Hong Kong’s famous floating restaurant plunges into the South China Sea

Hong Kong is known for its beautiful skyline, Disneyland outpost, and great local cuisine. One of the most popular places to sample the city is the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, once considered the largest in the world.

Fans mourned the historic restaurant when it closed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Any hope of reopening was dashed last Saturday when it capsized in the South China Sea.

The popular tourist destination was a three-story boat designed to look like a Chinese imperial palace. Diners from all over the world board the ship to sample different types of dim sum and other local dishes. Previous guests have included many VIPs such as Jimmy Carter, Tom Cruise, and even Queen Elizabeth.

The 260-foot boat was just one part of the famous Jumbo Kingdom, which included another dining boat, a boat to stock fresh seafood, a kitchen boat, and eight ferries to carry visitors from nearby docks. In total, Jumbo Kingdom can accommodate up to 2,000 guests at a time.

But the restaurant has been in deficit for years, and in 2020, when eating thousands of people in their homes became a serious health hazard, the owners of Jumbo announced that they would be closing their doors until further notice.

Private investors and the Hong Kong government tried to revive the popular restaurant, but exorbitant operating costs kept Jumbo permanently closed. Last Tuesday, after nearly half a century of docking in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen port, the tugs towed the boat away to be stowed at the shipyard.

Unfortunately, after hitting rocky waters on Saturday, the boat capsized near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The massive ship sank more than 3,000 feet. Fortunately, none of the crew was injured, but it is believed that saving what was left of the boat was very difficult.

The owners of Jumbo Kingdom said they are “very saddened by this incident” and are investigating what caused it.

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