Aberdeen | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


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Photo courtesy of Greg Fripp. Thanks to the reader who got in touch by email: "[This photo was] taken from the Aberdeen Praya Road with the floating restaurant in the background. I attach a similar photo for comparison."

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, January 1, 1950


The picture brings the memory of my seniors who worked on the Aberdeen shelter during 50s to 70s. The rear sampan with a person standing up and kept rowing seems to be a person loading with goods on his sampan and rowing around the harbour for selling goods. My mother sold fruit this way at that time, I remember her smiling face while counting rolls of 5 cents coins earned from the business every night.

While the sampans with covers on top crowding at the bottom of the photo were waiting for passengers on board. They sent fishermen or boat people to their boats mooring in the harbour. My uncle who was handicapped with his left leg earned his living with his sampan, he seldom left his sampan, which was his vehicle for travelling around.


DBOO's photostream has several colour photos of Aberdeen harbour taken in 1972, which might bring back some memories. Start here, then keep browsing to the right photo to follow his journey by boat through the harbour.

His trip starts just before dawn, with lots of the people photographed still in their pyjamas.  By the time he leaves the harbour to pass Wah Fu the sky is getting bright, and from there onwards the photos are clearer. He passes Waterfall Bay and its pillbox, then there are some great shots of how the Mount Davis shoreline looked when it was covered in squatter shacks.