The quaint and charming Aberdeen Fishing Village is not far from the hustle and bustle of the heart of Hong Kong,
but seems like light-years away from it all, at first look.
Here you see rows upon rows of the old-fashioned junks and sampans, some house
boats where the fishermen and their families still live, (at least for some 9 months of the year) all going on their daily routines, which now
include mobile phones and satellite dishes.
It is a very picturesque scene, with the unexpected touch of modernity right and left. The high-rises framing
the harbour and the ultra-modern yacths moored not far away complete this picture of contrasts.
Aberdeen Fishing Village and the Aberdeen Harbour are a feast for photographers and very
much worth a look, you can get a sense for what things were like long ago and how modern life is catching up to the old traditions,
which stubbornly co-exist with contemporary amenities.
Aberdeen Harbour has the distinct honour of being the first place where the British set foot upon arriving in Hong Kong. Back then, Aberdeen
was the center of the incense trade, this is how Hong Kong got its name, it literally means "Fragrant Harbour".
Aberdeen continues to be a thriving and busy harbour, and is still home to the boat-dwelling Tanka people. You will see the old ladies still
dressed in traditional ways, peddling the catch of the day and the sampan rides around the harbour for the tourists,
these are two of Aberdeen's main industries at work, fishing and tourism.
Let's take a look...
Aberdeen Harbour Sampans and Fishing Boats
High Rise Buildings framing Aberdeen Harbour
Modern Yacths moore along traditional fishing boats
New and Old: Traditional Fishing Boats and Sampans under the shade of Ultra Modern Buildings
Seafood Catch, Drying Fish
Along the Aberdeen Promenade
The Aberdeen Promenade
The Aberdeen Promenade that runs along the coast is the beginning of the action. Taxis, public and tourist buses will drop you off here.
It has been newly renovated, here you will find bathroom facilities, vending machines, nice areas to just sit and people watch, or stroll and watch all the action.
At one end of the promenade will be the Dried Seafood Stalls and Seafood Market with the daily catch, check out
all sorts of seafood being bartered away to the seafood restaurants and wholesalers.
Dry Fish Stalls at the end of the Aberdeen Promenade, keep going and you will find the seafood market, just follow your nose...
Aberdeen is a very busy fishing port, it accounts for one-third of the total catch in Hong Kong.
Also along the promenade you will find the starting point for the ferries to the Floating Restaurants...
There is a Ferry stop for the Jumbo and one for the Tai Pak
...The many "Sampan Ride" stations...
You will find the Sampan Ride Stations all along the Promenade, but more likely, the little old ladies that run the boats will find you first!
... and the ferry to Ap Lei Chau, the little island just across...
Ferry stop to Ap Lei Chau, you can use your Octopus Card for the inexpensive ride accross
Aberdeen Fishing Village Sampan Rides
A Sampan Ride through the Harbour is a great way to see Aberdeen in action. And finding a Sampan will be no trouble at all,
the Tanka women will be on to you before you know it. Expect to be approached not once, not twice, but several times until you do get into one.
The asking price is around HK 80 per person which you can bargain down to HK 50 or even less if you have several in your group. Make sure you
negotiate this beforehand.
The rides are around
25-30 minutes long and they zip you from the docks in the Aberdeen Promenade for a closer look to the floating village,
amongst the ferries, trawlers, junks, fishing boats traversing the waters, the boat-dwellers enjoying a cup of tea or going on their daily chores in their floating homes,
the shipyards along the sides, and also for a close-up look at the Floating Restaurants.
Let's go for a ride!
Aberdeen Sampan Rides leave from the docks along the Promenade
The Sampan Ride will take you amongst the floating villages, the house boats are inhabited and contain all of modern life ammenities including washers, stoves, satellite dishes... some people even plant little roof top gardens
You will see the boat dwellers going around their daily routines: cleaning and putting away fishing gear, relaxing with a cup of tea, playing mahjong...
Fishing Boats, anchored, coming and going at all times...
The Sampan Ride will also get you close to the Floating Restaurants, tour boats stop for a moment for pictures.
And if you can time it, sunsets and dusk at Aberdeen are heavenly...
Getting to Aberdeen Fishing Village
With Public Transport or Taxi
Getting to Aberdeen is easy with Bus 70 from Exchange Square. Take the Hong Kong Station MTR Exit D to get to Exchange Square Bus Terminal, Bus 70 will
bring you to the Aberdeen Promenade. One way is HK$4.70 and remember you can use your Octopus Card to pay the fare. Sit in the upper deck, the vistas as you approach the coast are very nice.
There is no MTR service for Aberdeen at the moment. The South Island East Line has opened to Ocean Park, the planned South Island West Line which would reach Aberdeen is expected to begin construction in 2021.
You can also take a taxi which should be about HK$60-70 from Central. You find the Taxi stands also at the Aberdeen Promenade when you are ready to return.
With the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus
The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus in Hong Kong is a great way to get oriented, specially for
first time travellers. There are three loops that cover all the must sights in the city including a stop at
Aberdeen Fishing Village. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Pass also covers a Sampan Ride in Aberdeen in addition to other perks.
You have to take the Green Route which connects at the Central Star Ferry Pier and services Aberdeen, Repulse Bay and Stanley.
After your visit to Aberdeen why not continue heading south? Repulse Bay is nearby and is one of the most popular beaches for HK dwellers, but the main attraction for visitors is the colorful temple overlooking the bay, it is a very unique setting. Just hop on the bus to the next stop.
With the Aqua Luna II Dim Sum Cruise
This tour is only available on Mondays, but if you have a chance this is a fantastic way to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and combine two of Hong Kong's must experiences, a harbour cruise and tasty dim sum...
This is a 2.5-hour trip that cruises to Aberdeen where you can catch views of the bustling harbour, the fishing junks, traditional sampans, as well as the luxurious yachts...
When? Mondays only
Where? Two convenient departure points:
Central Pier 9 - departs 1:00 pm
Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier 1 - departs 1:15 pm
How Much? Adults HK$375/US$48 Children (4-11) HK$300/US$38
With a Hong Kong Island Tour
Many of the city tours offered by operators make a stop here at Aberdeen. We like this Hong Kong Island Half-Day Tour, which
at about US$35 per person (Kids $28) is great value and covers a lot of the highlights, it is a great introduction for first-timers.
This comprehensive half-day tour
is a great way to get to know Hong Kong Island and its famous landmarks and history.
The tour lasts approximately 5 hours with pick up points at several Hong Kong and Kowloon hotels.
- Ride on the Peak Tram and views from Victoria Peak
- Aberdeen Fishing Village
- Repulse Bay
- Stanley Market
Our Aberdeen Fishing Village Picture Gallery
Take a Picture Tour of the Aberdeen Village, the Floating Restaurants, the Fish Market...
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