Hong Kong junk boat ride is like walking in the memory lane of the Hong Kong history. But at the same time, you can enjoy the beautiful and modern Hong Kong skyline.
The junk boat is also the logo of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. In the past, when Hong Kong was still a fishing port, there were many of them in the harbour. Well, not any more.
Perry and I always wanted to get on this tour since we met each other. But it was always difficult to reserve a seat.
We finally had our chance in Oct 2012. What many Hong Kong people don't know about this Hong Kong junk boat ride is only for tourists.
In other words, if you present your Hong Kong identity card (a.k.a. HKID), you can't get on this boat.
To sign up for this tour, you MUST do it in person by showing up in one of the Hong Kong Tourism Board visitor centers.
Before issuing the ticket, they will ask for your ID, such as passport.
As of Oct 2012, the ticket price is HKD100/person. Same price for kids. When the transaction was completed, the representative showed me the pictures of how the boat looks like so that I know which one I should get on. Although the pictures were a bit blurry, I thought that I should be fine to recognize the right one.
You have the option to get on the boat in Pier 9 in Central which is next to the Hong Kong Star Ferry Central Pier or pier in front of Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The pier is literally next to Star Ferry Tsim Sha Tsui Pier.
Central Pier 9
Wherever you pick to get on the boat, you will get off over the other side of the harbour. For instance, we got on the Hong Kong junk boat in Central. Then, we got off in Tsim Sha Tsui.
In my opinion, the best strategy is to plan on doing something over the area where you are going to get off. This will save you a lot of traveling time.
Check out our Hong Kong map page to see what are nearby after your boat tour.
The schedule is available on the brochure or by calling the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
There is another company providing the Hong Kong junk boat ride. They are not affiliates of the Tourism Board. When we first decided to sign up the ride, I thought that if I stick with the Tourism Board, it might be more authentic. (Will tell you more about the details of the junk boat through another company later.)
The day we had our Hong Kong junk boat ride was nice and cool, except some smog (the mixture of fog and smoke) which is very common for Hong Kong weather.
We were going to get on the boat in Central. We arrived at the pier 30 minutes early. The junk boat used by the Tourism Board is called Duk Ling. There were many people waiting for their boats to pick them up when we got to the pier. Looking around, we didn't see any sign of where exactly we should board. The pier is not very large. But it is big enough for many smaller boats to dock.
You can also take this "cruise" to see the Hong Kong Skyline through a different company instead of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Its capacity is over 200 people versus 30 people in a junk boat.
The buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon Public Pier
Well, remembering that representative showing me how the boat would look like before handing me the tickets? I thought it would be unique enough for me to figure it out.
Huh, guess what? There were many of them looked similar to the junk boat without the raft. We started to get panic...
About 10 minutes before our boarding time, we saw a junk boat heading our way from the Tsim Sha Tsui direction. We were hoping that this would be the one.
By the time it docked, the raft was folded up. A tourist came to us asking about where he should get on the Hong Kong junk boat. We then realized that we were not the only one having the same problem. We finally got on the boat exactly the time we have been scheduled.
Waiting for boarding. This picture also gives you some ideas how the boat looks like when the rafts are folded up
It was a very nice day. Together with 3 of us and the tourist we just met at the pier, there were only 4 people in the boat. I guessed it was still too early. You could walk up and down, back and forth in the boat to take the pictures during the tour.
As soon as the boat left the pier, it headed to the east, passing Wanchai, Causeway Bay, North Point and Sau Kei Wan in the Hong Kong Island. We saw the building of View 62 where we had high tea (coming soon - Hong Kong High Tea food page). We saw the City Garden Hotel where we stayed. At the same time, you can see the eastern Kowloon area where the old airport (coming soon - link to HK Old Airport page) used to be.
Skyline of Central, Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)in Wanchai where the Handover was taken in 1997.
On the right hand side, it is the Hong Kong Island. On the left, it is Kowloon Peninsula. This is the stadium in East Kowloon.
