a sampan ride in aberdeen’s harbour

Saturday, April 4:  Included in my Big Bus *Hong Kong* tour is a sampan ride in Aberdeen Harbour.  A sampan is a relatively flat-bottomed Chinese boat which sometimes includes a small shelter on board.  On inland waters, sampans are sometimes used as permanent dwellings. They’re usually used for transport in coastal areas or rivers, and are also often used as traditional fishing boats.  Sampans cannot survive rough waters, so they generally stay close to shore.

A bunch of us tourists pile out of the Big Bus only to be shuffled straight away into a colorful sampan by a lady at the dock.  Within minutes, we’re underway.

Sampan ride in Aberdeen

Sampan ride in Aberdeen

The ceiling inside the sampan is quite colorful and decorated with lanterns, paper fans and paper flowers.

inside the sampan, looking up at the ceiling

inside the sampan, looking up at the ceiling

As we boost off from shore, we can see skyscrapers hugging the shores of the Aberdeen Harbour and fancy yachts anchored in the water.

Fancy boats

Sea Lion

Aberdeen is the largest separate town on the south side of Hong Kong Island, with a population of around 80,000 (2011).  It’s one of nine harbours in Hong Kong and is famous not only to tourists, but also to Hong Kong locals, for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants.

We head under the bridge and make a big circle around the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Jumbo Floating Restaurant

the rear side of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant

the rear side of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant

The area is a thriving fishing port; its fleet of family-run trawlers provide about a third of Hong Kong’s fish and prawn catch.  Dozens of ethnic Tanka people, boat people who are generally associated with the fishing industry and often live on junks in China, live here on boats in the harbour.

boats lined up in a row

boats lined up in a row

boat and high-rises

boat and high-rises

On the sampan ride, we see, in addition to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, other sampans, yachts, houseboats hung with laundry and outfitted with outdoor kitchens, commercial boats and fishing trawlers.

boats anchored away

skyscrapers in a sail configuration

Yachts in Aberdeen

Yachts in Aberdeen

Boats at anchor

Boats at anchor

Boats and skyscrapers

Boats and skyscrapers

Aberdeen's harbour

Aberdeen’s harbour

There are a lot of colorful and characterful vessels on the harbor.  It’s a perfect breezy day for being out on a boat.

the harbour at Aberdeen

the harbour at Aberdeen

boat bobbing under the bridge

boat bobbing under the bridge

boats of many colors

boats of many colors

the big boys

the big boys

Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen Harbour

old boat and new high-rises

old boat and new high-rises

boat at rest

boat at rest

colorful characters

colorful characters

bright & cheery boats

bright & cheery boats

Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen Harbour

Our little boat ride doesn’t last long, only about a half hour, and then we’re deposited back on the shore to wait for the Big Bus to snatch us off our wobbly sea legs.

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Categories: Aberdeen, Asia, Big Bus *Hong Kong*, Hong Kong, Sampan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “a sampan ride in aberdeen’s harbour

  1. Some of those skyscrapers appear to be so narrow it looks like they could just topple over.

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  2. Jo will love all these boats! Did you get to eat at the Floating Restaurant? I recall a first date with the future OH on a floating restaurant on the River Severn – a Chinese restaurant. A lot smaller than this one and sadly no longer there.

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    • I know, Jo will love all these boats, Jude. She did love them! Aw, isn’t it nice to think of that first date on that floating restaurant with the future OH? I’m glad I brought back a memory for you. 🙂

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  3. well this is completely different from where you’ve been for so long!

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  4. your posts are always a delight; the images definitely illustrate that you’re in an amazing place on this planet.. but it seems that life is always presenting amazing places for you to live and work!

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  5. Jude’s right- I just had half an hour of heaven, Cathy 🙂

    I’m scurrying around the blogs as fast as I can because I leave at 4 in the morning on Thursday and I feel as if I have so much to do before then. And I’ve got my usual nervous tummy! Why, oh why don’t I learn to speak Polish and not just grin like an idiot? I won’t have laptop but my Smartphone might be able to keep me in touch at Adam’s in Krakow. Not sure of the itinerary so I’ll send hugs now and catch up when I can. 🙂 Off to check your Chinese posts first. Take care, Cathy!

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    • I knew you’d like those boats, Jo! Do you always get a nervous tummy before traveling? I always do too, but I didn’t know you did. Haha, grinning like an idiot is what I’ve learned to do very well here in China because I’m hopeless at Chinese! Hope all is well with you. I have so much catching up to do all around!! 🙂

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      • Happy to be home tonight 🙂 The Algarve is the exception, Cathy. It’s home from home 🙂 But otherwise I’m usually nervous- especially for Poland because I feel that I should speak the language by now.

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      • Glad you made it home too, Jo. Yes, I know the Algarve doesn’t give you the stomach jitters, just the opposite I’m sure. Sorry about the language barrier. Believe me, I know all about it!

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  6. What a colorful assortment of boats! Love the photos 🙂

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  7. Stunning photos, Cathy. What a lot of different boats you’ve captured. 🙂

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  8. I enjoyed another trip down memory lane with these lovely photos. I have eaten at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant – which was certainly an experience! It was very much geared towards tourists, but the meal was excellent.

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    • Lucky you, Elaine, to have eaten at the Floating Restaurant. Did you have Dim Sum there, or something else? I wish I had taken the time to try it myself. Too much to squeeze in in a very short time. 🙂

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      • We had a ‘proper’ meal, but it was so long ago now that I can’t remember exactly what we had. I remember we sat at a big round table (there were 9 of us in our party) and there was a flurry of activity all around with waiting staff bringing things all the time.

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      • That sounds like Dim Sum; usually waiters come around with carts and you pick (usually dumplings, but other dishes too) off the cart. Maybe?

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  9. What another great post Cathy. Loved all the colourful sampans

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