Aberdeen, Hong Kong

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  • Aberdeen
    by Assenczo
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    by Assenczo
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    by Jim_Eliason
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    Pre-British Hong Kong

    by Assenczo Updated Feb 25, 2014
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    Aberdeen in reality is very different from the fiction that some guidebooks indulge into. This place might have owned the original name of Hong Kong and have been privy to a fishing boat life but today it is as busy and cramped with signature apartment skyscrapers as any other part of the region. The legacy lives on though and locals are there to ride on its crest. The “thing” to do in Aberdeen is to board one of the local boats with funny shape mainly manned by older women, and proceed to go for a spin around some parked boats and a restaurant in the harbour. The intrigue unveils itself almost immediately after a white-skinned person approaches the seafront walkway. Overripe female touts are crushing into the visitor on land with the only intention to sell a 30min $HK100 ride. When those are fended off there are the “waterborne” ones who would employ every ruse including their honk devices to attract the newcomer to their one-and-very-special tour of the harbour for, guess what, the same already well-known price. Bargaining is possible and it reveals quite a bit of the local ambition to win these peculiar Olympics. One of the boat mermaids had it in her head that it would be a good move to agree to a lower price in order to get the “cooked shrimp” in the boat and there start to ask for more money in front of grinning local males on their way to free crossing courtesy of a “stupid” foreigner.
    A different set up is installed at the point where the “Hop-on-hop-off” bus lets its passengers go off. When asked whether it is possible to board a boat without the combo ticket of the boat-bus trip the “usher” responded positively. Her next move was to ask for the money, HK50 for 20min, a relative bargain compared to the entrepreneurial ladies downstream. When she received the funds she continued on to the next person without issuing a ticket. Amazingly, she wanted to make a 100% profit by stealing from her employer.
    Fortunately, there is a third option – the state-owned ferries. Crossing the channel went for $HK2 and as for the longer ride to Lamma island one has to dish out just $HK11 for one hour ride. Going local pays off big in Hong Kong it seems.

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    Aberdeen

    by swissfondue Updated Sep 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aberdeen is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island.

    Historically it has always been a fishing port and there are still dozens of fishing boats moored beside traditional junks in the harbour. The surrounding area has become a tourist attraction and many visiters travel especially to Aberdeen have a seafood banquet at one of the floating restaurants. The Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant (and yes it is large!) is the most well known. You need to take a free tender from the pier to the restaurant but its only a short ride.

    Aberdeen will eventually be connected to Central by a new MTR but for the time being you need to take a bus or taxi.

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    Aberdeen Fishing Village

    by DaHongHua Updated Jan 30, 2013

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    The boat is decorated in CNY mood
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    There are many Hong Kong movies taken at this fishing villages, some are police stories, some are real stories regarding the living of the fishermen.
    To ride the decorated boat for less than 30 minutes tour, each tourist paid HK60 to the boatman. We were brought to have a close look at the JUMBO restaurant on the sea, took some photos, to fishermen villages where fishing boat has turned to floating houses, to the working fishing boats where harvesting or pciking up harvest is in progress, we are able to view Hong Kong from the sea.
    The boatman has decorate his boat to a Chinese New Year mood, as CNY is approahing.
    The boatman stopped his boat, when he spot good background for photographs.

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    Sampan Harbour Cruise

    by al2401 Updated Jun 20, 2010

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    Sampan on Aberdeen Harbour
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    Aberdeen is an area on the south shore of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. In fact the name 'Hong Kong' was the original name of the area and foreigners who landed here in the 1800's mistook the name as for the whole island. Consquently, Aberdeen was named in 1845 after the then British Secretary of State for War and Colonies - George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen

    Today, as then, it is the harbour that is the drawcard. Aberdeen is famous for its floating village and giant seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Many of the Tanka people, associated with the fishing industry, still live on the water

    There are regular ferries across the harbour and to neighbouring Lamma Island. For locals to get to their boats the sampan service is the best. It is also the best way for visitors to get an ideal view of the harbour.