At that moment, I realized that if I were the tourist, I would be wondering about what are the names of those buildings we passed by. How significant they are to the Hong Kong society. I lived and was raised here that allowed me to know everything in and out. Perry came to Hong Kong several times hanging out with me knowing as much as I do. But for a tourist, without any tour guide in the boat, it is purely just appreciating the Hong Kong skyline.
What amazed me was that there were still a lot of fishermen catching fish in the middle of the Hong Kong Victoria Harbour.
Many of them only used a tiny boat which was big enough for only a person, a fishing net and some other simple tools. In the contrast, there were several cruises anchored in the middle of the harbour. What a picture...
Looking at it, it did remind me of the ancestors of these fishermen used their bare hands to make the history of Hong Kong and brought us to the prosperity of nowadays.
I LOVE this picture. See the fisherman at the bottom left corner of the picture...Behind him, it is the humongous cruise liner. What a picture, huh?
Since there were only 4 of us in the Hong Kong junk boat, my little family sat on the upper deck, next to the captain's cock pit. We couldn't move too much in order to prevent our little one to fall into the water.
We sat right here throughout the trip in the Hong Kong junk boat
Thanks to the tourist, Martin, we met during this trip. He took this picture for us. We were next to the captain cock pit.
Men...it was so different from sitting in the Hong Kong Star Ferry to appreciate the Hong Kong skyline (coming soon - link to Hong Kong Skyline page) provided that the weather is nice and not too many people in the boat. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity. It definitely worths every penny to take this ride.
When it got close to the Hong Kong old airport, it turned around and the boat headed towards the direction of Tsim Sha Tsui. The route would lean closer to the Kowloon Peninsula where you could see the other side of the island better.
The Hong Kong Old Airport is under re-construction to become two cruise terminals
The whole trip lasted for an hour. When we got off the boat, we realized that there were more people coming on board for the next tour.
Some of them might not have the luck like us to sit on the upper deck to appreciate the skyline because of the size of the crowd.
We were about to get off the boat
Thanks to Mother Nature to give us such a wonderful weather that day. Can you imagine how the trip would be like when it comes to night time to appreciate the Symphony of Lights (coming soon - link to Hong Kong Skyline page), Christmas or Chinese New Year? I bet it would be E.X.T.R.A.O.R.D.I.N.A.R.Y.
For more pictures of the Hong Kong junk boat ride, check out our Facebook page.
Differences between the Hong Kong junk boat tour through the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the other company
As I promised, I will tell you more about the details. Hope this will give you more information for you to decide which tour you should take:
Price: Aqualuna is another company providing Hong Kong junk boat tour. The price is almost double compared to what the Hong Kong Tourism Board offers. As of October 2012, Auqaluna charges HKD$190-$240 per adult and HKD150-190 per child (4-11 years old)
Schedule: The other company serves daily and evening hours. In some ways, you can appreciate the Hong Kong skyline better. In my opinion, to take a junk boat ride to see the Symphony of the Lights may not be a good idea.
Tour duration: The tourism board's tour is an hour. Aqualuna is 45 minutes
Seating: Duk Ling, the tourism board's junk boat, has the traditional seating which are not very comfortable to most people. Whereas, Aqualuna has the comfy and cozy "Chinese" style lounge beds. It is really authenticity versus comfort. As long as you enjoy the ride, that is really matter.
Direction to Pier 9 in Central: MTR
Hong Kong Station Exit A2, walking along the covered walkway in Man
Yiu Street towards the harbour front for 10 minutes. The pier is to the
right of the Star Ferry piers.
Hours: 2pm and 4pm (Thursdays); 10am and noon (Saturdays)
MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit J, walking towards the habour
front. The pier is to the left of the Star Ferry Piers or in front of
the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. If you see the Clock Tower, you are just a few yards away.
Hours: 3pm and 5pm (Thursdays); 11am and 1pm (Saturdays)
Fee: HKD100/person; same price for children
If you like our site or this page, please click the "Like" button
on the right column to share it with your friends!