Hong Kong’s famed floating restaurant sinks, laden with memories

When the tugboat Jumbo Floating Restaurant away Hong Kong Last week, the ship’s owner sent the public “best wishes for a brighter future”. That future now lies at the bottom of East Sea. The 260-foot three-story diner overturned and sank as it was towed through deep water over the weekend, its owners, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, speak. No one was injured.
Jumbo’s loss has reverberated throughout Hong Kong, a Chinese territory where the neon-lit statue – built in the style of a royal palace – has stood in the same harbor for nearly half a century. . Generations of Hong Kongers have married and cut business deals there over Cantonese dishes like crispy pork belly and grilled sea crab. For many in the former British colony, the restaurant is a symbol of a more optimistic period of local history than the present.
The downfall of Jumbo comes at a time of great upheaval in Hong Kong, which began with anti-government protests in 2019. At a time when other visual icons are under threat, “Hong Kongers” Kong is questioning what will remain in their city,” he said. Louisa Lim, author of “The Indelible City: Surrender and Challenges in Hong Kong.”
Jumbo was opened by casino magnate Stanley Ho in 1976 and for many years was part of a complex called Jumbo Kingdom that included a smaller floating restaurant. The opening of the larger ship was delayed by a fire in 1971 that killed 34 people. Several celebrities have visited the Kingdom of Jumbo over the years, including actor Tom Cruise and the UK Queen Elizabeth. It also appeared in the 1974 Bond films “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “Contagion”, a 2011 horror film about the pandemic.

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