trams and enjoying the amazing lights of the cityscape on a nightime harbor 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 shore front 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 have wooden bench seat, which are 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 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 is concerned by the cost of electricity, but the illuminated city scape is amazing. It is not just that the buildings have all their lights on, several buildings actually have incredible moving light shows. Truly stunning!