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Chatteris tutors somewhere in the South China Sea
15 Jul 2020

It’s Time to Get Junky

As we head into peak summertime, and with travel restrictions in place, our team are planning a long hot summer in the city. Here, Chatteris’ own Tim Padley chats us through a Hong Kong tradition: junk boats...

[Disclaimer: In Hong Kong, daily case numbers of Covid-19 are low and the majority of restrictions on the hospitality and leisure industries have been lifted. We are grateful for our safety and thinking of the rest of the world often.]

Now believe it or not, between teaching, after school clubs, and volunteering your free time on Chatteris’ community partner programmes, we English tutors in Hong Kong do also like to have a lot of fun! 

You won’t be here very long until someone mentions the word junk. You might be asked, ‘are you going on the junk?’ or ‘when is the junk?’ and you’ll probably just be thinking ‘what even is a junk!?’ 

Well, the word junk actually refers to Chinese wooden sailboats originally used in Hong Kong and China to transfer goods and materials. However nowadays, among the expat community in Hong Kong, a junk boat is used for somewhat more leisurely activities. To cut to the chase, junks are without a doubt one of the best things about Hong Kong. 

Chatteris tutors somewhere in the South China Sea
Chatteris tutors somewhere in the South China Sea | Image by Tim Padley

Picture this: you’ve made the jump to teach English in Hong Kong, you’ve met your pals for the next few months, and you’ve moved into your new pad, so what better way to celebrate with your new Chatteris family than by setting sail through the waters of Hong Kong on your own private junk boat?

Our tutors celebrate July 4th on a junk
Our tutors celebrate July 4th on a junk | Image by Chatteris

In true Chatteris style, we like to make our own fun on junks. Normally you’ll get a boat and a captain and the rest is up to you! You’ll get a chance to be creative with themes, colours, and attire. Recent junk boat themes from Chatteris staff past and present include Coachella, Miami Vice, and Tight and Bright, to name a few. 

Once the squad has assembled at Central Piers and you’ve grabbed yourself a morning snack, your junk boat will depart and meander through the oceans around Hong Kong. The surrounding scenery quickly changes from endless vast skyscrapers to stunning steeped mountain sides, which is where the anchor is dropped in a quiet bay.

This is the time to relax, top up your tan, eat your homemade lunch, have a beverage, and jump off the crows nest with fellow companions.

After a day of eating, drinking, swimming, and memories made with the Chatteris crew, you’ll sail back to Central pier as the sun begins to set in the distance. 

Here is your junk boat party checklist to ensure all your junk boat dreams are fulfilled: 

  • Sun-cream
  • Swimming attire
  • Gourmet homemade food 
  • Drinks (including water!)
  • Reusable cups
  • Cool bag and ice 
  • Extra-curriculars (e.g rubber ring, lilo, and inflatable flamingo)
  • Good vibes (as always)
  • Snazzy outfits (as always)
  • Dapper sunglasses (as always)
  • Buoyancy aid (if required)
  • Speakers and Spotify playlists
  • And of course… Instagram poses! 

See ya’ll aboard in the very near future!

Eager to junk with friends and colleagues at Chatteris? Find out more about our programme here.

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