Aberdeen, Hong Kong
|Aberdeen, Hong Kong|
The view of Aberdeen Harbour from Ap Lei Chau Bridge
|Cantonese Jyutping||hoeng1 gong2 zai2|
|Literal meaning||Little Hong Kong|
Aberdeen i// is an area and town on the Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Southern District. This town is named Aberdeen in memory of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1852-1855) and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1841-1846). 'Aberdeen' can refer to the areas of Aberdeen (town), Wong Chuk Hang, Ap Lei Chau and Tin Wan, but it is more often used to refer to the town only. According to the Population Census conducted in 2011, the total population of Aberdeen area is approximately 80,000. (Population : 20033, Aberdeen town; 26260, Ap Lei Chau; 17426, Tin Wan; 16012, Wong Chuk Hang.)
Aberdeen Harbour is the harbour between Aberdeen (town) and Ap Lei Chau, and is one of the nine harbours in Hong Kong. It is well known for its view and is a popular tourist spot. During fishing moratorium and the typhoon weather, it is also the parking spot for fishing vessels owned by local fishermen.
Aberdeen Centre is a well-known private housing estate located in Aberdeen town, owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited company. The twenty buildings (blocks), providing 2,788 private apartments, have been the accommodations where mainly Hong Kong middle-class families lived in for more than thirty years.
Aberdeen is famous to not only tourists but also Hong Kong locals for its floating village and floating seafood restaurants located in the Aberdeen Harbour. The Tanka people, who used to live on boats in the Aberdeen Harbour are generally associated with the fishing industry, and there are still several dozens of them living on boats in the harbour.
Etymology and History
Starting during the Ming Dynasty, "Hong Kong" became the original name for the presently-named Aberdeen village. In the early 19th century, foreigners who landed near Aberdeen Village mistook the name of the village "Hong Kong" for the whole island. When the foreigners eventually realized their mistake, the name "Hong Kong" was already commonly used to refer to the entire island.
In Cantonese, Aberdeen is known indigenously as Hong Kong Tsai (香港仔), which means Hong Kong Minor, Son of Hong Kong or Little Hong Kong. It is believed that Aberdeen is where the name of Hong Kong (more accurate transcription, Heung Kong) originates. Heung Kong Tsuen (香港村, Hong Kong village) on Ap Lei Chau was mentioned in Ming maps. Another walled-village Heung Kong Wai in Wong Chuk Hang was also founded during Qianlong era of the Qing Dynasty. Hong Kong means 'fragrant harbour' and it was Aberdeen where incense trees (aquilaria sinensis) from the New Territories used to be transferred for export to other cities in China. One alternative Chinese name was 'Shek Pai Wan' (石排灣).
In the Second World War, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941-1945), the Chinese name of Aberdeen, 'Hong Kong Tsai' was transformed into Japanese, 'Yuan Hong Kong' (元香港), meaning 'The Origin of Hong Kong'.
In 2001, Aberdeen Harbour is the first area of the Xbox video game Shenmue II. The "Aberdeen" depictured in this game differs radically in appearance from its real-life counterpart, however, being dominated architecturally by low-rise freight storage facilities and colonial-looking neo-historical architecture; this fictional version also faces an urban landscape slightly reminiscent of Hong Kong Island's north shore, an impossible arrangement due to Aberdeen's being situated south of this area, behind a mountain range.
In 1973, the Hollywood martial arts film, Enter the Dragon, starring Bruce Lee used Aberdeen Harbour as a filming location for the scenes where the principal characters assemble on Han's junk for the sea journey to his island.
In 1991, the American action film, Double Impact, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme escaping from their enemies on the fishing vessels in the Aberdeen Harbour, in which Jean-Claude Van Damme later swims in the Aberdeen Harbour to another fishing vessel and ultimately escapes.
In 1996, the Hong Kong comedy movie, God of Cookery, starring Steven Chow as the "Former God of Cookery" competing with Vincent Kok as the "New God of Cookery" on the Tai Pak floating restaurant, located in the Aberdeen Harbour.
In 2003, the Hollywood movie, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie (Lara) in the Aberdeen Harbour on a floating houseboat using the Chinese family's satellite to communicate.
In 2010, the American reality television show The Amazing Race (Season 17) (Leg 10) featured the Aberdeen Harbour as the last mission of Hong Kong (Leg 10), where competitors search for the right boat in the dark with a torch. Competitors ultimately check in to the Pit Stop, which is the Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant, also located in the Aberdeen Harbour.
In 2011, the Australian reality television show The Amazing Race Australia (Season 1) (Leg 3) featured the Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant as one of the additional tasks' venue, where competitors need to search for the hidden message inside the fortune cookies.
In the 2012 PC video game Sleeping Dogs, Aberdeen is featured as one of the districts of Hong Kong that can be explored.
Aberdeen is occasionally appeared in TVB's (a local television station) Food and Travel programs such as Master So Food and Neighborhood Gourmet 2 as Aberdeen is well-known of its food culture throughout Hong Kong.
