Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ferry to Hong Kong - Curt Jurgens (1959) - Junk Island (Fat Tong Chau), Tseung Kwan O

Here is a real piece of forgotten history that took me a while to figure out. There is a sequence in the film when the ferry, after suffering a severe amount of damage in a typhoon, is struggling in to shore when a boat load of pirates - led by a very young Roy Chiao - come aboard to rob and pillage. As the boat is nearing the coastline we get a nice view of what looks to be an uninhabited island in the background.

Now, believe it or not but the strip of land in the background isn't actually an island at all, but is in fact the Lei Yue Mun headland, and the bumpy bit just behind the boats sail is Devil's Peak! Here is a modern day comparison of that ridgeline so you can see for yourself.

What you need to bear in mind here is that this area of Hong Kong has seen a vast amount of change with a huge amount of reclamation. I believe in the first shot we can see Junk Island (aka Fat Tong Chau) which has since been joined to the mainland (in this case with the Clearwater Bay peninsula) by reclamation, much in the same way that Stonecutter Island has been 'attached' to West Kowloon.

The shoreline we see above, in the fourth picture, was most likely part of the old coastline before reclamation took it away and replaced it with the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate.

I think the above picture is quite good because we can actually see Junk Island on the right, behind the boat. I found a reasonably similar modern-day angle on Panoramio showing the same sloped hillside in the background. The picture comes courtesy of Baycrest. I shows just how much of the water has been reclaimed for the estate.


  1. Hi Phil,

    Maybe a top view is better. This this:

    Thanks & Best Regards,

    1. Thanks Thomas, it certainly shows how much has been filled in. I'd love to see a pre-reclamation aerial view :-) - might have to get one from the mapping office.