Tai O, a small fishing village located on the western side of Lantau island, Hong Kong has for generations been homed to the Tanka people living in quiet solitude, however in modern times it has become a tourist magnet. known and visited by soldiers in WW2 for its famed shrimp paste and sea salt this village now stands testament to time and the simple ways of living still existent in Asia. an amazing cultural experience and some super friendly locals who always greet nosy tourists staring into their front rooms with a smile
The tanka people, a community of fishermen and woman living on precariously thin stilts in their wooden/ tin homes above the tidal waters of the Tai O river tributaries is culture shock for the majority of the tourists in the area coming to view the city streets and thrill of downtown Hong Kong. Accessible from the MTR Tung Chung Station. Take bus 11 to Tai O bus terminus (the journey takes approximately 50 minutes and you’ll be aware exactly when you have arrived)
upon arrival, everything is on foot and freely you can walk amongst the village and all its winding interconnected passages. The main market centre of the village is fantastic and expect to see a variety of Wierd and wonderful food and stock within the shops, on our visit fresh cuttlefish (the body sat on a tray and the tentacles dangling in a boiling pot) was offered to be butchered and put onto a stick for our consumption, squid, large amounts of dry seafood and an entire dried shark was also up for sale, crazy.
Expect to find locals selling unique homemade souvenirs, providing the most amazing egg waffles cooked over open fires and be sure to stop off at the coffee shops and chill out overlooking the waterways. Side note, Asian coffee is AMAZING.
Just keep on walking! The small creaking walkways wind through the houses like a labyrinth and are all interconnected, it’s pretty fun and interesting just to get in the thick of all the locals and their houses and lose your direction! If and when you find your way back to the main walkways of the town be sure to grab a boat trip below the hustle and bustle of the streets and view Tai O from the waterways it is all so famous for.
for roughly 25HKD (2.5GBP) we were able to take a boat tour through the waterways of the town, out too the sea too view the White Chinese dolphin (our luck wasn’t in that day) and return. I would highly recommend this trip as this photographers paradise takes a whole new twist from sea level, you really appreciate how delicate the whole village suspended on stilts really is and it makes for some excellent photos as the huge herons sit on boats merely metres from you.
we spent a half a day in Tai-O village and we covered everything, the bus returns from the village every hour to the city and the trip itself is also a spectacle to behold, passing incredible mountains, white sand beaches and the prestine seaside resort of “Repulse bay” one of the most expensive and beautiful areas in Hong Kong and definately worth hopping off for.
Go check it out, you won’t be disappointed!