A crossing of Victoria Harbour on a Star Ferry has been named by the National Geographic magazine as “one of the fifty places of a lifetime” to visit, as well as being rated first in the “Top 10 Most Exciting Ferry Rides”, polled by the Society of American Travel Writers. Certainly the view of the famous Harbour and Hong Kong skyline is breathtaking and, curiously familiar to us all, due to the number of times we see it on TV!
The Star Ferry’s principal routes carry passengers across Victoria Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It was founded in 1888 as the Kowloon Ferry Company, adopting its present name in 1898.
The fleet of twelve ferries operates four routes across the harbour, carrying over 70,000 passengers a day, or 26 million a year. Even though there are now other ways to cross the harbour, the Star Ferry continues to provide an efficient, popular and inexpensive mode of crossing the harbour. The company’s main route runs between Central Pier on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (where we jumped aboard), which is what most people mean by “the Star Ferry” in common parlance.
Another renouned tourist attraction is the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Harbour, in operation for more than 30 years and claiming to be the largest floating restaurant in the world. Although Hong Kong certainly has more authentic and more affordable restaurants, if you’ve always wanted to eat in a floating restaurant, just take the bus to Aberdeen and then board one of the Jumbo Kingdom’s own free shuttle boats, with departures every few minutes from the waterfront on Aberdeen Promenade.
Although the exterior of the restaurant is as ornate and, perhaps to some eyes, as gaudy as you could hope for, the interior has undergone a complete overhaul since our last visit (about 13 years ago), ridding it of it’s opulent golds and reds and transforming it into a much more contemporary venue. Anyway, the food was as good as we remembered….though a meal here can only be described as a “dining experience”!
As you can see from the photos, the weather is a bit grey, but hasn’t rained…and it’s lovely and warm. No jackets required!