ding a ling!

hk's subway system is one of the most efficient in the world, and its fiery red taxis are easily available any time of the day or night - both of which bode well for the visitor finding his or her footing in the rapidly-paced new york of the east. for locals, there is another mode of transport that is just as essential and sometimes, even more effective than its reliable train service: the electric trams that trundle through some of the busiest, most traffic-clogged parts of the city.

known fondly as ding ding for the sound of its bell, it's a small but effective network of double decker bus-meets-train that winds and criss-crosses its way around. at times, they run parallel to street markets, often snaking within arm's reach of opposing trams while from the upper decks, they afford elevated views of hong kong's busy, busy streets. their presence is ubiquitous and prominent, made more so by their vibrant shells - originally dark green - that are veritable canvases for international retail brands to advertise pricey goods.

it's often a tight squeeze inside the ding ding, with more standing room than seats but the commuter turnover is fast as each tram makes numerous stops along its designated route, dropping off and picking up passengers at a fairly balanced rate.

we hopped aboard one from central all the way to shau kei wan, and disembarked to a bustling evening market that's as local as one can hope for.

enjoy the ride.

ding front
ding embarking
ding full exterior
ding crossing
ding back window
ding sign
ding inside
ding silhouette
ding ling
ding turnstiles
ding parked

visit the shau kei wan market album here