Named for the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, George Hamilton-Gordon in 1845, Aberdeen is one of the favorite tourist attractions on the island of Hong Kong. It's part of the Southern District and comprises Aberdeen town with population about 60,000 people, Ap Lei Chau Island and Wong Chuk Hang.
Located on the south-west of the island, the area is famous for the floating village and many restaurants that thousands of tourists visit from all over the world. Historically, Aberdeen was used as a haunt of pirates and later has been transformed into a fishing village. But today it's a modern town with skyscrapers. Despite modernization, many of the residents of the area still live on their fishing boats in the harbor. In fact, Aberdeen is a rich contrast between the new and the old Hong Kong. On the one hand it's a modern town with skyscrapers, luxury yachts and bustling waterfront activity. On the other it keeps traditional fishing lifestyle in the floating village where thousands of people work and live on their small boats anchored in the harbor as they did in old times. If you have a bit of time to explore Hong Kong, then you can take a bus or taxi and visit this colorful place. Here you can see Aberdeen Harbour, the largest floating restaurant "Jumbo Floating Restaurant", floating village and take a sampan ride.
What to do and see in Aberdeen
One of the biggest attractions is the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant. It's a modern complex of dining, sightseeing and cultural attractions. The restaurant is permanently anchored in the harbor, is three stories high, and is decorated with traditional red and gold Chinese dragons and designs. Cantonese and the freshest seafood are served at the restaurant which has been featured in the James Bond movies. Dim sum is a favorite at this restaurant with locals and tourists, and shrimp in wonton wrappers is one of the recommended varieties. Chicken tikka is another of the special dishes. Visitors love the ambiance as much as the food at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, and enjoy the spectacular views of the harbor while dining and enjoying their favorite drink.
Another attraction that Aberdeen is famous for is Ocean Park, which is a famous theme park and oceanarium, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Ocean Park opened in 1977, and features facilities focusing on conservation, exhibits, and various rides. The park is divided into two main zones: the waterfront and the summit. Visitors can travel throughout the park by an outdoor escalator, cable car, and Ocean Express. Skyfair is a helium balloon that rises 100 meters into the sky, and offers spectacular views of Ocean Park. The Ocean Theater, the Mine Train, and the Abyss Turbo Drop, are attractions that everyone in the family will love.
Amazing Asian Animals is an exhibit at the Ocean Park that features rare and endangered animals indigenous to Asia. Red and giant pandas, Chinese alligators, and giant salamanders are among the animals at the exhibit. An amazing display of goldfish is at the Goldfish Treasures exhibit, and the Panda Village is the place to view small-clawed otters up close. After visiting the animals at the exhibit, visitors should stop at the Panda Kingdom Shop, which is a retail shop at the park featuring gifts and souvenirs that are panda-related. At the Panda Cafe, guests can relax and purchase refreshments while spending a day at the park. Read more
Most of people who planned a trip to Hong Kong heard about Aberdeen and its floating restaurants. But the trip on a sampan is perhaps the true highlight of the area. When you go to Aberdeen you can take a daytime tour on a sampan (a boat with tires on its sides) around Aberdeen, which costs HK$50-70 depending of haggle skills. This boat ride around Aberdeen Harbour gives an excellent chance to make a lot of photos of floating restaurants and floating village, and observe the lifestyle of the fishing community that is so different from yours. A ride lasts 25-30 minutes and worth the expenses. You can easily take a sampan from the Aberdeen Promenade. Simply walk along the promenade and you'll soon be invited to pay some money for a ~30 min trip.
Aberdeen Country Park
The Country Park has an area of 423 hectares and covers a large part of the southern highlands and valleys on Hong Kong Island. In this Park visitors will see a soothing woodland scenery with a series of wooded slopes and hill streams. Also, you can see the scenery of the southern part of Hong Kong Island, like Deep Water Bay, nearby bays and channels with sail boats. The Country Park has an extensive range of recreational facilities, such as nature trail, Tai Chi terrace, hiking trail, barbecue area an so on. As a result, it's a favorite among morning walkers and nearby residents, and a nice place for hikes and strolls.