The Sheung Wan district is still one of the more traditional styled areas and shows what Hong Kong used to be like in the older days. Many specialty shops can be found here, selling products that you won’t easily find anywhere else. The transition between the old Hong Kong with all its traditions and the current Hong Kong as a financial capital of the world, is very visible here. The so called Ding Ding Trams are riding alongside the newest Bentley’s and Ferrari’s and old fashioned buildings with bamboo scaffoldings around it, are in the shadow of some of the world’s most advanced and tallest skyscrapers.
Sheung Wan is located at the Northwestern part of Hong Kong Island. It was one of the first areas to be settled by the British people. The district has a metro station and is very accessible all around. The Ding Ding Trams that are cruising around Sheung Wan, are very unique. There are some authentic temples, art galleries and all kinds of shops with specialty items that you won’t see anywhere else.
Compared to many other areas in Hong Kong, it seems like it’s still the 70’s when walking around in the older parts of Sheung Wan. It’s one of those areas where good bargaining skills can save you a lot of money. Sheung Wan also consists of new areas filled with skyscrapers so it’s an interesting district to walk through.
Mid Levels Escalators
Just outside the Sheung Wan area is the longest escalator in the world. The system is 800 metres in length and takes about 20 minutes to complete, from beginning to end. It is actually not just one escalator but a collection of escalators with little walkways between them. The escalators are passing through the Soho district, which is an area where many nightclubs, bars and restaurants are situated.
When I took the escalators it was very hot weather, as it is everyday here in the summer, so I was glad not having to walk the whole way. Unfortunately the escalators are only going in one direction so I still had to walk the whole way back down again. There aren’t any metro stations or Ding Ding Trams along this route, unfortunately for me.
Riding the Ding Ding Tram
Almost all forms of transportation can be found in Hong Kong, through the air, on the ground, over water and even underground. The Ding Ding Tram is one of the most unusual of those and is very popular among tourists as well as among Hong Kong’s residents. The tram system is over 100 years old and is one of the cheapest forms of transportation in Hong Kong. It is also one of the slowest. All trams are double deckers and very small in width. The tram rails are always in the middle of the road.
The Ding Ding Trams cover most of the northern part of Hong Kong Island and travel from east to west, and back. The topspeed of the tram is 10 km/h and most of the time it won’t even go this fast. It seems like the prices of the tram are also still a 100 years old because it’s 2.30 HKD (0.23 euro) for a ride, no matter how far you go.
Because there are so many stopping lights and tram stops along the way, it is actually faster to walk. It is fun though to travel around Hong Kong this way as you get to see everything from close up, from the comfort of your tram seat. Because the tram system is so old, don’t expect any air conditioning on board.
I took the tram all the way to Victoria Park, which is located alongside the harbour. This park is focused on offering its visitors, ways of being active and a beautiful environment to exercise in. There are 7 soccer fields and there is a fitness track around the park. Furthermore, there are several workout spots in the park where different fitness exercises can be done.
What I didn’t see in other parks in Hong Kong so far, is a pool for radio-controlled boats. Victoria Park has such a pool and it was fun to watch some older Chinese people racing with their boats here. They were having 3 radio-controlled speedboats racing each other while I was there, which was entertaining to watch for a while.