For visitors and locals alike, custom sailing junk charters can be organised to many parts of the southern islands and more distant New Territories, and booking via a large agency like Northrop and Johnson ensures high standards and seamless service.
Hong Kong has so much more to offer than busy shopping arcades and restaurants. From the surprising waters of the Eastern Approaches, lapping protected beaches backed by tropical parklands, to the small fishing villages of the outer islands, and not forgetting Hong Kong’s own miniature Riviera, Victoria Island’s exclusive South Side, there is plenty of scope for boating enthusiasts.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Hong Kong has developed its own vibrant cruising culture over the years. From super yachts moored in prestigious marinas to the fleets of leisure junks that sail out of the Sai Kung and Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters every weekend, cruising is part of the Hong Kong experience and lifestyle.
And what better way to explore these seemingly endless coastlines than on a fully functional and luxuriously appointed sailing junk? Lovingly restored by its private owners over the course of several years, this ex-fishing junk has been propelled to levels of sophistication previously unknown in the world of traditional sailing junks.
Wing Sing is the perfect synthesis: luxury yachting, in traditional Chinese style. The best time to sail Hong Kong waters is from September to December, when the water is warm, the skies are blue, mostly cloudless, and a pleasant north-easterly breeze brings much appreciated relief from the tropical heat, but March to May is good too. Only the colder mid-winter months and humid mid-summer require a little more dedication. A sample itinerary…
Day 1 | Exploring The Pristine Coastline Of The New Territories
Depart in the morning from Sai Kung pier, and head for the remotest beaches on the NE shores of the New Territories. From the islets off Kau Sai Chau to the white sands of Tai Long Wan, it is difficult to imagine you are only an hour’s sail away from one of the world’s busiest metropolises.
On the way back, enjoy the sunset views from Wing Sing’s quarterdeck with a bottle of chilled rosé, before alighting at the Noonday Gun, in Causeway Bay, ten minutes’ walk from a busy Hong Kong restaurant and night-life spot.
Day 2 | A Day In The Po Tois
Board in Aberdeen in the late morning, and head out for the Po Toi islands, where the Leung family upholds the fine cooking traditions of its original fishermen population, in one of the ex-colony’s most famous fish restaurants.
After an unforgettable meal, and a rest, scale the peaks of this magnificent, barren island, and enjoy the breath-taking views.
On the way back, anchor off Stanley for a refreshing swim and an aperitif, before returning to Aberdeen, where a table has already been booked for you in one of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant’s many private dining rooms.
Day 3 | A Night Around Victoria Island, In Great Gatsby Style
Boarding at the noon-day gun, in Causeway Bay, just before sunset, head for the epicenter of Victoria Harbour and enjoy the spectacular light show from Wing Sing’s quarterdeck, with a glass of champagne.
Then circle the island by the west and head for Deep Water Bay, on the South Side, where a candlelit Chinese dinner awaits, to musical accompaniment provided by a traditional Cantonese ensemble. After the last toast has been made, return to Aberdeen harbor, a 15 minute taxi ride from the CBD.
Hong Kong may not have the geographic spread for a week-long charter, but many of its more unique and unforgettable features are best discovered from the water, on day or night-time excursions. And what better way to taste the charms of this South China city than aboard a classic Chinese sailing junk.
Wing Sing is a 53’ sailing junk. She has sunbeds on the foredeck, a shaded mid-ships, high stern and vast aft deck providing abundant space for admiring the views, sunbathing, cocktails and enjoying a first-class meal.
She will accommodate up to 24 guests. The vessel also offers romantic overnight stays for four people. The professional English-speaking crew of three includes an outstanding French chef. Chinese, Thai and Indian menus are other options. Prices start at US$3,388 per charter.
For more information, email to [email protected].
Words by Anthony Rendall | Images courtesy of Wing Sing