Hong Kong's Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant Sinks While Being Towed to Sea

The three-story boat restaurant, a Hong Kong staple for nearly half a century, met its end in the South China Sea.

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A photo of the Jumbo Kingdom restaurant floating in Hong Kong.
The Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant, RIP.
Photo: Daniel Suen/AFP (Getty Images)

The enormous Jumbo Kingdom restaurant has been peacefully floating in Hong Kong harbor for almost half a century. Someone quickly ended its reign, after towing the floating ship-restaurant to an “undisclosed” location via the tumultuous waters of the open ocean. This predictably didn’t go well and it was out at sea where the three-story restaurant sadly met its demise and sank. RIP.

It’s a sad day for fans of enormous floating restaurants. The Jumbo Kingdom had been a staple of the Hong kong skyline and harbor for nearly 50 years, and has even appeared in movies like James Bond flick, The Man With The Golden Gun. Now, CNN reports that all that history has sunk to the bottom of the South China Sea.

According to CNN:

“The restaurant’s main boat was traveling to an undisclosed shipyard when it capsized on Saturday after meeting ‘adverse conditions’ near the Paracel Islands (also known as the Xisha Islands) in the South China Sea, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises Limited said in a statement.”

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Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises, the owners of Jumbo Kingdom, had been forced to shutter the floating behemoth in recent months due to ongoing Covid-19 measures in Hong Kong. It had spent extended periods of time closed, as well as in a typhoon shelter in the Hong Kong harbor before it was towed out to sea and onwards towards that “undisclosed” location.

A photo of the Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant being towed out to sea.
The Jumbo Kingdom was towed to an “undisclosed shipyard.”
Photo: Yan Zhao/AFP (Getty Images)
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On its voyage, the main boat of the floating restaurant capsized — sinking 3,280 feet beneath the waves, a depth that has made salvage work “extremely difficult” according to the restaurant group.

After it sank, fans of the floating restaurant have called for more information about the incident. CNN reported that the Hong Kong government has asked the owners for a report on how the vessel sank “amid calls for a more thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the sinking.”

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The floating restaurant in Hong Kong’s harbor dates back to 1952 when a smaller vessel began operating in the area. This larger boat was added to the complex later and brought with it the imperial stylings and neon lights the venue became known for.

It’s a sad day for fans of large water-bound restaurants. But, think of it this way, imagine being able to dive and view the wreckage in a few years time? Or picture the confused archeologists in a couple of decades who uncover its remnants in the dried up sea bed.