Once I reached Lantau Island after an adventurous cable car ride, I was overwhelmed by the natural beauty and cultural diversity of this place. Every corner of this island embodies a perfect blend of Spirituality and Cultural richness of this place. After browsing through Ngong Ping Village and spending some inspiring time there, I went to an assembly point where ‘Ngong Ping 360 holidays’ tour guide was waiting for us to board the bus and take us through some interesting sites on the Island. Tai O Fishing village and sea cruise to watch Chinese Dolphins were two prominent destinations on our itinerary. As we boarded the bus and started our journey, our tour guide started his bi-lingual commentary, sharing some interesting facts about the island, and its people and culture. After passing through a curvaceous mountain route and gazing at some scenic lush green views, we reached Tai O village parking area. This was our alighting point from where we were to take a village stroll, and later on, a ferry ride.
Our tour guide started sharing some interesting facts about this village. And we listened to him in rapt attention, like kids in a class listening attentively to their teacher…it was fun! Tai O village is Hong Kong’s oldest fishing village inhabited by a community of traditional Chinese fishermen known as Tanka people. These people live in stilt houses built over a river, their prime means of livelihood is fishing and selling seafood. While strolling through the narrow lanes and alleys of this small village, you can see numerous dried seafood shops, local eating joints and retail shops selling shrimp paste and sauce among other seafood specialties. Our tour guide introduced us to a local delicacy shop owner preparing fresh fish balls, some of our tour people opted for it; I preferred to take a few pictures. On walking further, we came across this shop containing a couple of water containers with live marine creatures, they can prepare customized sea-food right in front of you to suit your taste- a good treat for seafood lovers. There are plenty of such eateries where people can enjoy authentic local delicacies.
We reached a point to board a small ferry to take a ride to watch Fisherman’s community and their stilt house dwellings built on a river, I was wondering how these people could live in such humble houses with bare minimum facilities. Some of them were waving happily and smiling at our group while our ferry passed between their houses. After a 20 minute-ferry ride, we eventually moved to the sea to watch Chinese Dolphins. We were lucky to watch a couple of Dolphins gracefully diving in and out of the water. Tai O village is often compared to Italy’s Venice and hence popularly referred to as ‘Venice of the Orient’; though personally, I feel it no way matches the romantic and architectural brilliance of the Italian city of Venice. These stilt houses though, have their own charm and beauty and form an interesting subject for photographers. This place has a sleepy, romantic and laid-back appeal to it.
Published On: Monday, November 10th, 2014