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Living on a Boat in Hong Kong

April 24, 2013

My two theme songs while in Hong Kong:

Living on a boat in China does come with some differences.

Motion: Unlike a normal house that doesn’t move, living on a boat means that the house is always gently rocking. After a few days you get pretty used to it, but sometime a bigger wave will come by and really mess with your balance. Also, even when you don’t feel the boat moving, if you look at anything hanging in the boat it will be swaying and when you look out the window you can notice how the view sways slightly.

Getting Home: Instead of a driveway, we have a dock.

The dock

The dock

Toilets: When a boat is in motion there can’t be water in it or it would slosh, so you press one button before you use ‘the head’ to fill it and press another button afterward to empty it. Also, instead of the waste going into a sewer or septic tank, a boat comes by once a day and pumps out the hold.

The pump-out boat

The pump-out boat

Floors: Unlike a normal house where floors are flat, in a boat the floors are cambered (curved and slope toward the outside walls) to give structural integrity to the boat. It is something that needs getting used to because the sloping floor can make you feel like you are walking drunk if you are near the walls.

Appliances: Mostly normal, but our toaster and microwave have some interesting settings. Instead of the bagel setting, there is one for crumpets. On the microwave the four special buttons are for steamed fish, dumplings, roast ribs and meat skewers.

Transportation: Living on an island, in a city on the water, means that ferries are a main mode of transportation. I can’t even count the number of gangplanks that I have walked this trip. Ferries range from old/open topped/diesel fumey beaters to comfy/padded seats/ air conditioned people movers. If you have any more interest in Hong Kong ferries, check out this blog post from last year.

People going down the gangplank

Boarding the ferry

Humidity: Hong Kong can get WAY humid. Which means it takes things forever to dry. A recently discovered must-have for living in this climate is a towel heater. Sounds like an unnecessary extravagance but it is the only way to guarantee a that your towel dries in between showers.


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