Aberdeen Jumbo Floating Restaurant is a popular tourist spot. Looking like a floating palace of imperial China, it has attracted over 30 million visitors since opening in 1976.
The family-run Shan Loon Tse Kee Fish Balls Restaurant (山窿謝記) has been dishing out the Chiu Chow-style fish ball with soup noodles for 65 years, closed down on 31 March 2012, due to rising fish prices and staffing problems. The Tse Kee Restaurant served famous guests such as Christopher Patten, former Governor of Hong Kong (1992-1997); Donald Tsang, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong (Head of the Government) (2005-2012); Henry Tang, former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong (2007-2011); Tony Leung, a famous actor; Chua Lam, a well-known food critic; and Eason Chan, a celebrated singer. It was also Tse Kee Restaurant that made 'Aberdeen Fish Balls Noodles Culture' (香港仔魚蛋粉) well-known.
Six Jau Laus (Cantonese Restaurants ; 酒樓) such as The Tao Heung and The Foo Lum are located in the neighborhood of Aberdeen. A traditional Cantonese restaurant called Chau Kee (周記) is located at the Aberdeen Main Road. The famous noodles restaurants group, Nam Kee (南記), started in Aberdeen in the early 1980s, promoting the 'Aberdeen Fish Balls Noodles Culture' (香港仔魚蛋粉). The Nam Kee has two restaurants in Aberdeen, along with thirteen others in Hong Kong. There are several other Chinese noodles restaurants located in Aberdeen Centre as well.
Fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC, Yoshinoya, Fairwood, Café de Coral and Maxim are located in Aberdeen Centre, as well as Cha Chaan Teng (Fast food restaurants in Hong Kong style) such as Tai Hing Restaurant (太興) and Tsui Wah Restaurant.
Japanese restaurants such as Genki and Watei (和亭); Thai One, a Thai restaurant; and Viet's Choice (越棧), a Vietnamese restaurant, are also located in Aberdeen Centre. The Pacific Bar is located in Aberdeen Centre as well, serving mainly foreigners living in 'Aberdeen Centre', the private housing estate.
Festivals and Events
During the Duanwu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, the Aberdeen Harbour becomes the venue of the Dragon Boats race in the Southern District. District authorities also hold same races on Duanwu Festival Day in harbours or rivers of their districts. Although the Aberdeen Harbour's race is not as famous as the Shing Mun River's race, it still attracts many tourists and locals every year. The race in the Aberdeen Harbour is estimated as the second famous dragon boats race in Hong Kong.
The Southern District Tourism and Culture Festival held by the Southern District Council, organizes long-run races in the Aberdeen Promenade, tours in Aberdeen town and Mid-Autumn Fire Dragon Festival in Aberdeen area every year.
The Aberdeen Square located in Aberdeen Centre is the usual events venue of many local organisations, where the organisations hold fairs, promotion events and donation events. This square is sometimes used by the Southern District Council to hold fairs in the afternoon and night concerts in the evening during festivals such as The Chinese New Year and Christmas.
The Aberdeen Promenade located right next to the Aberdeen Harbour on the Aberdeen town side, as well as the Ap Lei Chau Bridge are famous places for tourists to take photographs of the Aberdeen Harbour. The two areas attract many tourists. To arrive at the Aberdeen Harbour, see 'Transport' on this page.
The route of the Big Bus Tours Hong Kong includes the Aberdeen Praya Road, where tourists can take photographs of the Aberdeen Harbour on open-top buses.
Sampans (junks) can be hired by tourists for a tour in the Aberdeen Harbour.
Aberdeen also attracts a lot of tourists as it is in the vicinity of the Ocean Park, also located in the Southern District, near the Aberdeen Sports Ground, which is the other famous theme park apart from Disneyland Hong Kong.
Festival events usually attract locals and tourists such as the Dragon Boat Festival, in which Aberdeen Harbour is featured as a dragon boats race venue. To read more about festivals in Aberdeen, please see 'Festival and Events' on this page.
Authorities and Buildings
The Grantham Hospital, located in 125 Wong Chuk Hang Road, has been serving citizens in the Southern District for more than half a century along with the Queen Mary Hospital (also located near Aberdeen), the Grantham Hospital specializes in comprehensive medical treatment for adult heart and lung diseases, as well as acute geriatrics and palliative medicine services.
The Aberdeen Kai-Fong Association (AKA; 香港仔街坊福利會), literally means 'Aberdeen Neighbors Association', located in 180B Aberdeen Main Road, provides mainly out-reaching services and elderly services throughout the Southern District. It provides teenager services through the Harmony Life Enrichment Centre; It also aims at bridging the divide between teenagers and elderly in the district through the Linkages Centre, located in Carpark Block, Shek Pai Wan Estate, Aberdeen. 
The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals organisation has a total of four social enterprises in Aberdeen, one of them is COOKEASY, which is a project in collaboration with the Towngas company, creating job opportunities for the disables and promoting healthy diet culture. 
