Hong Kong is a hustling, bustling town, with many different ways to get around. One of the oldest, and most interesting, is the ding ding – a double-decker tramway running along Hennessy Road on Hong Kong Island. Riding in the ding ding gives you a quiet means of watching the world as it goes past. In today’s blog post, I present a street photography series of what I saw while riding the ding ding.
Opened in 1904, the ding ding runs from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan, with a branch circulating through Happy Valley. This is not the quickest way to get around Hong Kong Island – the subway takes that crown hands-down – but it is one of the most scenic.
At the Kennedy Town end of the tramway the ding ding runs along Des Voeux Road West, better known as Dried Seafood Street. This is where you will find stores dedicated to selling such delicacies as abalone. The area has been known for its dried fish stores for over 50 years, and the area now includes shops selling items used in medicinal tonics. In contrast, at the other end of the ding ding trail is Shau Kei Wan and the outlying suburbs of Hong Kong.
Riding the ding ding from one end to the other gives you a tour of Hong Kong that truly shows all sides of the city. You start off in front of traditional shops, ride past some of the world’s most expensive real estate in Central Hong Kong, and end up where the locals really live, in Shau Kei Wan. It’s a fascinating trip that allows you to see where locals shop, work, and live.
The best way to experience the ding ding is to stake out the front seat on the top level. From here you have an almost 180° view of life below, as well as life at the back of the ding ding in front of you. This is a form of transportation frequented by tourists, not commuters, so you can unabashedly take as many photos as you want and not be noticed by anyone else around you.
These are photos from one afternoon spent on the ding ding, but I could easily see creating a larger series if I had more time in Hong Kong. In editing these photos, it makes me want to take a ride on the bus here in New York and see if I can capture the same type of images in my own town.
The ‘ding ding’ is run by HK Tramways. The cost is HK$2.60 per ride, and there is a four-day pass available. You can also conveniently pay with your Octopus card (Hong Kong subway card). Please note that no change is available on board. Here is a map.
Enjoy this taste of Hong Kong, and next week I’ll have photos from my favorite monastery in Hong Kong – the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery.
If you would like to see more images from my travel photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website — www.Kelly-Williams.com