July 4th, Thursday. After
breakfast we grabbed a ferry to the island of Lamma. We chose to land at
Sok Kwu Wan, a quaint slow moving village on this island that is somewhat
reminiscent of the sixties Hong Kong-style. Along the waterway there are a
number of restaurants displaying tanks of fish and shellfish awaiting your
selection for dining. We chose to start the walk around the island to the
other village, Yung Shue Wan, before lunching.
Here is was very hot and humid as we climbed out of the
valley and walked up and around the hill side to the other side of the island.
After rounding the hill and walking through a lush valley we
started catching glimpses of the Hong Kong Electric power plant. Along the path
we passed Hung Shing Ye beach next to the electric plant.
Yung Shue Wan is a larger, more active town. Workers from the power plant are
residents along with expats, artists and journalists. We stopped for lunch and a
cold drink at Lancombe where the fish served Cantonese style was very good and
the air conditioning worked great - we were dripping. We returned by ferry to
Hong Kong and prepped ourselves for our next adventure.
Rounding out our Hong Kong experience in the afternoon, we grabbed a cab and cut
across the mountain on Wong Chuk Hang Road to Aberdeen. The main
attraction is the harbor where a major component of the populous
lives on the 3,000 junks and sampans interspersed between other water craft.
Commercialization grew from fishing and from the tanka (boat people) as they
attracted tourists to their floating restaurants. Most famous is the Jumbo
restaurant, just offshore, decked out in faux-Chinese including a complete cover
of lights. It operates its own dock and free ferry service from land to
We walk along the harbor on the Aberdeen seawall, the island,
Ap Lei Chau (Duck's Tongue Island) known for junk-building, is situated to our
After checking out the junk vendors we select a
grandmotherly-type operator to provide us an hour water tour of the harbor. We jump
aboard and notice immediately the beautiful wood and trim of her boat.
Someone spends a lot of attention in the maintenance of this vessel. We
motored under the island bridge and cruised toward the infamous Jumbo
Coincidentally Jon was re-reading Noble house on this trip and Clavell made multiple references to the Jumbo. We caught some shots of the
Jumbo dock and the mainland neighborhood as well as the Jumbo ferry junk.
But the most telling view of this monument is the backside of the restaurant.
We motor on out to the end of the bay and catch a glimpse of the Ocean Park and
Middle Kingdom theme park. It is here that the harbor ends, open water
begins and we turn around.
The remainder of our tour is spent weaving in and out of the junks, fishing
vessels, sampans, etc. Many people are living in the harbor but their
livelihood is very limited. This floating city includes a shrine in which
the boats can drive up to, pray and be on their way.
Our dinner that evening was on the southern part of Hong
Kong Island on Repulse Bay at the Verandah. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset while
sipping champagne - we could have been on a number of tropical islands.
Back to the
rest of July