Aberdeen is one of the nineteen constituencies of the Southern District Council. Each constituency has one elected council member in the Southern District Council. The current member who represents the area of Aberdeen is Vincent, Wong Ling-Sun.
Aberdeen Sports Ground is a major sports and events venue in Southern District. It is usually an annual School Sports Day venue of many local primary and secondary schools in the Southern District. It is also the usual venue of the 30-Hour Famine held by World Vision Hong Kong. The Aberdeen Sports Ground is the home ground of the district's football team, Southern District RSA.
Aberdeen Sports Centre is located on the 5/F and 6/F of the Aberdeen Municipal Services Building, No.203 Aberdeen Main Road. The Aberdeen Sports Centre includes a multi-purpose arena, which can be converted into one basketball court or one volleyball court or four badminton courts. A squash court, which can be converted into a table tennis room or a multi-purpose activity room. A table-tennis room. A fitness room. An activity room. two dance rooms. A children's play room. A first-aid room. 
Aberdeen Tennis and Squash Centre is located at No.1 Aberdeen Praya Road, next to the Ocean Court Building. The Aberdeen Tennis and Squash Centre includes 8 tennis courts and six squash courts, which can be converted into table tennis rooms or multi-purpose activity rooms. Two American pool rooms. A fitness room. A fee-paying car park. A first-aid room.
Unlike private clubs, the facilities in Aberdeen Sports Centre as well as Aberdeen Tennis and Squash Centre can be reserved by Hong Kong Identity Cards holders, locals or foreigners. The price is usually below $100(HKD).
The Aberdeen Sports Ground is open to public while the Southern District RSA football team is not undergoing training, free-of-charge.
The Aberdeen Country Park (香港仔郊野公園), commonly recognized as the 'Aberdeen Reservoir Park' (香港仔水塘公園) by locals, is surrounded by the Aberdeen Reservoirs (upper reservoir and lower reservoir). It is a popular spot for local citizens to have barbecue meals as well as a usual spot for local social organisations and churches to hold group activities. It is also the usual venue of the annual Fall Picnic Day held by primary and secondary schools in the neighborhood.
The Aberdeen Promenade (on the Aberdeen side) and the Ap Lei Chau Wind Tower Park (on the Ap Lei Chau side), located at both sides of the Aberdeen Harbour, are popular spots where local citizens jog and exercise. It is estimated that the two spots are more frequently used between the time period of 7pm to 11pm, as citizens exercise after work.
The Aberdeen Marina Club, located in Wong Chuk Hang (an area inside Aberdeen), provides ice hockey, ice skating, yoga, Tai Chi, swimming, Judo and other experience for members.
Canadian International School of Hong Kong, Singapore International School and Victoria Shanghai Academy are all located on Nam Long Shan. Both Canadian International School and Victoria Shanghai Academy are International Baccalaureate World Schools, and run all three educational programs of the IB. The International Montessori School is located on Ap Lei Chau near Aberdeen. South Island School is located nearby on Hong Kong Island. Local Chinese high schools in Aberdeen district include Pui Tak Canossian College, St Peter's Secondary School in Aberdeen Centre, Aberdeen Technical School in Wong Chuk Hang and Aberdeen Baptist Lui Ming Choi College in Ap Lei Chau.
To arrive at the Aberdeen as well as the Aberdeen Harbour, take buses such as 37B, 37X, 38, 40P, 41A, 42, 42C, 48, 70, 71, 71P, 72, 73, 73P, 76, 77, 78, 91, 91A, 93, 93A, 93C, 94, 94A, 94X, 95, 95C, 98, 107, 107P, 170, 973, 973P, A10, N72 or N170, and alight at the bus stop, 'Aberdeen Promenade, Aberdeen Praya Road'. This bus stop is located exactly beside the Aberdeen Harbour.
Aberdeen is served by Pok Fu Lam Road, Aberdeen Tunnel and Nam Fung Road through Wong Chuk Hang. Nam Fung Road connects Deep Water Bay Road, which also connects Wong Nai Chung Gap Road to Happy Valley. A bridge links Aberdeen with Ap Lei Chau over Aberdeen Harbour.
Transport to and from the boats in the harbour is usually provided by sampans. These can also be hired to Lamma Island.
- List of harbours in Hong Kong
- List of buildings, sites and areas in Hong Kong
- Aberdeen, Scotland, which the harbor is named after.
- Central Ordnance Munitions Depot
- A short guide to Aberdeen. from sign at Aberdeen Floating Village, Published by: Southern District Council, Hong Kong. Date visited: 12 October 2009.
- Hong Kong Illustrations of China and Its People, John Thomson 1837–1921, (London,1873–1874)
- Man, Joyce "Aberdeen's best fish ball shop to close" CNN Go. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-04
- (2005). Eywitness Travel Guides: China, London:Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 1-4053-0876-1.
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