Saturday, November 3, 2007

Classic (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

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The subject of my Photo Hunt entry this week is a classic mode of public transportation over here in Hong Kong that is regarded as on the slow side these days but, nonetheless, remains quite popular -- in large part because it is the most economical option at just HK$2 (~26 US cents or 0.18 Euros) a ride -- and can be safely regarded as having withstood the test of time.

Trams have been operating in Hong Kong since 1904. Early on, their route was along what was the north coast of Hong Kong Island. Over the years, so much land reclamation has taken place that, more often than not, the Hong Kong Tramways no longer can provide passengers with views of Victoria Harbour. Consequently, they cannot claim to provide scenic views to rival that of the more glamorous -- and more expensive -- cousin, the Peak Tram. But, to my mind, they make up for it by regularly treating passengers to interesting "slice of life" peeks at everyday Hong Kong as they travel from as far west as Kennedy Town to as far east as the former fishing village of Shau Kei Wan (and vice versa).

On top of all this, there's a romantic aura attached to the tram for this Hong Kong filmophile courtesy of it having appeared in so many Hong Kong movies over the years. In particular, I think of the part it has played in courting scenes in Tempting Heart (1999), Last Ghost Standing (also 1999) and The Odd One Dies (1998), the opening scene and more in Eye in the Sky (2007), and that sizzling sex scene in Nomad (1982). Then there's also that scene in The Longest Summer (1998) in which Sam Lee's character experienced a case of "tram rage" that prompted him to hurl at least one of his fellow tram passengers out of a window from the upper deck of the tram...! ;b

A word on the physical appearance of the trams before I end this entry: These days, it's rare to see a tram whose exterior is not covered by advertisements. Rather than besmirch a classic, however, I think that the often very imaginatively illustrated ads actually are pretty cool to check out. Now that you've had the opportunity to view a few of them (courtesy of my photos), what do you think?

22 comments:

Dragonheart said...

Great tram photos! A very cheap mode of transport - wow! Thank you for providing some information about their history as well. Great choice for classic!

My classic photo.

Prudence said...

I haven't taken a ride in a tram. Maybe when I get to Hongkong.

I think we're both walking down memory lane. See my photo hunt this week (just click here).

pelfy said...

That's a collection of tram photos (= Very beautifully taken. And classic too. Have fun!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Those are neat! Looks like an experience I would want to try.
The Rocky Mountain Retreat

A. said...

The advertisements look very good to me. It leaves me wondering what their "natural" colour is - the second shot, or is that such subtle advertising that it doesn't feel the need to name the product?

Dawn said...

Very nice classic subject. I like the pictures. Beautifully taken. have a nice weekend.

Chen said...

nice picture. I haven't taken a ride in the tram before as there is none in Malaysia :)

MamaArcher said...

definitely a classic! have a great weekend!

amy said...

very neat pics..I want to go on one

Heather said...

Those are a great classic--very cool. I love the history lesson.

KISSEDALOTATOADS said...

Great photos! And trams have become famous for their advertising as well. Great photos and have a good weekend.

lissa said...

Never rode in those trams or doubled-deck buses. Guess it's not much different than regular buses. Am I reading it correctly that it cost 26 cents to ride those buses? Because here in New York it cost at least 2 dollars.

They do seem strangely alluring even with the advisement - kind of a throw back in time.

Have not seen any of the movies you've mention - not a fan of horror movies or heavy dramas. The link for The Longest Summer doesn't seem to work without the www at the beginning.

SabineM said...

Lovely photo! I was in Hong Kong last in 1994 and rode on the tram....

Lana G! said...

Those are cool pictures!

Willow said...

Every time I visit HK, I gotta ride on the tram. Best way to view local life. I don't think I've ever ridden on the 2nd level though. It's usually packed already. ;)

Liza said...

Great shots! HAppy weekend :)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Trams are as classic as anything, and great shots, thanks!

tegdirb92 said...

those double decker buses are so beautiful!! I would love to ride in one some day.

Simple Journeys said...

Fascinating photos! Have you ever ridden in one of those buses?

jmb said...

Good post as usual YTSL. These are great photos. We tend to think of trams as old fashioned but that is a pretty sleek modern one.

gwapasila said...

gosh, I never rie in adouble decker busses yet...hope soon.
mine is up at My two Cents Worth and or at The4Seasonsofmylife Hope you can visit me too.

Happy Hunting!

YTSL said...

Hi Dragonheart, Amy and jmb --

Thanks and you know me -- often providing the info is as much fun as providing the photos! :)

Hi Prudence --

Hope that when you do get to Hong Kong, you will take at least one ride on a tram. :)

Hi Pelfy and Dawn --

Thanks much for the kudos. You made my day with them! :)

Hi Michele --

Neat is almost as good a word as "classic" to describe the trams... ;)

Hi a. --

The green with white stripe version is the unadorned color for the newer trams but all green is the "classic" color for the older ones.

Hi Chen --

Don't know if you know but there once were trams in Penang and even now, there's a vestige of their tracks on Penang Road.

Hi MamaArcher --

Thanks and hope you have a good weekend too! :)

Hi Amy --

Come to Hong Kong and you can go on one! ;)

Hi Kissedalotatoads --

Didn't know that trams had become famous for their advertising...! :b

Hi Lissa --

Yeah, you're reading correctly re the price. So yes, further confirmation that not everything in Hong Kong is terribly expensive! :)

Re the movies: "Tempting Heart" isn't completely heavy and is highly recommended. Also, "Last Ghost Standing" is more of a horror-comedy than outright horror -- laughed a lot when watching it as a matter of fact.

And thanks for the info re the "The Longest Summer" link. Will fix it when I have the time.

Hi SabineM --

1994 was a long time ago. Time for another visit? ;)

Hi LanaG, Liza and SnoopyTheGoon --

Thanks!

Hi Willow --

Get on the tram at one of the beginning stops. Or ride it in the less fashionable neighborhoods (i.e., NOT Central or Causeway Bay). This way, there's a good chance you'll get a seat at the top. :)

Hi tegdirb92, Simple Journeys and gwapasaila --

Thanks but... er... they're trams, not buses... ;S