Fishing village retains charm

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 May, 2010, 12:00am

Aberdeen waterfront

Aberdeen was once famous for fishing and, despite failing fortunes, a stroll along the waterfront still shows a plethora of fishing boats in the harbour. From Aberdeen you can take ferries to Pak Kok and Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island, or Po Toi, close to Stanley, for hiking or a leisurely lunch at one of the areas many restaurants. Sampan taxis also depart from here to a variety of short stops in the area, such as the Aberdeen Marina Club from where it is a short walk to Pao Yue Kong swimming pool.

Take a dip

Pao Yue Kong swimming pool is one of the best in Hong Kong. It has a main pool, a secondary pool, teaching pools and a diving pool. Two excellent fun pools have slides for children, water sprays and sit-on dolphin rides. At HK$19 per adult, HK$9 for children under 14 and free admission for toddlers below three, this is a bargain family day out.

2 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen, 2553 3617

Aberdeen playroom

The children's playrooms that are located across Hong Kong and are operated by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department are a boon to parents. Free of charge, they offer a safe, padded play area for children aged four to nine years old and are often surprisingly under used. They're perfect for rainy days, and those when the heat, humidity or pollution make outdoor play a poor choice. Children under the age of four must be accompanied by parents or guardians. Aberdeen Sports Centre, 5/F Aberdeen Municipal Services Building, 203 Aberdeen Main Road, Aberdeen, 2555 8909. Open 9am-1pm and 2pm-8pm, except on maintenance days.

El Greco

There are a host of reasonably priced dim sum and Chinese restaurants in Aberdeen town centre, but Ap Lei Chau is home to a surprising find. Greek restaurant El Greco has indoor and outdoor dining and a range of traditional dining options including mezze platters, mousaka and spanakopita. A three-course set dinner can be had for HK$280. It's is a minute's walk from Aberdeen Harbour, from where you can take a two-minute sampan ride to Aberdeen town centre. G/F, 5 Wai Fung Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2328 2138. Open noon-3pm and 6pm-11pm, Tuesday to Friday. Noon-11pm, Saturday and Sunday.

Top Deck

The Top Deck restaurant is a favourite for those looking to escape the rat race. Spacious, airy and with views of the million-dollar yachts in Aberdeen Harbour, it has a 9,000 sqft outdoor dining area, and indoor seating in an old-style restaurant with wood panelling and stained glass windows. Top Deck is open for dinner during the week, but the real draw is the weekend buffets that come with unlimited bubbles for the grown ups and soft drinks the children. With a small playroom, children can play happily inside or out on the spacious deck. A free boat carries diners to and from the restaurant departing from two stations at the Aberdeen ferry pier and close to the Aberdeen Marina Club.

Top Floor, Jumbo Kingdom, Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, 2552 3331. Open 6pm-11.30pm Tuesday to Thursday, and 6pm-2.30am on Friday, 11.30am-2.30am Saturday, and 11.30am-11.30pm Sundays and public holidays.

Jumbo Floating restaurant

Opened in 1976, the Jumbo is one of Hong Kong's most iconic restaurants. Set in Aberdeen Harbour, it is colourfully carved with red and gold dragons, and has famously hosted Britain's Queen Elizabeth and actress Gong Li.

The restaurant specialises in Cantonese food, seafood and dim sum. The same free boat that serves Top Deck also ferries diners to the Jumbo.

Jumbo Kingdom, Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, 2553 9111. Open 11am-11.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and 7am-11.30pm on Sundays and public holidays.