Tai O: A Side of Hong Kong You Need to See to Believe

We spent an interesting Sunday exploring Tai O fishing village, an incredibly unique part of Hong Kong. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that you’re still in Hong Kong when you’re there. Located here on Lantau Island (close to the International Airport and Disneyland), yet feels like a million miles from modern civilization. In contrast to the soaring skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island, Tai O is quaint, charming and small scale.

We took Bus 21 (find the schedule here) from Big Buddha, down the winding roads on Lantau Island, to spend the afternoon in Tai O. Tai O is a fishing village on Lantau Island (actually, its own island just a tiny bit detached from Lantau…see map here).

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When you see this sign it’s official – you’re in Tai O!

We didn’t have a particular agenda and chose to wander our way around leisurely to discover the sites and sounds as we went.

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This woman was selling fish from her boat to people above on the bridge.  The transaction was completed by and an exchange via a reaching pole.
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The venice of Asia, you might call Tai O, with all its wending watery “streets”.
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Tranquil, colourful and unendingly interesting.
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Many of the houses are in various states of dilapidation.
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Lots of character in these homes…and some inventive building methods!
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Love the colours of this one – and is that a pet bird hanging from the deck?
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The little restaurant we ate at “with the best pizza in Hong Kong”. Disagreed with their claim, but it was a cute spot with a good view.
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Fish drying in the sun.
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More dried fish – this was a fragrant spot.
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Art in the everyday.
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This guy had a well-honed craft (and a long line to buy) his waffles.
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Bubble waffles – it doesn’t get any fresher than this!
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We couldn’t resist a fresh Tai O donut. They were very fresh!

We got back home by taking Bus 1 from Tai O to Mui Wo (schedule here) and then took the ferry from Mui Wo back to Central (schedule here).

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Find your bus here!

We loved our day trip to a unique and memorable part of Hong Kong. This area is a must-see if you’re spending time in Hong Kong, especially if you’ve hit many of the standard tourist destinations and are looking to see a bit more of the authentic Hong Kong culture.


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