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robin hu | profile | all galleries >> Hong Kong >> Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong

Tai O is home to the Tanka people, a community of fisher folk who’ve built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats of Lantau Island for generations. These unusual structures are interconnected, forming a tightly-knit community that literally lives on the water. Their enchanting world is a photographer's paradise.

A new manually operated drawbridge spans the narrow creek that divides the town, replacing an old-fashioned rope-drawn ‘ferry’ that operated for over 85 years. Currently the fishing lifestyle is dying out. While many residents continue to fish, it barely provides a subsistence income. There is a public school on the island and most young people move away when they come of age. In 2000 a large fire broke out destroying many residences. The village is now mostly squatters huts and dilapidated stilt houses.

Also known as the "Venice of Hong Kong", Tai O is also a hot tourist spot for both foreigners and residents of other parts of Hong Kong, despite damage by a fire in July 2000. The pang uks, a kind of stilt house, built right over the waterway are still quite scenic.

The traditional salted fish and shrimp paste fills storefronts at Tai O. For a small fee, some residents will take tourists out on their boats along the river and for short jaunts into the sea. Many tourists come to Tai O specifically to take these trips to see Chinese white dolphins. It is also a good place to see the sunset.

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 seafoods and vegetables, some you may or may not recognize, knick knacks, and souvenirs.

near tai-o bus terminal
near tai-o bus terminal
General Kuan Temple
General Kuan Temple
preserved house
preserved house
family boats
family boats
dusk
dusk
end of boat ride (20 minutes)
end of boat ride (20 minutes)
reflection on water
reflection on water
tilted stilts
tilted stilts
stilt houses
stilt houses
a line of stilt houses
a line of stilt houses
Stilt Houses
Stilt Houses
sun dry cage
sun dry cage
quiet corner
quiet corner
Tai-O fishing village
Tai-O fishing village
sea front
sea front
Tai-O fishing village
Tai-O fishing village
famous Yin-Gu rice cake HKD5 a piece
famous Yin-Gu rice cake HKD5 a piece
octopus snack HKD30 a cup
octopus snack HKD30 a cup
charcoal waffle (recommended)
charcoal waffle (recommended)
prized catch !
prized catch !
outside Che-Zhan bean curd & soya bean drinks store
outside Che-Zhan bean curd & soya bean drinks store
inside Che-Zhan bean curd & soya bean drinks store
inside Che-Zhan bean curd & soya bean drinks store
puffer fish
puffer fish
sea cucumber
sea cucumber
narrow walkway
narrow walkway
Wing On Street where shops are
Wing On Street where shops are
dilapidated house
dilapidated house
dilapidated house
dilapidated house
HKD20 a ride
HKD20 a ride
boats in front of stilt houses
boats in front of stilt houses
village back alley
village back alley
quiet moment on water
quiet moment on water
on top of stilt tea house
on top of stilt tea house
navigating Florence
navigating "Florence"
popular boat ride
popular boat ride
every home has a boat
every home has a boat
salted fish
salted fish
Shek Tsai Po Street (good food here)
Shek Tsai Po Street (good food here)
backyard
backyard
national education controversy
national education controversy
more salted fish
more salted fish
Tai-O market (you won't miss it)
Tai-O market (you won't miss it)
fisherman's wife
fisherman's wife
scenic spot by the beach
scenic spot by the beach
stilt houses
stilt houses
fishing boats
fishing boats
Tai-O Fishing Village
Tai-O Fishing Village
egg yoke
egg yoke
green house on stilts
green house on stilts
navigating the stilt houses
navigating the stilt houses
a game of chess
a game of chess
dried fish for sale
dried fish for sale