Two hours outside of central Hong Kong and a short bus ride away from the Tian Tan Buddha, you will find a quiet stilted fishing village. Tai O Fishing Village is named after the same outlying island from which it is located, is found on the north western coastline of Lantau Island. The quaint and picturesque village is reminiscent of the old Southern Chinese fishing villages which also had little wooden houses standing over the water on stilts forming what locals now refer to as a rare stilt-house community.
With a fishing community running for over 100 years and small water channels passing between Tai O Island and Lantau Island, it’s easy to understand why this seemed an ideal spot to anchor boats and build their houses. Tai O is well known for its rich fishing grounds which formed a port for over 200 years. Today, while fishing is still common practice, it doesn’t provide a large source of income as it used too.
Things to see and do at Tai O Fishing Village
Visit the Tai O Market
The traditional village market is a rare experience that you shouldn’t miss. Filled with tanks of live undersea creatures, dried fish and unusual treats, you can be sure to grasp a full tour of local culture here.
Explore the local village on foot
Wandering through the little alleyways is a perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse into local life from the back end. Many of the buildings and houses are interconnected showing you what a close community this really is.
Take a boat ride
One of the best ways to see the stilted houses is on boats that can manoeuvre through the little channels. These are offered by local tour companies and even locals. They will cost around HK 20. Boat rides usually start in and around the small traditional houses before heading out the harbor and to the open sea.
Search for the rare pink dolphins
While out on the open seas this is the perfect chance to search for what the locals refer to as the rare pink dolphins. They are actually Chinese white dolphins but I guess if you spot them during a sunset, they could look pink after all.
Taste some local delicacies
Dried seafood is available everywhere and the locals love chewing on them. From dried fish to dried sea cucumber, you will find a range of snacks that you should try, at least once.
How to get there:
- From Kowloon, Hong Kong:
Take the metro to Tung Chung Station. Then take Bus No. 11 to Tai O
- From Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island:
Take bus No. 21 to Tai O. This should cost around HK 7 but can be more during peak times. You can also take a taxi there. This will cost around HK 50.