Hong Kong Tramways: Ride on the Ding Ding

One of the reasons that Hong Kong continues to be successful is her ability to move people quickly and efficiently. As the 4th most densely populated region in the world, transportation is often near the top of mind in Hong Kong. After food and shopping, locals seem equally interested in celebrity gossip, weather, horse racing, and traffic.

Hong Kong Ding Ding Double Decker Tram

Among the ultra-modern subway and train systems, the busses and mini-busses, and the affordable green and red taxis running all over the place, there remains a fully functioning relic of the past. The Hong Kong Tramway is a streetcar system that runs 13km along the commercial side of Hong Kong Island. Colloquially known as the ding ding, due to the bell used to warn pedestrians as it quietly rolls down the street, these trams have been in operation since 1904.

View from Upper Deck of Hong Kong Ding Ding Tram

A favorite among tourists, you’ll also find a lot of students and seniors on the tram because it is one of the cheapest ways to get around.  The adult fare is HK$2.30 (30 US cents) and seniors pay just HK$1 (12 US cents) to ride any distance along the rails. While it is cheap, the many stops it makes along the way means that it is best suited for those not in a hurry. The ding dings are not air conditioned and can get crowded at times during the day. Having said all of that, my kids have a fascination with both double decker busses and trolleys, so the idea of a double decker trolley bus pretty much blew their minds.

Warning Sign on the Hong Kong Ding Ding Tram

If you’re ever in Hong Kong and it’s not too hot out, try checking out the trams. They are a cheap way to see a lot of different parts of the city. Sitting on the upper deck gives you a unique perspective and allows you to sight see up and above the crowds, but remember:

No Spitting Sign on the Hong Kong Ding Ding Tram

 

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17 thoughts on “Hong Kong Tramways: Ride on the Ding Ding

    • Yes they have drivers. I had to think about that one because I always ride up top so I haven’t actually seen them drive!

  1. Hong Kong was our first international destination oh so many years ago. If I saw these or rode them I sure don’t remember them, but what a great thing to put in the ‘futures’ file should we get back there.

    • I’m not sure but I think there is a pretty wide spread. I’d guess that a lot of the people who live on Hong Kong Island are doing pretty well on an international scale.

    • Narrow and very steep. If you try moving up or down those while the tram is running it’s like a roller coaster ride!

  2. A ride on the ding dings would be a must for me if I get to Hong Kong. How cool! I think it’s nice when cities keep these old tramways in operation. San Francisco has some, too on the F-Line.

    • The other benefit of good old street-level transportation is that it gives you a better sense of place than the subway does. Subways are super efficient but it can be jarring when you come back above ground have have no idea how far you’ve come or which way you’re facing.

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