The iconic double-decker trams in Hong Kong have been running on the streets of Hong Kong Island for more than a century. They serve as an important transportation choice for the people of Hong Kong as well as an inexpensive and nostalgic attraction for tourists.
For only 2.60 Hong Kong dollars (33 cents – children and seniors pay half price) an adult passenger can travel from east to west, or vice versa, on Hong Kong Island, enjoying views of Hong Kong’s numerous skyscrapers as well as the city’s picturesque street life and markets. The ride on the upper deck is particularly scenic.
Hong Kong residents call the trams “ding-ding” in everyday speech, based on the double bell ring that warns pedestrians of their approach.
“Our long history, our strong reputation in the city and all the heritage values are good for us,” says Cyril Aubin, managing director of Hong Kong Tramways. “But [these factors] also provide some constraints since we are responsible for keeping and maintaining a unique design, one that is 60 or 70 years old.” In addition, the trams’ historic design has some built-in discomforts, including the screeching and banging that accompany the typical journey.