We boarded a Chinese Junk at Queens pier next to the Star Ferry terminal in Central and sailed around Victoria Harbour to watch the sun gradually setting on the horizon with unlimited free drinks. Next stop was Aberdeen for a multi-course dinner at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
Lastly, we stopped at Stubbs Road in the Mid-Levels for photos. The Mid-levels is a residential area on Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. Located halfway up Victoria Peak, directly above Central, it is one of the most popular high-class residential areas for both locals and expats.
Our guide Roger, was informative. We felt it was a good tour to do on our first evening in Hong Kong as it was a good way to relax and get acquainted with Hong Kong.
Jumbo Kingdom is always included in the itinerary of the tour packages offered by travel agencies. It's a touristy place with plenty of visitors from other countries. Boat rides are being provided for a fee to tour the harbour. You will be able to see local folks in their boats when you tour around the area.
Jumbo Kingdom is now a modern complex of dining, sightseeing and cultural attractions - a required stop in any tour of Hong Kong. Centred on the Jumbo and Tai Pak Floating Restaurants in Aberdeen Harbour, it is an internationally renowned tourist attraction. It is a Hong Kong icon and a premier tourism and fine-dining establishment.
The name says it all: It's huuuuuuuge!
Centred on the Jumbo and Tai Pak Floating Restaurants in Aberdeen Harbour, it is a Hong Kong icon and a premier tourism and fine-dining establishment.
If you've always wanted to eat in a floating restaurant, simply take the bus to Aberdeen and then board one of the Jumbo Kingdom's own free shuttle boats with departures every few minutes. The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, but also offers roasted goose, Peking duck, changing seasonal dishes and (my favourite) Dim sum.
In operation for more than a quarter of a century and claiming to be the largest floating restaurant in the world, it has been refurbished and renovated over the past few year and has now become a modern complex of dining, shopping, sightseeing and cultural attractions - and it's also a great place for unique photo opportunities...
it's simply a MUST when you are in Hong Kong!
Aberdeen Harbour is noted for being a traditional fishing village. We were told that due to the rising prices of fuel and living costs, the local fisherman are taking tourists out in their fishing boats to show them Aberdeen harbour to supplement their income...It was at a cost of HK$55, which I may add was paid before they would bring you back to the boarding place. You will see how the villagers live on their boats, and see them at their work for the day..It was a very interesting 30 minutes and one that shows yet another side to Hong kong!
The largest floating restaurant in the world although no longer floating as it now has a concrete base.
My colleague, who lives in Hong Kong, suggested we may like to visit the place, which to get to, requires a free boat ride from Shum Wan Pier. It was recommended, however, that we do not eat there, as in comparison to many fine restaurants in Hong Kong, the Jumbo is very touristy and overpriced.
Aberdeen is, perhaps, an amalgamation of the old and the new. It boasts a marina, where sleek shiny white yachts are moored, and a habour, where many fishing folks live in junks.
Stroll the Aberdeen promenade in the evening and you will see folks making a meal of food that is cook on junks, while nearby, tall residential blocks tower over the habour in splashes of twinkling lights.
Tourist may wish to go for a sampan ride around the habour for a closer look at the fishing junks, or even have a meal on a "floating restaurant" in the habour.
Aberdeen is a 40 minutes bus ride from Causeway Bay.
One of my most lasting memories of my 4 trips to HK is of sailng into Aberdeen harbour at night. Floating in the blackness between the high rise buildings with all their windows lit up made me think of the scene in Star Wars when Luke flies into the death star - really amazing.
It was pretty impossible to get a decent photo from a moving boat at night time, but if you use your imagination, you may be able to see what I mean from this daytime shot.
Our cruise included dinner at the Jumbo floating restaurant and that really is a tourist trap. You can eat much better and for a lot less money in HK than on one of these organised trips. But if that's the only way you get to see the harbour by night, it's worth it in my opinion.
Sampan boats are your best bet for exploring Aberdeen Harbour. For $50 HKD ($9AUD $7 USD) you can catch a local sampan boat that takes you around the harbour on about a 20 minute tour.
The ride will take you past the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant, where it will stop and allow you to get some photos of its beautiful decor. Then you will head into the boat people community. A community on the water, made up by hundreds of fishing boats tied together. You will go down the half dozen rows of boats, and be able to get a small look and feel of what their every day life is like. Very interesting!
