Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hong Kong: Tramways

Kind of mentioned in the previous post, but I made my first trip to Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China and once a colony of England. Now, for me, it's a fun and easy place to visit because I don't need a visa and it's not to far from Japan.
I'm going to put up a few post for Hong Kong but this one will focus on mass transit options, for example below is old-school Chinese boat. I'm not sure this is normal as a form of transit, but I like to think it is.  Also, I think that is gas powered, those sails don't seem to be doing anything other than looking nice.
In fact, there are boats everywhere, Hong Kong is divided by a series of rivers and harbors. Below is a boat used for dinner tours and a place to enjoy the nightly Hong Kong building light show.
Another interesting boat on the water used to travel to and from Macau from Hong Kong is the B929 jetfoil.
B made these things in the early 80's and they are difficult to find now. But many of them are running daily in Hong Kong, seem to be trouble free.
These jetfoils use to run between Seattle and Victoria too, but this ended many years ago. Today much slower boats run between the US and Canada.
In addition to a subway, the other main form of transit is 2 level trams.
First things first, you have to remind local people how to behave on the trams, there was other signs too keep your arms in the windows.  The other funny sign was where the emergency exit was, in the event of an emergency you had to use the front or rear door to exit.
These trans are really cool and convenient. There are so many in the system that you rarely have to wait long to jump on and ride, but they do get stuck in bad traffic.
I assume this is basically how London people get around the city.
All streetcars (but the few used to train the tram drivers) now have advertising on them.  I guess in the past cars were painted solid color green.
Here is mid-day streetcar traffic jam.  These trams sat here for 20 minutes waiting for traffic to clear.  There is no air conditioning in the trams, so all cars have windows open, which is nice when the cars are moving.  When they are parked in traffic you can see people in each car looking miserable.
Everyone kept walking in the streets too, I think because there is to many vendors and stores spilling on to  the sidewalks.
Cars are used for transit too, but looking at the situation I would not want to drive here.
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