Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Walking Tour: Junk Boat

This Sunday was the 15-year anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong. Hu Jintao was in town, and there were fireworks and protests galore. My friends and I decided to celebrate the long weekend (which also happened to be Canada Day) by going on a junk trip. Junk boats are a favorite expat activity, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it was this weekend. This walking tour doesn't actually involve much walking, but it shows yet another side of Hong Kong life.


For me, the day started at the Star Ferry Pier in Central.


I hopped on the ferry and headed across Victoria Harbour.


It was early and the top deck of the Star Ferry was pretty empty.


I took my usual Harbour-crossing pictures of Wan Chai...


the ferry...


... and Tsim Sha Tsui.


I noticed a flotilla of boats in the Harbour...


...all decorated with the HKSAR flag...


...and a lone Chinese flag on top.


The ferry maneuvered through the boats to dock in TST.


On the public pier nearby, we met up with our junk boat...


...and a motley crew of friends in sunhats, swimsuits, and sunscreen.


We loaded onto the boat with our snacks and beverages...


...and set out into the Harbour.


Ours was a pretty wooden boat...


... with plenty of space for everyone.


There was also a kitchen and cooler to keep us fortified for the day.


We traveled west out of the Harbour...


...past more flag-decorated fishing boats...


...and the views of Hong Kong Island.


The city stretches far along the edge of the Island...


...and we settled in for the ride.


The boat was manned by two local men...


...and it had lots of nooks and crannies to explore.


I went up on the rooftop to enjoy the sky...


...and the views.


We headed around the edge of Hong Kong Island...


...and sailed toward Lamma Island.


We ended up in Turtle Cove on the south side of Lamma.


There were only two other boats nearby.


While we were swimming, one of them...


spotted the shark!


It was a 12-foot (harmless) whale shark. Of course we all hopped out of the water...


...and tried to get pictures every time its tale or fin broke the surface of the water.


Naturally this meant that we and two people on the beach...


...spent a lot of time staring at the shadow moving beneath the water.


Another boat arrived and took pictures that ended up in the Apple Daily.


We settled in on the roof deck to enjoy the sun without any swimming.


Eventually we decided to up anchors and head for a different bay.


We passed through a major shipping corridor on our way to...


Repulse Bay.


We settled in here for another swim.


Until it was time to head home.

For the video of the shark made by a nearby boat, check out my Sharkspotting post.

2 comments:

  1. Fabulous photos! You certainly got to see quite a bit of Hong Kong on your junk. It's too bad the shark put a damper on the swimming part. I'm sure no one was in the mood to swim after that. I went on a junk once with local friends. It was a perk my friend got from working at Hong Kong Bank. We sailed to Sai Kung and dragged a little motorboat for water skiing. It was one of the most pleasant days of my time in Hong Kong! Your photos remind me of that day.

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