You will then return to your embarking point, where the boat will stop short of the dock, and your guide will demand the $50 HKD before she lets you off. At the same time she will pull back a sheet that was covering souvenirs, and see if she can get anyone to buy her over priced momentos, before she retruns you to the dock. For more about that, check out my warnings and danger tips.
Aberdeen Harbour is located on the South side of Hong Kong Island, and popularly known for the home of the floating restaurant, and the home of the boat people. Sampan boat tours are the best way to explore this world, giving you a close up look at life in the Aberdeen.
The Famous floating Restaurant is called "Jumbo Floating Restaurant". Basicly a beautiful floating tourist trap. The boat people are mostly fishermen who live in the harbour on their sampans, junk boats, and fishing boats. They tie their boats up side by side in rows on the west end of the harbour, that has basicly become a world famous community.
Aberdeen harbour is a must see while in Hong Kong, and is ussually featured on any of Hong Kongs half day tours.
*Aberdeen Harbour was named by Scotish settlers, who named the harbour after their cherished North-eastern city Aberdeen.
I decided to put the Jumbo Floating Restaurant as a must see, instead of a must eat. Located in Aberdeen Harbour, the floating giant was built nearly 30 years ago, and is one of Hong Kong most famous land marks. I must admit that though it is some what of a tourist trap, it is a site to see.
The best way to see the Jumbo Restaurant in my opinion is by a Sampan harbour tour available from Sham Wan pier, and costing $50HKD per person ( $9 AUD $7 USD ). The ride will take you right pass the restaurant, and stop right infront for you to get those pictures for virtual tourist.
Worth a stop if you are on the southern side on Hong Kong Island...
There are several buses that go to Aberdeen.
We found them more convinient than taxis and extremely easy to use!
Once in Aberdeen (the bus will leave you on a corner and you'll have to walk around the block and to the pier area), walk past all the ladies and guys yelling for your attention to ride on their sampas.
There is a free ferry terminal 1/2 way down the pier that is clearly marked to floating restaurant!
REGARDLESS of what people tell you, the ferry is NOT closed, it will be back in 30 mins maximum!
The restaurant is rather lavish, almost expensive looking but quite the opposite, has very reasonable din sum (and some of the best we had in Hong Kong)
Don't miss out on it!
Aberdeen used to be a refuge for pirates two centuries ago. Later it became a fishing village. Aberdeen has become a modern town as the skyscrapers have risen. Go down to the waterfront and hire one of the locals to take you on a tour in their sampan to see the the floating restaurant.
Many first-time visitors expect they can find many boat-residents living on traditional boats here...yes, there are...but not many, and no other things you can do with it other than the sampan trip. No museum, no "on-site visit" is welcomed.
And don't expect little old-time sampan doing fishing here. There are now mostly motorized huge boats with mechanical fishing tools for deep-water fishing as yield along the coast is not good enough.
And if it is nice fishing season--sorry, you may disappoint. The harbour will only be filled up with large fishing boats when typhoons approach.
So after a little disapointment in the harbour, you get more disappointed on land. There is no decent seafood restaurants here--even not enough Chinese restaurants for local residents! No villagers--in fact, area around Aberdeen is a major ground of the boring public housing estates on the Hong Kong Island. And the town is just an ordinary satellite town.
From a local resident's advice, I don't suggest a visit aimed for root-finding of Hong Kong, which has been a fishing village before being colonized, to Aberdeen. And honestly, due to its lack of attractions or very good restaurants, it's not even a good stop-over for Ocean Park visitors.
Aberdeen is known for its boat people. These people live their lives on boats, according to my guide there are some who never actually set foot on land.
Unfortunatly the government has been reclaiming the land making the harbor area where they live smaller; forcing many to leave their boats and seek more modern habitats.
This is worth the visit at least just to get a sense of how different group of people live in Hong Kong.
It's on every day tour these days. Come and see the group of people in Hong Kong who still live their lives on boats floating on the waters at Aberdeen. The locals called this place "Xiang Gang Zai" in Mandarin or "Hiong Kong Zai" in Cantonese. See a living style so different from you and me.
There is also a large Jumbo seafood restaurant here for lovers of seafood, in a garish opulent floating ship.
So ironical; so Hong Kong.