Over the years I have lived in a few countries, including, Germany, Italy, Cyprus and of course the United Kingdom. I have also been fortunate to have visited many more countries either for business or pleasure.
On a trip to Hong Kong I took time out to visit Lantau Island and a quaint fishing village. Tai O (Chinese: 大澳) is a fishing town, partly located on an island of the same name, on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The village is a photographers dream and definitely worth the trip from Hong Kong.
The fishing lifestyle is dying out and while many residents continue to fish, it barely provides a subsistence income.
Tai O is also known as the “Venice of Hong Kong”. It’s a hot tourist spot for both foreigners and residents of other parts of Hong Kong, despite damage by a fire in July 2000.
There is an old saying that many of us will be familiar with;
Home is home, be it ever so humble
….and that’s how I saw the stilt houses or pang uks. Built right over the waterway many of the stilt houses look dilapidated and rumoured to be mainly occupied by squatters. Dilapidated they may be, but they do provide a home, which can’t be all bad. Tai O is still very much a quaint fishing village but how long will it remain like that. New transport options have made Lantau Island much more accessible. It is inevitable that Tai O will not escape the developers who are bound to come sooner or later.
Wandering round Tai O you can still find the traditional salted fish and shrimp paste storefronts. For a small fee, some residents will take tourists out on their boats along the river and for short jaunts into the sea. It’s is also a good place to see the sunset.