Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why the Hong Kong tram is called DingDing ?

Hong Kong Tramways is a tram system and one of the earliest forms of public transport in Hong Kong. The trams have been used for over a century. The well-preserved tram lines still serve as a crucial means of transport in Hong Kong, but also a major tourist attraction and one of the most environmentally friendly ways of travelling in Hong Kong. The tram system is powered by electricity and has a maximum speed of 50 km/hours. The maximum capacity of each tramcar is 115 people.

ding ding tram

The tramway runs on Hong Kong Island between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, with a branch circulating Happy Valley. Tram stops are densely located in an average interval of 250 metres (820 ft). Most of them are located in the middle of the road, connected by pedestrian crossings or footbridges. Major stops include Yee Wo Street stop at Causeway Bay, Pacific Place stop at Admiralty, and Prince's Building /The Landmark stop at Central. Interchanges with MTR are possible at Causeway Bay, North Point, and Shau Kei Wan.
The fare is HK$2.30 for adults, HK$1.20 for children under 12, and HK$1.00 for senior citizens 65 and above. Unlike most other forms of public transport in Hong Kong, there is a uniform tariff regardless of the distance travelled. Passengers pay by either depositing the exact fare in coins or using the Octopus card. Payment is made at the end of one's journey. You pay at front door, while get it in trough rear door.

The trams themselves are sometimes called the "DingDing" by Hong Kong people, after the double bell ring trams use to warn pedestrians of their approach. Hong Kong has the only fully double-decker tram fleet in the world. Most of the trams in operation were rebodied in the late 1980s or early 1990s. They are equipped with sliding windows. Since the early 2000s, these trams have been upgraded to provide better operating performance and safety.

If you have some spare time and you are not in a hurry, it is advisable to take a trip or two on Ding Ding Trams. It is also a unique and fun experience for kids, especially for those who seldom take public transport. Parents can give some information regarding the public transportation.

taxi, bus and ding ding tram

You should avoid rush hour in the morning and evening because all transport is over packed, but mid morning or late evening in Summer or mid afternoon in Winter is a great time to get the trams.

The trams are not equipped by air-con system, it is air cooled in summer so avoid if it is very humid and you don't like to get hot. Likewise in the winter evenings it can be very cold on the trams as the windows are opened.

window view
You should not worry to get lost since there is pretty much only two directions. You can Just jump on one, go upstairs and look out for little side street markets or other points of interest. If you found some interesting things on street then you can jump off and explore for a while then head back to the tram to move on.

As the tram travels slowly and stops a lot, it offers a Perfect opportunity for touring and photography. Bring your camera and take some action shots of Hong Kong streets and buildings. It is best to sit on the top deck to get those. we get to see the locals roaming about their daily lives. The neon lights, many signboards, old buildings, loud voices, etc, just a very dramatic ride. Feel that we are in a hong kong movie.

Take the tram from Central to Happy Valley, Causeway Bay or North Point (or vice versa). You will go through the High rise areas of Central and Admiralty and the bustling hub of Wan Chai where craziness abounds out the windows as people race about their various activities. You will see wet markets and if you travel at night the rapidly disappearing neon lights that once made the city famous.



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