My past five/six visits to Hong Kong have always been confined to Kowloon, Hong Kong island, and the usual tourist hotspots. Had my friend Bernice not invited me to join a junk party organized by her HK friends, I never would’ve figured Hong Kong to be an archipelago.
Apparently there are 260 islands that comprise Hong Kong’s entirety, and a lot of them are a 20- to 30-minute boat ride away from Sai Kung pier, which is less than an hour’s drive from Central.
When B told me about the junk trip, I had no idea what a “junk” even was. A quick Google search revealed that traditionally, junk boats refer to Chinese wooden sailboats that date back to the Han Dynasty, but these days, it’s a catch-all phrase that pretty much means any Hong Kong boat charter. I know this because our boat, a loudly-colored purple yacht with a diving board and an inflatable water slide, was definitely centuries away from “traditional”.
As far as junk trips go, my maiden voyage was a very adventurous one as we had chosen to take it when the weather was in such a nasty mood. Bitchy as the weather was—sent patches of thunderstorms our way and rain that came down in bullets—it didn’t really keep us from having a pretty grand time. Water slide, banana boat, half-hearted attempts at wake-boarding (I really need to conquer this!!!), and throwing caution (and myself) to the wind by jumping from the diving board jutting out of the top deck—it was the anatomy of an extraordinary weekend.
My favorite moment came after the first dive when a bunch of us converged on a big floaty, the day’s third thunderstorm fast approaching, and I listened in on new friends talking about what they love about living in Hong Kong. In that moment, found myself feeling really, really tempted to join the bandwagon. Still tempted.
I think this was my favorite Hong Kong trip so far. <3