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    Aberdeen

    by nepalgoods Written Jul 18, 2009

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    Already in 1987 I was shocked by all the highrise buildings in Hongkong and specially in Aberdeen. What had been a fisher village has turned into a nightmare of ugly condominiums. Nothing has changed since then. There are just more and higher buildings and a big fish market.

    The houseboats have mainly vanished, there are now marinas for luxurious motor yachts and some fishing boats are left. A Sampan ride now means a big motor boat making a tour around Jumbo Restaurant.

    You see: I did not like it in 1987 and I did not find reason to change my mind. Maybe I should put this under "Tourist Traps".

    But on the other hand it is quite interesting as you learn a lot about living conditions of people in Hongkong.

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    Take A Harbour Cruise On A Sampan

    by Chuckaziz Updated Jun 30, 2009

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    Passing by the Tai Pak Seafood Floating Restaurant
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    Aberdeen is located on the south west of Hong Kong Island. It is one of the oldest settlements on the island. The place used to be pirate infested but today it offers visitors a glimpse into a contrasting lifestyle between those, mainly fishermen, living in the traditional boat houses and the urban population in modern high rise apartments nearby. Cruising the harbour on a sampan will allow visitors a closer look of the boat houses. There are some 5000 of them moored around the bay but the numbers have since dwindled when many took up the government's offer for rehousing. Aberdeen is also famous for its floating seafood restaurants. One of them is Tai Pak Seafood Restaurant.

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    Ride a Sampan Boat in Aberdeen Fishing Village!

    by jumpingnorman Updated Mar 28, 2009

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    Sampan boats, Aberdeen Fishing Village, HK

    The Aberdeen Fishing Village is a chance for tourists to see families living on this famous site in Hong Kong. For just a few dollars, you can go on one of those boat tours (called Sampan - boats with tires on their sides) which will navigate you through the jade-like-green waters of the fishing village.

    I looked at the boathouses and the families, specially the kids, living on the boathouses looked back at me! You will see that they really live there and you can even see their home appliances, like their television sets turned on and the mother cooking. It is a somewhat commercialized tour since the tourists do have to haggle sometimes with these Sampan tours, but nevertheless, an unforgettable experience.

    If you have the opportunity, you could also try this Sampan tour during the night and picture this – YOU in a boat in a Hong Kong fishing village with the millions of lights from the jungle of tall buildings by the harbor….amazing!

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    Aberdeen Fishing Village

    by poetjo Updated Jan 29, 2008

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    Junk Boat on Aberdeen Harbour
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    The high rises blanket and surround the old style traditions of this bustling fishing village. On our Hong Kong Island tour we had a stop at Aberdeen fishing village and took a ride on a sampan. The sampan was decorated with red lanterns for Chinese New Year and the woman navigating through those busy waterways told us that she had actually made the boat herself. She lives in the village on a small junk boat and makes her living by offering sampan rides around her neighborhood village and over to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant which is lavishly yet ornately adorned with red and gold artwork and tradtional dragon sculptures.

    We stopped a bit to photograph the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and just cruised along taking in the sights of the local people on their junk boats and watching them decorate for the Lunar New Year. It was so much fun just seeing how these people live. Families of four and five living on small junks with basically the bare necessities yet they wouldn't have it any other way. There was one boat in particular which had a small black and white tv perched on a wooden table on the deck of the junk and because of this the family was considered to be "well off" because no one else even had a television. Yet, this simple village is surrounded on land by luxury skyscrapers and on the water by luxury yachts.

    The families in this village make their living by fishing and selling their catch to the nearby restaurants. They work sometimes 16 hour days and 7 days a week. This is a family tradition held down from generation to generation and is considered a gift. As a result they would never leave their surroundings.

    Learning about these people, their lives and being able to visit their homes by way of the sampan navigating its way through the maze of junk boats was indeed an inspiring and wonderful experience

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    Boat tour around Arbeeden Harbor

    by SLLiew Written Jan 15, 2008

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    Abeerbeen Harbor has been made famous by movies with the traditional rowing boat of Hong Kongers wearing the conical hats and living in on-the-water fishing village of boats.

