Sampans off the Point | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Sampans off the Point

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Sampans off the Point

These sampans are likely to have been fishing for sea urchins, many of which lurked on the rocks all the way along to the lighthouse.

I have a feeling that the cargo liner might have been the Chusan, which was a regular caller into Hong Kong.  No, It is definitely not the Chusan.  Any suggestions? (Andrew S)

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, January 1, 1959


It took a bit of detective work but, at the risk of being wrong, I am almost certain that this elegant white cargo/passenger liner is the S.S. Cambodge. It was one of three almost identical sister ships built in the early 1950's for the French based shipping company Messageries Maritimes. The three ships were the S.S. Viet-Nam (1952), the S.S. Cambodge (1953) and the S.S. Laos (1954)  All three ships sailed from Marseille (France) on the Indo-China and Far East service, calling in at Hong Kong. They were approx 13,500 GRT and 550 feet in length. I read that this service ended in 1967 partly due to the blocking of the Suez Canal, which thus entailed a longer journey via South Africa.

Thank you Andrew for all the wonderful images you have shown us, and of course David Bellis for this magnificent web site which has enabled its many contributors to bring history alive.


Thank you for the probable identification, Adrian.  There was a real elegance about some of those cargo liners and, before the days of the container terminal, the harbour was always a fascinating place to see so many of them, mainly the pure cargo vessels, loading and offloading with all the junks and lighters tied alongside. It was a very busy place!

Glad to hear that you enjoy my photographs and others from the 367 Association archive.  David does a great job for us all, catering for so many varied interests yet managing to keep,everything on a very even keel - to continue the maritime link.

Best wishes, Andrew