My watercolor sketch travelogue continues in Hong Kong with one from a floating platform next to the Jumbo restaurant in the Aberdeen Harbor. I was very fortunate to make friends with a few artists while living there. My friend Gladys and I would try to go out once a week to sketch. The day we scheduled to go was a gloomy day in December but we went for it anyway. We headed down to the Aberdeen marina and took a sampan over to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
This was an experience in itself just crossing the harbor. Like many things in Hong Kong there are a number of ways to go about doing something. Lining the harbor are private sampans for which we had many offers of taking us over for 50 -100 hundred Hong Kong dollars, or as Gladys would say, honkies. She is a local. :-). This equates to about $6-$12 US dollars. These are nice if you want a 30 minute tour of the harbor, but we just wanted a one way jaunt to the Jumbo. If you are a tourist, you may think this is the only way to go. However, I had the advantage of being with Gladys, who knew a way around this! If you know where to look there is a public sampan you can take to the other side for around .25 cents US! What was even more amazing you can scan your Octopus Card, Hong Kong’s, public transportation card, for the fare. A mix of modern technology with the old world.
The Aberdeen Harbor and the Aberdeen Floating Village has been and still is home to Hong Kong’s boat dwellers, descendants of which were said to have arrived in Hong Kong around the 7th-9th century. If you would like to immerse yourself in a traditional Hong Kong experience this is a great place to visit.
Another popular attraction which was our destination was the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Established in 1976, it is one of the renowned tourist attractions in Hong Kong. In the lobby is a photo gallery of the who’s who of the many people who have visited over the years: Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, and William Holden during the filming of “Love Isa Many- Splendored Thing,” and the “World of Suzie Wong,” to name a few.
Gladys and I settled our selves on a service platform behind the restaurant to paint boats in the harbor. It was actually great to sketch on a grayer day. A great exercise in mixing grayed color. It started to lightly drizzle so we cut the day short and headed over to the Aberdeen Marina Club, in a sampan of course, for some hot Jasmine tea, and an incredible Dim Sum lunch! A perfect sketch day with a great friend!