Tai O Fishing Village

Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Asia

Tai O Fishing Village

  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Asia
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About The Attraction

A visit to Tai O village offers an experience you won't find anywhere else in Hong Kong. A far cry from the shining city, crowded markets, and theme parks, Tai O is home to people who live a quieter, more traditional way of life. The Tanka people who live in Tai O, found on Lantau Island, build their homes on stilts over tidal flats and are a community of fisherfolk. Villagers offer boat rides around the village, after which you can visit the local markets and sample some of the fresh seafood. Occasional sightings of the endangered pink dolphin occur in the nearby waters.
With its pretty setting on the coast framed by the mountains, and all the activity surrounding the harbor, the traditional seafood market, and the daily life in the stilt houses, it is a photographers dream and definitely worth the trip from Hong Kong.If you are already visiting the Big Buddha, then it is a short bus or taxi ride, about 15 minutes. You can easily spend a couple of hours in the Tai O Fishing Village, just walking around the market and taking one of the small boats that take you around the harbor and the stilt houses for a close-up view. 
The Tai O Market
Tai O used to be a very important trading and fishing port, but this is a thing of the past as the younger generations have moved out. You can still see the old folks making a living the old traditional way at this lively market which remains one of the favorite places for locals to buy their fresh and dried seafood and the shrimp paste which is famous of this area.
The market is a feast for the eyes, perhaps not the nose, but make some time to stroll through the stalls and alleys and check out the live seafood tanks, the vast array of dried seafood and vegetables, some you may or may not recognize, knick-knacks, and souvenirs.
Boat Ride in Tai O
Boat rides are offered by the locals and you will have no trouble getting on one. The rides are short, about 20 minutes, and you will find somebody peddling their services as soon as you get off the bus or as you walk around the market.
The Village of Tai O is built partly in a tiny island off the mainland of Lantau. The only way to get to this side was with a ferry pulled by rope by the Tanka women. There is now a footbridge that crosses the narrow canal. Prices are of course negotiable but expect to pay about HK20 per adult, half per children, the bigger your group, the more leverage you have. We ended up paying HK140 for our group of 10, which is about how many the boat takes, around 10-12 people.
There are many points from which the boats depart including the bridge and the main marina, but all the boat rides cover the same main spots.
The Tai O Stilt Village
Our ride took us first for a look at the Stilt Houses. The small traditional-style old houses sit along the waterfront in the estuary and are somewhat protected. There are also cafes and restaurant alongside and some old houseboats.
Nowadays, with fishing in decline, tourism seems to be Tai O's drawcard, the Stilt Village is a big attraction.
Best Time
  • Round_the_Year
Things To know
  • Water Parade in Tai O's Dragon Boat Festival
    The Dragon Boat Festival in Tai O is quite a unique event, organized by three local Fishermen Associations.
    The celebrations include a water parade in which the temple deities are carried in colorfully decorated sampans pulled naturally by dragon boats, and all along the way, the local residents burn incense and paper offerings to the deities in this most traditional of celebrations. 
    Following the parade, the dragon boat races are held to "entertain the gods" and the deities are returned to their temples. Normally held in May or June, here's more on this year's Dragon Boat Festival and the Tai O Water Parade.
  • How to get to Tai O Fishing Village?
    Easy: From the Ngong Ping Village, take bus 21 which leaves about every hour or so. Sometimes the bus fills up quick, instead of waiting for the next one, consider a taxi, the stands are right next to the bus stop. The taxi ride costs about HK50.
    From Central, take the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, then Bus No. 1 to Tai O.
    From Kowloon, easiest is the MTR to Tung Chung Station, then Bus No. 11 to Tai O.
    Easiest: Lantau Island Guided Tour, Starts, and Ends in Hong Kong and Kowloon Hotels. All day tour to Lantau Island including a stop at Tai O Fishing Village.

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