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Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau

About Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter

Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter has a superb natural setting. Shielded by peaks on the northeast side, it is protected from the northeasterly winter monsoon. In the southwest Ap Lei Chau provides wards off the ocean swells from South China Sea. The typhoon shelter is a big advantage that made Aberdeen the largest fishing anchorage in Hong Kong.

In 1276, migrants fled to Hong Kong with Song Emperor Ruizong after the Southern Song dynasty was conquered by the invading Mongolians. These early settlers were the ancestors of the first fishermen in Hong Kong. At the end of WWII, more people fled to Hong Kong when civil war broke out on the Mainland. Many of them set up homes in Aberdeen and sought their livelihood from the sea.

While fishing equipment has improved significantly nowadays, and the menacing pirates have long vanished from the local waters, catches have gone down 20% to 30% due to marine water pollution.

Today, only 1500 fishing boats operate in Aberdeen. New and abundant opportunities on land led to decline of the industry. After Wong Chuk Hang developed into a factory area, many fishermen quit their traditional livelihood to seek more comfortable and stable work. The life of a fisherman is tough. Put off by the hardship, the younger generations are unwilling to join the industry. There is now a great shortage of new blood and most workers are hired hands from the mainland. Local fishermen lament that Aberdeen's fishing boats will get fewer and fewer in the coming decades.

Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter is now more a place for sightseeing cruises and tourist experience. On public holidays, you can always see sampans ferrying back and forth busily to take tourists for a close view of the fishing community. Jumbo Kingdom is one of the many hot spots that draw local and overseas visitors. The first ceremonial boat opened its doors to customers in the typhoon shelter back in 1920. Originally a US landing craft, it was refitted throughout as a restaurant. In the early years the floating restaurant served mainly fishing families of the typhoon shelter. It was a popular venue for weddings which were joyous events that often went on for three days to show hospitality to relatives and friends. Now Jumbo Kingdom is a well developed restaurant that serves quality seafood. Customers can also take classes onboard to learn cooking skills of head chefs. Traditional Cantonese dim-sums and tea are also available.
Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter Sampan Ride
After seeing the sights of Aberdeen, visitors can enjoy a transport mode unique to Aberdeen. At the typhoon shelter pier, you can board a sampan and sail across this small stretch of water for a close-up experience of the fishing way of life.

Aberdeen ferry pier also provides ferry service to Lamma Island.
Old Aberdeen Police Station (Warehouse Youth Centre)

Address: 116 Aberdeen Main Road
Old Aberdeen Police Station sits at the top of a slope. Set in a sylvan plot encircled by banyan trees, this serene place is a far cry from the noise and hubbub of urban Aberdeen. This two-storey red brick building was built in 1891 as a police station with a report room, offices and police quarters. After renovation in 1995, it became a youth centre and the original rooms were converted into activity rooms. The centre presents performances by music and drama groups regularly. The long corridor on the second floor gives broad vistas of Ap Lei Chau and Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter. If you want to discover the quiet side of Aberdeen, don't miss the Warehouse.
Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple

Address: 182 Aberdeen Main Road
Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple dates back to the Xianfeng reign of the Qing dynasty (1851). The 306 sq ft main hall enshrines Tin Hau, a goddess of the sea well respected by fishing community. In the two side halls there are shrines of two gods - Keen Eye and Super Ear. Other deities like Tam Kung, Kwun Yum and Wong Tai Sin are also worshipped here.

Aberdeen Tin Hau Temple is a rather unique temple of the sea goddess on Hong Kong Island. It houses many relics from the Qing dynasty, including a bronze bell cast in the 4th year of the Yongzheng reign which was netted up by a fisherman at sea. The centre ridge in the main hall is decorated with a pottery sculpture scene of traditional Chinese opera Mu Guiying Takes Command, while the interior murals reflect influence of western painting.
Ap Lei Chau Hung Shing Temple

Address: Hung Shing Street, Ap Lei Chau
The Ap Lei Chau Hung Shing Temple was completed in the 38th year of the Qianlong reign. A group of gill-netter fishermen from Chen Chuan in Shunde were operating in Hong Kong waters. To show their gratitude to the deity Hung Shing for His protection and blessings, they built this place of worship.

Visitors to Hung Shing Temple are invariably attracted by a tall pole in front of the building that rises two stories high. It is there for fung shui, the traditional Chinese philosophy of geomancy. A few decades ago, the temple overlooked the hillside cemetery and police station across the water in Aberdeen. It was inauspicious in fung shui terms and thus a tall pole with dragon motif was erected to counter the evil energy. It is a gesture of safety for people on the island.

There are celebrations for the birthday of Hung Shing at the temple on the 2nd lunar month every year. During this festival known as Hung Shing Fair, the otherwise quiet and solemn temple is crowded with pilgrims on this day. Thanksgiving Chinese opera performances are also staged for several days. This bustling fair is not to be missed.