Tai O Fishing Town

Just when I thought we have covered most of Hong Kong’s outlying islands last Summer, I realised there are a couple more islands which we haven’t explore. May-June is always the best season to explore these places – Blue sky, good sun and cool breeze. Before the arrival of the dreadful typhoon season (July-Oct), I am going to plan our next 4 weekends visiting all the outdoor attractions (Marine Park, Geo Park and Coral Islands). First stop of my list – Tai O (大澳) Fishing Town.



Located at the north-western part of the Lantau Island, Tai O is also known to many as the "Venice of Hong Kong". Seriously, there is nothing "Venice" or romantic about it. In fact, it has a notorious past. It was a stronghold for pirates back in the 16th century and later a dark territory for the smuggling of drugs, tobacco and guns into China. Today, it is a major tourist attractions for its iconic floating stilt houses (棚屋). It reminded me of those houses I have seen along the river in Malacca River and Mekong River. 

Like Cheung Chau Island, Tai O offers visitors a rare glimpse of its "floating town-life". While the pier is buzzing with shops selling dried seafood and local delicacies, the real Tai O awaits its visitors right deep inside the town. Take a slow walk into the narrow platforms of the stilt houses. A closely-knitted community, most residents leave their doors / windows wide open. Take a peek into their living space and you get to witness their day-to-day life. You see old folks playing mahjongs out on the deck, kids fishing by the water, mothers preparing dinners and fishermen preparing their tools for tomorrow fishing trips.

I feel the Hong Kong Government (and the Tourism Board) should do more to preserve and clean up this beautiful place before it becomes a awful junkyard. Educate the residents to do more for the fragile environment they live in. (After all, they need to keep this place in shape for the tourists.) Today, the residents simply flushed out their rubbish right below their stilt houses. We saw a lot of garbage in the waters. 

Go visit these islands with a empty stomach for there are many nice authentic local food around. Be prepared to queue up especially on a weekend like this. Take your time to explore as there is always a surprise at the next turn.

 

One Response to Tai O Fishing Town

  1. 1*Talena says:

    Sounds like a beautiful and very interesting place.

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