Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Ding Ding - Hong Kong Tramways: Another Heritage Icon @ Hong Kong #dingdinghk

Singapore has always been compared to Hong Kong when it comes to economic success and while that's debatable; i personally feel that Hong Kong's focus on preserving heritage and ensuring their affordability is way better then the little red dot. 

I have touched on Star Ferry before in a previous posting and today, another heritage icon shall be mentioned; the Hong Kong Tramways which is also known affectionately as Ding Ding!

Running in the middle of the busy road cutting across the northern part of Hong Kong Island, it's a strange sight for those new to the vehicles. They look just like toy buses that are disproportionately-sized; too tall and too narrow.

Since its inception in 1904, the tramway has relied on electricity to power the double-decker trams! It now commands the largest double decker tram fleet in the whole world consisting of 165 trams that carry an average of 200,000 passengers a day! 

Boarding the tram; payment is only required upon alighting. Anyway, as you can see; the interior was basic. featuring no-air-conditioning and basic wooden long benches. 

Upper deck has more seats and of course, provides a better view just like any double decker buses in Singapore; pretty basic furnishing too although this time, there are plastic seats for individuals. A upgrade plan was supposed to be in place since 2011 but maybe the one i was on isn't the upgraded version? 

Would love to sit in front and take a few time-lapsed videos; pity they were already taken up! On the trams, you can clearly identify the tourists from the locals as the latter behaves exactly like well-seasoned commuters who don't understand why the overseas visitors were so excited with the trams they have been taking almost every day. 

Checking out the views on the upper deck! I actually took the tram back in 1997 and it was a comfortable ride as it was during winter when the temperature was way cooler at about 10-15 degree celcius. 

An interesting building that houses the Chinese Methodist Church! I thought it's just a unique commercial skyscraper and totally didn't expect it to be a functioning church.

The almost lonesome tram ahead of us; there are a total of six routes with about 120 stops and arrival between trams is less than 2 minutes during peak hours! Pretty impressive.

Despite its compact size, each double decker tram has a capacity for 115 passengers! Compared this to Singapore's typical double decker bus which can seat about 130 passengers. 

Operating on a double track system, the tramway runs in opposing directions and from the above photo; i wondered if the gap would be too tight when two trams pass each other. 

Taking into consideration safety, i didn't attempt to stretch out my arm. I did note that while the gap was narrow and i could literally have a high-five with passengers from the tram running in the opposite direction; it looked quite safe unless you have some crazy, adventurous pricks who decided to stick their heads out of the windows. 

Tai Yuen Street at Wan Chai which is also known as toy street! Maybe the next time i visit Hong Kong, i should consider checking out the less touristy markets! 

Why don't we see such trucks in Singapore?

Time to disembark by navigating the rather steep staircase; do hold on to the handrail by the side and for the older generation, do walk slowly as falling down can result in more serious injuries! 

Payment via the super convenient octopus card; for a typical adult, it's a FLAT rate of only HK $2.60 (less than S$0.50). You don't get that pricing for public transport in Singapore nowadays unless you factor in the discount to encourage commuters to travel before the morning peak! 



Sunday, March 29, 2020

Cheese Toast - The Rare Occasion Alex Orders @ Krabi Walking Street [Thailand]

When i am travelling with Alex, i am usually the one who gets the food as he is less picky and could survive on fast food fare like McDonald's, Burger King etc. Hence, it came as a surprise when he suggested venturing out to buy more food for our dinner at Krabi Walking Street night market. 

He came back with this interesting bag made from banana leaf, i think.

A box was taken out from it and i was expecting something really interesting as so much work had been put into the sustainable packaging! Sorry, i can't read Thai so wouldn't be able to share the name of the store. 

What the hell?!?! 
So much for just toast?! 

It's an anti-climax to the suspense, until i saw the above.

Oh i see; it's those cheesy toast with the ability to stretch very far; it would appear real good on intsagram. I have seen it before but thought the one for rainbow cheese would look way better! 

As i am not a huge fan of cheese and have had too much food for dinner (charcoal grilled squid, phad thai, omelette rice, pancake and pork ribs); there's no way i am able to stomach another carbohydrate-heavy food; furthermore, i did take a nibble and didn't feel tempted to have another bite. 


Within Krabi Walking Street Night Market, 
Krabi Town, Thailand

Click here for the itinerary of 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Beyond Lei Yue Mun Seafood District - Viewing Point, Light House etc @ Hong Kong

Lei Yue Mun is a small area on the southern tip and in the east of Hong Kong's Kowloon Peninsula; famous for its seafood market and numerous seafood restaurants, my objective today is to bring you beyond the seafood district!

Alex had abandoned me as he wasn't keen to spend his time outdoors! I was actually quite happy to venture alone as if i am with him, it would likely be a touch and go and i wouldn't be able to explore much.

Unbeknownst to many, it's one of the few areas where you can look at the cityscape on both sides of Victoria Harbour! And as you can see, it's popular with anglers as well.

It's a pity we can't see much of the sunset given the cloudy weather that day.

From here, you can see the International Commerce Centre (ICC), where sky100 oberservation deck is. International Finance Center, which is right across on Hong Kong island, is unfortunately, blocked.

Many large boulders in the area which would mean plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures; just be careful and before coming, wear a good pair of shoes and if possible, get yourself equipped with a pair of gloves as some of the boulders were covered with sharp barnacles.

Random photos of people fishing and an elderly grandma soaking her feet.

A panorama;  Lei Yue Mun is actually a channel between "Junk Bay and Victoria Harbour". The translated English name is actually the carp gate and i wonder about the name's origins. Were there a lot of carp in that area or like Singapore's Dragon Tooth Gate; there's a significant boulder that appeared to look like a fish?

A lot of crows!

You don't find white sandy beach at Lei Yue Mun although there were plenty of large seashells. Those with hyperactive kids can bring them here and have a competition to see who can find the most beautiful seashell in two hours. I bet they will be exhausted.

Always remember to wear shoes as i found glass shards on the beach!

Another key attraction at Lei Yue Mun; the lighthouse! I bet it would be a super nice chill out place at night, when lights, flanking both sides of Victoria Harbour, filled the horizon.

Closer look. I did attempt to climb up and thought it's quite dangerous; guess more so at night without much illumination. Aside from safety, do note that the tide can rise and you wouldn't want to be stuck there until the tide recedes.

This is the Ma Wan Village that brought back memories of the Tai O Fishing Village on Lantau Island i visited just a few days before. The red-walled building is the over 200 years old Lei Yue Mun Tin Hau Temple!

I was hoping for a spectacular sunset which didn't materialize.

Well, guess the anglers were just hoping for fish to bite their baits. I can never get fishing as i totally don't have to patience to hook a fish when i can just buy it from the wet market. Oh well, to each his / her own.


Location Map

As above; using the light house as the point of interest.