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Aberdeen: Doorway to the Past

Hong Kong

On a quaint corner of Hong Kong Island, Aberdeen remains a doorway into the city’s past—down to its name. Originally called “Hong Kong” (香港, Cantonese for “Heung Gong”), Aberdeen’s rather large size led foreigners to mistake the name as referring to the entire island. By the time locals and foreigners had realised the misunderstanding, the name had stuck, leading to the whole of Hong Kong being named thus. To differentiate the two, Aberdeen is now known locally as “香港仔” which means “little Hong Kong.” Stories of old Hong Kong go beyond its name; the narrow streets of this neighborhood, modest fishing boats, and historic temples offer a peek into the candid side of everyday life. Walk through history not behind the glass of a museum, but one that still affects the comings and goings of its long-time residents to this day.

Updated a year ago

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Aberdeen Harbour

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Day in and day out, Aberdeen Harbour comes to life with tourist cruise ships, humble fishing boats, and glamorous private yachts gliding on its flat waters. Before its modernization, the harbour was home to old families who originated from Guangdong. Shielded by another island from strong currents, the advantageous location made it an important fishing harbour that would last centuries, making Aberdeen one of the oldest villages in Hong Kong. Wander about the Promenade and bask in the island’s waterfront, or hop on the sampan (junk boats) to get a breathtaking view of the Harbour, and a glimpse of how Hong Kong used to be.

Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

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Aberdeen Floating Village

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Little settlements bob up and down the waters of Aberdeen Harbour as the local boat residents go about their daily routine: fishing, salting, and selling. In time, the residents moved out of their boat settlements and went ashore to find more stable livelihoods, steadily diminishing their numbers. This way of living, one so reliant on the waters and so tethered to the city’s past, contrasts with the modern high-rises that frame the horizon.

Aberdeen Harbor, Hong Kong

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Tin Hau Temple


Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Founded and funded by Aberdeen’s fishermen, this place of worship is dedicated to Tin Hau (天后), a patron saint to seafarers. Numerous renovations have changed the temple over the years, leaving only a small fraction of the original structure. Though now juxtaposed by tall buildings around it, a step inside reveals the Empress of Heaven splendidly robed and seated upon her altar as it stood before.

182 Aberdeen Main Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong


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Hoi Wong Temple (Street Temple)

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Occupying only one square meter on Nam Ning Street sits a temple that has been a humble yet immovable presence on the island since time immemorial. Plants and offerings decorate the altar as devout locals take a moment from their busy day to pay their respects to Hoi Wong (海王), King of the Sea. Legend has it that when they attempted to relocate the temple, a restaurant across it caught fire immediately. The residents took this as a bad omen and attributed this incident to the angry water god; thus, sealing it in its place.

14 Nam Ning Street, Hong Kong

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Guardians of Aberdeen

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Amidst the temples of Aberdeen, a cluster of shrines stands resolute at the foot of Old Main Street. In the past, these guardians were the first to greet the people coming and going as they were situated in the only point of entry to the town. Outside, bright yellow Foo Dogs perched on red brick and green roof altars guard the human and otherworldly deities within.

Old Main Street, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

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Jumbo Kingdom


Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

A true Hong Kong icon, Jumbo Kingdom offers a hodgepodge of attractions on board— from seafood restaurants to cultural exhibits, and even a wine garden! Day or night, it lights up the sea in magnificent color, beckoning locals and tourists alike to experience what it has to offer. Made up of two restaurants: Jumbo and Tai Pak, this palatial vessel was the largest floating restaurant in the world until the Rustar Floating Restaurant in Dubai took the title in 2007. It has also been featured prominently in many local films like “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” (1955), “The World of Suzie Wong” (1960), “The Protector” (1985),” and “Contagion” (2011).


Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, Hong Kong


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Tat Kee

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

A humble neighborhood haunt known for their Char Siu, Tat Kee’s doors are open for regulars, locals, and tourists looking for a homegrown dining experience on the island.

97 Ap Lei Chau Main Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

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Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Before the sun even rises, the daily grind at the Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market is already well underway—crates brimming with the day’s catch, industrial water tanks bubbling with life, and an in-house restaurant bustling to dish out hard-earned spoils of the sea to patrons. This market makes up for a third of the fish catches in Hong Kong, playing a vital role in the lives of the city’s population. They used to only supply to Tai Pak and Jumbo Kingdom; but, since the market grew, they now account for a huge percentage of Hong Kong’s seafood trade.


102 Shek Pai Wan Road, Southern Hong Kong

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MUM Veggie + Coffee + Sweet

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Let the bright and rustic interiors put a smile on your face as you enter this charming vegetarian café in Aberdeen. They take pride in serving healthy and hearty dishes without compromising quality, leaving you with a happy and satisfied tummy on your visit! Aside from their flavorful lunch and Japanese-style meal sets, you can also try their Lemon Curd Tart and pair it with an Iced Latte. Thank us later!


G07, Ground Floor, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong

香港仔黃竹坑香葉道2 號 One Island South 地下G07

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Pomegranate Kitchen

Hong Kong, China, People's Republic • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Part-private kitchen, part-caterer, and part-cooking academy, Pomegranate Kitchen commits to recreating the magic of gathering loved ones around the table for good food and good conversation. With a spectrum of cuisines from all over the world on the menu, from Mediterranean to Asian, all you have to do is grab a plate and dig in!


4B, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

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