Hong Kong residents lament iconic Jumbo Kingdom sinking, calling it ‘an end of an era’
Published: Jun 21, 2022 11:02 AM
Hong Kong's iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant Photo: Weibo account of HKTKWW
Hong Kong's iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant Photo: Weibo account of HKTKWW
Hong Kong residents lamented that one of its most iconic landmarks, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant capsized in the South China Sea on Monday night, and some of them said it indeed marked "the end of an era."

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which is widely known as Jumbo Kingdom, was towed away from the city less than a week ago and its parent company said in a public statement on Monday night that the boat had encountered adverse weather conditions when it passed the Xisha Islands. 

Since it started to operate in Hong Kong since 1976, it had received more than 30 million visitors.

The 260-foot-long boat conveyed the collective memory of Hong Kong residents for decades and it also played host to a number of international dignitaries and celebrities, as its official website said, such as Queen Elizabeth II and US actor Tom Cruise, Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li, a famous actress. 

With a history of 46 years in Hong Kong waters, the floating boat has always been a famous attraction but it encountered operation challenges amid the COVID-19 during the past two years. The parent company - Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises - previously said it could not find a third party to conduct a revitalization project and as there was no berth in Hong Kong in addition to the expensive maintenance fees, it was decided to tow it away from the city. 

When it passed the Xisha Island, where the water depth is more than 1,000 meters, the parent company said it was extremely difficult to carry out salvage operations. No crew members were injured and all felt sad about this incident, according to media reports. The company is seeking more information from the towing company about the incident. 

Not only the company was saddened by the incident, some of Hong Kong residents said they feel sad about this iconic landmark sinking.

"It's the collective memory of Hong Kong residents, a popular attraction for Chinese and foreign tourists. This unfortunate incident made it end its historical mission, which is regrettable, but its story will be passed on generation by generation in Hong Kong," Chu Kar-kin, a veteran current affairs commentator based in Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Some netizens also lamented the incident, saying that it marks the end of an era. As some scenes from classic Hong Kong movies such as The God of Cookery and 007 The Man with the Golden Gun took place there, some said it could be a metaphor for certain legends long lasting in people's memories.