The Jumbo Kingdom is an internationally renowned tourist attraction in Hong Kong where modernity meets the local tradition. It is located at the Jumbo and Tai Pak Floating Restaurants in Aberdeen Harbour. It has been serving for about 30 years and recently got an attractive look of a theme park on sea with the expense of multi-million dollars. Designed as a Chinese palace, it can accommodate up to 2,300 dinners in a multi-faceted complex with sightseeing and cultural facilities.
History of Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom –Hong Kong:
Shortly after the Second World War, the trend of floating restaurants appeared in typhoon shelters. The Sea Palace restaurant was towed to Australia and the Tai Pak Floating restaurant was established in 1952. Before its opening in 1971, a fire-related incident took place at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant that killed 34 workers. Later, Dr. Stanley Ho, established the world famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant in the October of 1976. Lots of labours, times and bucks were spent to reform the restaurant (over 30 million HK$ were spent to built the restaurant in four years).
It was originally ornamented in the style of an ancient Chinese imperial palace. Due to its exquisite ornamentation, it has been globally appreciated by both local and international tourists and visitors, and has turned into the scenic landmark of Hong Kong. Many of the tourists keep the spot on their ‘must see’ list. Different types of sea foods are available in the restaurant along with a tea garden and a gourmet restaurant serving top-class traditional Chinese and modern dishes.
It has also entertained countless international dignitaries and celebrities including HM Queen Elizabeth II, film stars Tom Cruise, Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li, and over 30 million other valued visitors and guests. In the year 2000, two tugboats brought one of the floating barges (Palace) from the Aberdeen Harbour to the mouth of the Manila Bay, and that was rebranded as the “Jumbo Kingdom Manila” but the Chinese imperial style renovation was unchanged.
Travel Guide information of Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom –Hong Kong:
The restaurant is located at Sham Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Aberdeen can be reached via Wong Chuk Hang by Pok Fu Lam Road, Aberdeen Tunnel and Nam Fung Road. A bridge connects Aberdeen with Ap Lei Chau over the Aberdeen Harbour. Besides, to reach the Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom, one can take bus, taxi or free shuttle service. Regarding the bus service, one should take the bus the MTR Central Station. Exit – A, then take bus 70 from the Exchange Square bus terminus. If one takes a taxi from Hong Kong International Airport, it will not take more than HK $500. From Hong Kong side it will not exceed HK$ 100 for the tourists to reach the restaurant. And from the Kowloon side, it will not exceed HK$ 140 in fare. Besides, there are free shuttle boats to take you from Shum wan and Aberdeen.
Some Tips when you visit on Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom –Hong Kong:
Keep in mind- the restaurant opens at 11.00am and closes at 11.30pm from Monday to Saturday, and 7.00am to 11.30pm in Sunday and other public holidays. The restaurant access if free of charges and one can easily quench the thirst for a luxurious dinning on sea level. If you hire a taxi to reach the restaurant, do not forget to take receipt from the driver, that will help you get a reduction in your net bill over the amount of HK$ used for the ride. It is imperative to settle all the fares and prices before you start using the services outside the restaurants. Keep your eyes open, although the restaurant is quite noisy and crowded, you could get the chance to get an autograph or photograph with local or international celebrities inside the restaurant.
Culture & Customs of Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom –Hong Kong:
The conventional Aberdeen is consisted of the Aberdeen town but still contains some of the conventional attributes of the fishing village. Fishermen use the traditional sampans to net the fishes from the sea. Visitors can also hire boats to go around the fishing ports. The fishermen sell their gathered fishes to the nearby restaurants to make their living.
Transport/ Getting Around in Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom –Hong Kong:
1. You can take a bus to get there, including bus no. 7, 37A, 37B, 37X, 38, 40P, 41A, 42, 42C, 47P, 48, 70, 70M, 70P, 71, 71P, 72, 73, 73P, 77, 78, 90B, 91, 91A, 93, 93A, 93C, 94, 94A, 94X, 95C, 95P, 98, 107, 107P, 170, 595, 970X, 971, 973, 973P, A10, N72, and N170.
2. There are green-roofed minibuses to take you there, including Minibuses No.4A, 4B, 4C, 4S, 5, 35M, 39C, 39S, 51, 51S, 52, 58, 58A, 59, 59A, 59B, 63, 63A, 69, 69A, and 69X. Also there are red-roofed minibuses to go there too.
What to explore at Aberdeen Harbour?
There is anchorage for yachts, fishing boats, and floating restaurant boats, and there is a typhoon shelter called Bei Fung Tong where boats can anchor when there is a storm.
Now, tourism is a big industry, and there are two big restaurant boats, as well as smaller restaurant boats that double as people’s apartments.
The local fishermen sell their daily catch to these restaurants or to the fish market. Visiting a Chinese authentic fish market is an eye-opener. There are many interesting things dead and alive. You can learn a lot about the animals that live in the sea.
The two famous boats are called the Jumbo and the Tai Bak. These are colorful, big boats. You may think that the food is over-priced, but seafood is good. They have free shuttle boats taking people to the boats.
Highlights to See in Aberdeen:
Sightseeing Sampan Rides:
Sampan rides, mostly operated by elderly Tanka and Hoklo women, are a popular way to explore the colorful and crowded harbor. Sightseeing sampans operate from various points along the length of promenade and there is no need to pre-book.
The sampan ride takes in the junks, sampans, trawlers and houseboats crammed together and passes under the Ap Lei Chau Bridge to the floating restaurants, luxury pleasure craft moored in Aberdeen Marina at Sham Wan and the shipyards lining both sides of the harbour. About 5000 people still live on boats in the harbour and washing lines, pot plants and fishing nets being repaired often adorn the decks. These days boats are equipped with the comforts of modern life such as satellite TV, washing machines and refrigerators.
Enjoy a Meal in Floating Restaurants:
Enjoying a meal in a floating restaurant would be a unique experience in Aberdeen. There are many floating restaurants in Aberdeen typhoon shelter. the largest floating restaurant would be the triple-deck Jumbo restaurant, elaborately decorated in the theme of a Chinese Imperial Palace with pagodas and gold dragons. It can accommodate over 2000 diners at one time, and rather dwarfs its smaller neighbor to which it is linked by walkways. The restaurants look out to the luxury yachts of the exclusive Aberdeen Marina Club to the front and the high-rise blocks of Ap Lei Chau to the rear. Jumbo Kingdom also has conference and banqueting facilities and a Cooking Academy. Diners can also enjoy a Typhoon Shelter seafood meal aboard a sampan, sample various kinds of tea in the Chinese Tea Garden or enjoy a glass of wine in the Pier Plaza.
Frequent free shuttle boats operate to the floating restaurants from both Aberdeen Promenade and Sham Wan Pier. Journey time is about ten minutes.
Aberdeen Park has beautiful environment. It is suitable for excursion outing. In the park offers a variety of recreational facilities suitable for different categories of people, including burn oven, places to play Tai Chi , children’s amusement facilities, fitness path, etc.
Tin Hau Temple:
Located inland at the junction of Aberdeen Main Road and Aberdeen Reservoir Road the Tin Hau Temple, built in 1851, is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea and protector of fisherfolk. Tin Hau was a 10th century girl who used her special powers to save her father from drowning and is worshipped by boat people. The temple which originally looked out to sea is one of many Tin Hau temples throughout Hong Kong.