Articles

Ding! Ding!

In Hong Kong, Updates on July 10, 2011 by triotriotrio Tagged: ,

One of the things that I love about Hong Kong is the public transportation. Whether one wants to travel by land, air or sea there is a public form of transportation that will get you from point A to B. So there are lots of choices from the subway system, public buses (small, large and double decker), ferries, cable cars and moving sidewalks.

But the way that has quickly become my favorite is the city’s streetcar. It is locally know as “Ding Ding.” There is a two-tone bell that rings each time the streetcar comes to a stop or about to start.

A Ding Ding from the HK History Museum

The streetcar is not air conditioned, seldom empty and it moves at a snail’s pace across town. The reason I love the Ding Ding is because it is a step back in time. This double decker streetcar system has been in operation for over a century and there have been very few changes since then. In fact there are several streetcars that were built in the 1950’s that are still in operation. Plain wooden benches, rickety windows that go up and down with much struggle and a spiral staircase that is a deathtrap if you happen to get caught on it when the brakes are applied are all features of this great mode of transportation.

The streetcar will run one HK$2.30 (US 30¢). It will take one from one side of Hong Kong Island to the other, now that’s a bargain. It is also a cross-section of the city. Everyone rides the Ding Ding.

I hope the city never gets rid of them. It is more than a ride; it’s an adventure through time and space.

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