A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks may have developed from very early bamboo rafts which had a high stern. Cromagnon cave paintings on the Indo China coast show junk shaped doublehull vessels. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously inHong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats.
The term junk may be used to cover many kinds of boat—ocean-going, cargo-carrying, pleasure boats, live-aboards. They vary greatly in size and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig. To Western eyes, however, they all appear to resemble one another due to their most significant shared feature, their fully battened sails. My friend Iris sent me this wonderful card from Hong Kong. Besides the junk you can see the Victoria Peak on the Hong Kong Island and on the other side the commercial District of Kowloon on the mainland.