I’ve blogged before about differences between 1960s and 1990s Hong Kong locales, and am always amazed by new discoveries.
A couple weeks ago I posted this serene photo of the Tai Pak floating restaurant on Gwulo.com to include in their old Hong Kong photo collection.
And because I’m in the know, I labeled it “Tai Pak floating restaurant, Aberdeen, 1962”, and hit send.
The following day, the folks on Gwulo (who are really in the know) corrected my error.
This restaurant wasn’t located in Aberdeen along with the famous Jumbo. Instead, it used to harbor out near Castle Peak Road in the remote New Territories.
I was stunned.
My mom told me she ate at a floating restaurant in Aberdeen back in 1962 and was sure it was the Tai Pak. So when I found this slide in a box she’d lent me, it all but confirmed her recollection.
Aberdeen does have a Tai Pak, but now when I look closely at photos of the Aberdeen floatie, English letters stand proudly on top of the restaurant. But the restaurant in this photo has Chinese characters up top.
When I lived in Hong Kong, few foreigners traveled along Castle Peak Road in Tuen Mun. I may have driven there with a local friend once, but can’t remember anything other than high rise public housing estates.
So what was my mom doing out that way? I tried to piece together her Hong Kong slides. Then I remembered she’d visited the San Miguel brewery on that first visit to Hong Kong. San Miguel was brewed out near Castle Peak Road.
With that mystery solved, I wondered what had become of the Castle Peak Tai Pak.
And that’s when I turned once again to Gwulo, a fantastic source for Hong Kong history buffs.
One guy wrote that the Castle Peak Tai Pak turned into some kind of tourist trap in the 1970s, but the weirdest part of the story took place the following decade.
According to this source on Gwulo, the Tai Pak was sold to mainland China. His brother spotted in it Guangxi province in the late 1980s.