FLASH­BACK

Hong Kong, 1961.

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS -

Aberdeen Har­bour, a sheltered chan­nel on the south­west coast of Hong Kong Is­land, was lit­tle more than an over­grown fishing vil­lage when this pho­to­graph was taken in the early 1960s. A nat­u­ral moor­ing point for Chi­nese fishing boats, the har­bor then was home to some 150,000 peo­ple of mostly Tanka and Hoklo de­scent—fam­i­lies who worked, lived, and slept on small flat-bot­tomed sam­pans or junks. The boat-build­ing docks that once lined the an­chor­age have since been re­placed by bristling res­i­den­tial tow­ers and fac­to­ries on both sides of the water (the is­land of Ap Lei Chau, which en­closes the har­bor on its sea­ward side, is con­sid­ered the sec­ond-most densely pop­u­lated is­land on the planet), and most of the sam­pans have been dis­placed by large fishing ves­sels and lux­ury yachts. Still, Aberdeen re­mains home to some 6,000 fish­er­folk, who sup­ple­ment their in­comes by fer­ry­ing tourists around the har­bor or to the jetty at Jumbo King­dom, the world’s largest float­ing res­tau­rant.

—David Tse

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