Monday, July 23, 2012

Jumbo Floating Restaurant - Aberdeen Harbour - Hong Kong

Pier for Embarkation
While we were in Hong Kong last time we were invited to join our daughter and a group of friends aboard the Jumbo Floating Restaurant for Sunday Brunch. A unique experience as the restaurant, designed like a classic Chinese palace, can accommodate up to 2,300 people is situated in Aberdeen harbour, the Jumbo is one of the world's largest floating restaurants. The first floating restaurants appeared in the typhoon shelter shortly after World War II.  The current two floating restaurants are moored next to each other in the harbour, Jumbo Floating Restaurant and Tai Pak Floating Restaurant which are now under the same management and collectively known as Jumbo Kingdom. 

A brainchild of Dr. Stanley Ho, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant was established in October 1976. It took four years and millions of dollars to design and build. The triple-deck Jumbo, decorated in the theme of a Chinese Imperial Palace with pagodas and gold dragons is the largest floating restaurant in the world, seating over 2000 diners. The original Jumbo was burnt down before its opening in 1971 with a loss of over 30 lives. It was rebuilt and finally opened in 1976 Over the past decades, Jumbo has been much appreciated by locals and tourists alike, and has become a scenic landmark of Hong Kong. The Jumbo Kingdom was updated in 2003 so now besides a dining experience it also is seen as a shopping, cultural and sightseeing attraction. A popular destination for visitors from overseas, it has played host to numerous international dignitaries and celebrities, including HM Queen Elizabeth II, John Wayne,Tom Cruise, plus more than 30 million other valued visitors and guests.. It has been featured in many movies including James Bond “The Man WithThe Golden Gun” and Jackie Chan’s “The Protector”. 

The port of Aberdeen is located on the south coast of Hong Kong Island as was one of the first places British troops came ashore in 1841 and was named after the 4th Earl of Aberdeen. It has a population of about 60,000 people making it the largest town on the island. The harbour is well sheltered by the densely populated island of Ap Lei Chau to which it has only been connected by a bridge since 1983.

For many generations the harbour has been a fishing port and home to the Tanka and Hoklo clans from the mainland costal areas of Guangdong and Fujan.  It is only since the early 20C that these boat dwellers, recognisable by their large brimmed hats have had equal rights with land dwellers. Till then they were forbidden to live on land or marry land people and were born, married and died aboard their sampans and junks. Nowadays most now choose to live on land but some still remain on houseboats in the harbour. Besides the fishing Aberdeeen also has shipyards, light manufacturing businesses, engineering works, textile factories and warehouses. For tourists the main attraction is the harbour and its floating restaurants. An Aberdeen Tourism Project to enhance the town as a tourist destination is under way  at tge moment  which includes improvements to the promenades along both sides of the harbour, including snack kiosks and local information boards. There are also plans to turn the Wholesale Fish Market into a tourist attraction

The Jumbo Kingdom can be reached free of charge, by a shuttle boat service from Aberdeen Promenade or from Sham Wan pier. Journey time is about ten minutes. There is no obligation to dine at the restaurants and visitors can take the opportunity to use the free shuttles to simply explore the facilities on the floating restaurants.

I am led to believe it is advisable to book as a very popular attraction.
Address: Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen
Phone: (852) 2553-9111

Location Map


From Central – Bus 70 from Exchange Square Bus Station or bus 91 from Central Ferry Piers (takes a longer route than bus 70)

From Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace behind Hong Kong Central Library) – Bus 72 or 76

From North Point Ferry Pier – Bus 38,41A or 42

From Sheung Wan (Wing Wo Street) – Bus 71

From East Tsim Sha Tsui (1 Science Museum Road, inside Concordia Plaza) – Bus 973

From So Uk Estate, Sham Shui Po, Nathan Road (from Prince Edward via Mongkok and Yau Ma Tei to Jordan Road) – Bus 970X

From Hong Kong International Airport – Bus A10

Aberdeen is not currently served by the MTR network. The MTR South Island Line which is scheduled for completion in 2015 will have stations at Wong Chuk Hang on the eastern outskirts of Aberdeen and at Lei Tung and South Horizons on Ap Lei Chau. 

With thanks to the following sites for the background information included in this post. The links will take you directly to the pages on Jumbo Kingdom if you are interested in learning more.

Jumbo Kingdom - Wikipedia     Jumbo Kingdom Website    Discover Hong Kong     Hong Kong Extras

NB All photos can be viewed individually if you click on them or the album can be viewed on in my album entitled Jumbo Floating Restaurant


  1. Another interesting post about this very unexpected city. There is a floating chinese restaurant on the canal in Regents Park in London, which I have never gone in (I can't really digest Chinese food). It looks beautiful at night when it is all lit up, and rather unexpected in the semi-rural surroundings of the park.

  2. How much fun this must have been!
    Wonderful images.
    Thank you for sharing them here.

  3. I just love the cover photo to this blog. Nice use of foreground interest. I like the processing too.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Oh I love jumbo restaurant, I was there in 1983 and 1984. The food served was so delicious.

  5. Ha! We had lunch there too, when we visited. A bit of a HK institution really!

  6. Wow! I am really impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It is really going to help me a lot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly. Restaurants in delhi

  7. I was glad that getting to Jumbo Kingdom is free of charge by taking the shuttle boat service. I love the fact that visitors can explore the place also. I guess this is what I missed when I last visit Hongkong with my anti jet lag buddy, jetLAGFX Great article!


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