Tai O Fishing Village

China, Hong Kong

I visit the ancient fishing town on the outskirts of Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

June 19, 2015

From Ngong Ping Village, We went to locate a bus to Tai O. Tai O is an ancient fishing village, known for its iconic stilt houses and pink dolphins (yep! you read that right!). We found out this task was not as easy as we thought, as the bus schedule hinted that a bus would only come once every hour. We really wanted to see Tai O, but with the cable car (our way back to the MTR station) closing at 6, we were worried we wouldn’t have time to spare. As we debated, the bus arrived, and we made the split second decision to hop on.

I am so glad we did. After a 15 minute bus ride down the jungle with views of a rural coast, we arrived in the old fishing village. The town was preparing for dragon boat races in a day or two, so brightly colored flags waved in the wind.

Dragon Race flags at Tai O

Dragon Race flags at Tai O

We saw a sign pointing to “market” and decided to head in that direction. It was a little nervewracking knowing how little time we had to spare before the next bus would come to take us home, but we managed to get a good amount of wandering in.

Wandering through Tai O

Wandering through Tai O

The streets were narrow, with bicyclists ringing their bells at pedestrians to move aside. Chinese lanterns hung from windows, and the streets were shaded by colorful overhangs.

Through the streets of Tai O

Through the streets of Tai O

We passed by stall after stall of dried seafood, with the selections getting odder and odder as we progressed.

Browsing for dried seacreature parts

Browsing for dried seacreature parts

I was seriously considering buying a dried squid to try on the bus ride back. If you are ever in the market for fish bladders or jars of scallops, this is the place for you.

Fish in buckets

Fish in buckets

We had lunch at a place that served seafood. I ordered garlic scallops and grilled cuttlefish on a stick. Everything was amazing, and I can now say that I’ve eaten cuttlefish! Very chewy.

Cuttlefish on a stick

Cuttlefish on a stick

After lunch we still had a bit of time to explore, so we wandered a bit more. We wanted to see the famous stilt houses, and we made our way down random alleyways toward the water. We found exactly what we were looking for, and walked along a rickety wooden pathway through a neighborhood on stilts.

Stilt houses of Tai O

Stilt houses of Tai O

We were definitely just walking around people’s houses, so we were hoping we weren’t being too disruptive. Ghost crabs scuttled in the mud below us. I spotted something move out of the corner of my eye, and nearly squealed with delight at what I saw.

Lungfish tai o lantau hong kong

Lung fish walking on mud

Lungfish! Fish that walk on land! I can’t believe that I happened upon something so cool. We never ended up seeing the Tai O pink dolphins, but the lungfish was cool enough for me. On our way out, we grabbed some “super fish balls” to try. The outside layer was very thin and smooth, and the meat was not nearly as flaky as I was picturing. It almost had the consistency of ham, but tasted like cod.

Super fish ball

Super fish ball

Pretty good, and one of the coolest places in the world to see it!

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