    You will see the famous Jumbo Boat Restaurant made well known by a James Bond movie. This is a sanctuary for boats during the typhoons. The surrounded area is now so well-built, the slumps of the 60's on the hillslopes have all been replaced by sparkling modern high rises.

    It is a fun boating trip not to be missed if time permits.

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    Aberdeen

    by mad4travel Written Dec 31, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Junk in Aberdeen Harbour

    Aberdeen used to be a quite fishing village. Alas no more. It is a harbour area full of highways and high rises.

    It is famous to tourists for the boat people living in the harbour and the floating seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. The boat people are generally associated with the fishing industry, and there are also several dozen expatriates living on boats in the harbour.

    I did'nt find all that much to do here but I did take a ride on a junk run by little old chinese ladies.(mine spoke no English) Somehow I managed to find myself on a junk all on my own when all the others were full up (so that got me a few stares). The price was $50 but they start of higher so be prepared to negotiate.

    The trip lasts about 30 mins and takes you round the harbour past the boat people and fishing community and past the famous floating Jumbo restaurant.

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    Aberdeen

    by easterntrekker Written Nov 13, 2007
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    Once a little fishing village , its is now a waterfront studded with hihjrises . Many here however still maintain the old way of life . It is surreal to see the old houseboats with fish hanging to dry aganst such a super modern skyline!

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    Sampan trip round Aberdeen Harbour

    by leffe3 Updated Oct 13, 2007

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    But the highlight of the visit to Aberdeen is the trip on a sampan round the harbour (the floating restaurants now firmly belong to 'tourist traps' and are over-priced and poor value for money). Best way to take a trip is to simply walk along the promenade - you'll soon be invited to pay around HK$60 pp for a 30 minute trip by the women who run the boats (and they'll do it for one or ten - negotiate the price though the bigger the group). They're actually good value, and you soon find yourself plying the busy waterways ducking in and out of narrow boating lanes, getting an insight into the busy waters of the harbour and the people who live on the water (although it is now technically illegal to live on the boats, people still do it).

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    Aberdeen

    by leffe3 Updated Oct 13, 2007

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    Aberdeen is a major destination due to the giant floating restaurants and the sampan tours of the harbour. There's little else to see in Aberdeen (although Ocean Park and Waterworld is a little further south of the town) - it's is a smaller scale version of the dingier parts of HK itself and other than the attractions above is essentially a dormitory suburb of HK, made up of mainly apartments, new office blocks where rents are cheaper and a large bus terminus (change here for Stanley and Waterworld if you have not caught a direct bus from Central). A 10 minute walk from the harbour is the Tin Hau Temple, one of HK's more important temples to Tin Hau, patron to fishermen and other boat people.

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    Aberdeen Fishing Village

    by anees Updated Jul 22, 2007
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    Aberdeen Fishing Village is inside water sailors' town where you can take boat tour to explore their life style including their floating houses.
    The typhoon shelter is a unique old traditional fishing village that was one of the town's top tourist attractions.
    The tour would cost you 55 HK dollar for each adult, and 35 KH dollar per child, at yor own expenses even if you are joining this tour during your Hong Kong Island tour.
    You may not take your pets into this tour, and destructive fishing is prohibited.

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    Explore Aberdeen Harbour

    by SueMagee Updated Mar 20, 2007

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    Sampans with Ap Lei Chau in the background
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    Aberdeen is a busy fishing port on the south side of HK Island. Catch a ferry from Lamma Island as you'll get a fantastic view coming into the harbour - much more picturesque than getting there by bus. Stroll along the waterfront and watch old ladies peeling prawns and then drying them in the sun. Walk over the flyover to Aberdeen Plaza - this is where the locals all go to shop! It's very crowded at the weekends. Walk along the back streets and look at the fruit and vegetables - great variety! You can see Chinese shop assistants making up prescriptions in traditional Chinese medicine shops. Grab a bowl of snake soup in winter - it actually doesn't taste that bad.
    You can then catch a bus and go on to Repulse Bay or Stanley or go back to Central. The bus services in Hong Kong are regular, safe and quite cheap.

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