The one thing I love about Hong Kong (apart from it being very near Manila) is its transport system. Back in 2012 I was floored by the efficiency of the MTR, every second wasn’t wasted on people waiting for the next train, there were no moments of it breaking down, and the stations were massive cathedrals devoted to the praise and worship of these gentle machines roaring from one place to another. Its 2016 and I am back in Hong Kong, this time I decided I would try something different from the usual MTRs I would take going to different places.
TramAfter my little historical trip to the Museum of Coastal Defense a thought suddenly struck me after conversing with one of my fellow kababayans in the MTR, “why not take a tram?”. And true enough I looked for the tram’s terminus, which was another short walk from MCD. At the terminus, the trams quietly waited as people queued to get to Kennedy Town and Happy Valley. Each tram ride costs HK$2.3 to any point along its really long stretch. The tram ride was very comfortable, from the outside I’d hear it thundering down the streets of Causeway Bay with a slight cackle from the power lines above. Inside was a different matter, the seats are either in wood or in plastic and the second deck was a great place to view the city in any direction. From Shau Kei Wan I rode the tram all the way to Admiralty, a good 45-50 minutes along one of Hong Kong’s busiest streets on a Friday night. The tram moved gently from one place to another while I happily snapped pictures of buildings, cars, and roads. For 45-50 minutes that’s all I was doing and it was fun, outside people were huddled and moving briskly, while inside it was cool and warm. As the tram neared Admiralty I suddenly felt I was in Manila, the tram was full and since I was situated at the far end of the tram it was difficult to get off. In the end I missed my stop at Admiralty and got down at the next one near the IFC. Taking the tram was absolutely fun, after a long day of walking and doing stuff here and there, the tram is a good way to just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city at a very low and affordable cost.
FerryAfter a full day of walking and having had a hearty dinner at Lan Fong Yuen and exchanging my pesos to HKD, I was ready to go home to Causeway Bay. I didn’t want to take the MTR since I was a bit lazy navigating the station’s ins and outs. Pushing myself once again, I took another 20 minute walk to the Star Ferry Station in Tsim Sha Tsui. Entering the terminal of the ferry I was offered two choices: take the ferry to Wan Chai or the one to Causeway Bay, either one would still have me walking back to the hotel for another 30 minutes, either way was fine. Inside the ferry I saw the beautiful Hong Kong skyline with all its lights as boats in different forms moved to and fro from who knows where. Like the tram the ferry was also affordable, a ride to either Wan Chai or Causeway Bay costs $2.5 dollars. The ferry ride from TST to Causeway Bay was 5 minutes long and while it lugged its way around the harbor, the city opened up to show its beauty. The lights popping up here and there and reflecting on the glassy surface of the water. Once agin my camera was going nuts because the weather cooperated. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky obscuring any of the buildings from my view.
After all the riding and the walking it was finally done. The bobbing of the ferry, the cackle and rumble of the tram, it was all a great way to explore Hong Kong from different perspectives at a very affordable cost.
The tram ride starts at Shau Kei Wan station and ends in Kennedy Town, while the ferry travels to and back to Tsim Sha Tsui and either Wan Chai or Causeway Bay. Tram tickets cost $2.3 while ferry ride tokens costs $2.5.