First published: 22nd October 2010
A junk is a Chinese sailing vessel design, rare today, characterised by sails with strengthening battens, but there are perhaps only two boats with this type of sail around Hong Kong today. One looks very much like a genuine sailing vessel, with three masts and is often bobbing on Victoria Harbour. However, I've never seen the sails filled with wind - it is there for tourists to look at. The other is a larger tour boat, with impressive dragon ornamentation, and a small junk-like sail near the bow. The sail is obviously too small to drive the boat. So, you are unlikely to see a real, sailing junk in Hong Kong today.
However, a popular leisure activity, for those that can manage it, is a junk trip. This is simply a party on a motor-cruiser. There are hundreds of these around Hong Kong, some available for hire, many corporately-owned, for business entertaining, and staff perks. Either way, the boat will have a crew of two or three and the guests will meet it at a convenient spot - Queen's Pier in Central was a common pick-up point until reclamation intervened. Getting ferried out by sampan in Aberdeen Harbour is also popular. The junk will then proceed to a desirable bay and the participants can indulge in their choice of eating, drinking, water-sports, or simply relaxing.