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Junk Harbour - Aberdeen

Floating cities of Chinese junks???
Yes indeed!
In Hong Kong, - both on the island itself as well as on the mainland and the outlying islands -, there are several typhoon shelters, where small ships and fishing vessels can seek shelter during the typhoon season.
In the mid 19 hundreds, several of these typhoon shelters were actually not only used as refuges during typhoons, but were in fact floating cities of junks, of which many would never go to sea again, but just stayed there, permanently moored until they rotted away and sank - - -

The biggest of these floating cities could be found in Aberdeen Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Ap Lei Chau.
Here lived about 20.000 "boat people" on about 3000 junks. They are the Tanka- and Hoklo people, - a certain group of fishermen, that traditionally preferred to live permanently on their boats instead of living in apartments ashore.
There are still "boat people" in Hong Kong, but the Hong Kong government has for long time tried to encourage them to leave their boats and resettle ashore by building housing estates for them as well as schools and facilities for their children. And slowly but surely the fishermen have been transformed into factory workers as their typhoon shelters are disappearing when harbour areas are being reclaimed for city development - - -
Nobody forced the "Boat People" to resettle ashore, - it was their own choice -, and probably a wise choice, since the floating cities were actually a form of sea based slum, offering only an inconvenient lifestyle.

The floating cities were , - however -, extremely interesting to visit and explore, and seen from that angle, it is actually a pity that they are disappearing - - - the world becomes a little bit less colourful without them - - -

The following pictures are from Aberdeen Harbour at its peak in the seventies - - -
Visitors to Hong Kong will not experience this sight any longer, - the floating city of junks are long gone - - -
 
 


1973-04-065
Chinese Junks
A sight never to be seen again!
The very large assembly of junks at Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, - Autumn 1973.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-064
Chinese Junks
The yards at Ap Lei Chau island, Aberdeen Harbour, where lots of junks were built, - autumn 1973.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 


1973-04-046
The big floating restaurants in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-047
One of the "streets" in the floating city in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 


1973-04-048
Sampan in the floating city in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 


1973-04-049
Boat People
Sampan in the floating city in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 


1973-04-051
Boat People
Sampan in the floating city in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-053
Children skilfully navigating a sampan between the anchored junks, Aberdeen Harbour, - autumn 1973.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-052
Boatman navigating his sampan between the anchored junks, Aberdeen Harbour, - autumn 1973.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-054
The "Boat People"
- boat man, Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, - autumn 1973 -
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-055
Chinese Junks
Aberdeen Harbour with its floating city of junks, Hong Kong, - autumn 1973.
The well known, - and huge -,  floating restaurants in the harbour are seen in the background - -
(Photography © karsten Petersen)
 
 


1973-04-056
Boat People, sampans and junks in Aberdeen Harbour
(Photography © karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-057
The "Boat People"
Sampan traffic everywhere, - Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, - autumn 1973.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1973-04-058
The "Boat People"
- at Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, - autumn 1973 -
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 


1974-02-027
"The Floating City"
Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, - April 04.1974.
(Take note of the 3 huge floating restaurants to the left in the picture.)
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-028
"The Floating City".
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-029
- here a closer view of the three floating restaurants at Aberdeen Harbour, April 04. 1974 -
(Just behind the restaurants, - take note of the ship yards building traditional Chinese junks, on Ap Lei Chau island.)
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-030
"The Floating City".
- a view of the city of junks in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, April 04.1974 -
(Take note of the "streets" between the long rows of permanently moored junks.)
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-040
The floating restaurants, - "Tai Pak" and "Seapalace"
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-041
The "Tai Pak" floating restaurant with "water taxis".
- a closer view of one of the huge floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour, - Hong Kong-, April 04.1974 -'
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-042
"Water Taxi"
- sampan in Aberdeen Harbour serving as "water taxi", April 04.1974 -
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


1974-02-043
Coming ashore.
(Photography © Karsten Petersen)
 

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Page initiated:  Dec.12.2012