Take a sampan ride, it’s the perfect way to explore the old Aberdeen harbour. Try on one of the woven Tanka hats, traditionally worn by Hong Kong’s boat dwellers (note the shape is very unique!).
A sampan is a flat bottomed traditional fishing boat made of wood from China. Traditionally, fisher families often lived aboard these small watercraft. Because they are not suitable for rough seas, they are mostly used in rivers or close to the coast. Fewer and fewer sampans are used for fishing or housing and nowadays, many are used for sampan rides ferrying curious tourists on tours and to restaurants.
The exact origins of the Tanka people have become lost in the mists of time. It is thought that they were a people of South East China. When the Han people moved South, invading and colonising the land, the indigenous people may have moved to coastal areas and began to live on boats.
The original city of Aberdeen is, but with the British ruling over Hong Kong for many years, one of the many legacies are some of the place names in Hong Kong. George Hamilton-Gordon was the 4th Earl of Aberdeen and also a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. There are 33 recorded towns and cities named Aberdeen worldwide, you can find out more about them here.
Despite a decline in the fishing industry, you will still be able to see fishing trawlers docked in Aberdeen marina. They bob alongside modern house boats and the luxury yachts. Be sure to make a trip to Jumbo, Hong Kong’s famous floating seafood restaurant, established in 1976. If you’re with the family, Ocean Park theme park is close by and makes a great family friendly outing. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more quirky and off the beaten track to do, visit nearby A Sky Full of Gods and Buddhas.
Although a sampan ride is a lovely thing to do while visiting Hong Kong, but there is plenty more to explore. Contact us at Hong Kong Greeters to see how we can help. Whether you are interested in a private walking tour or want to organise a group tour, do get in touch. And if you do like the idea of a sampan ride, we can certainly work that into your itinerary.