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Tai O in Lantau Island, Oldest Fishing Village In Hong Kong

travel blogger reviews tai o fishing village lantau
If you are looking to get away from Hong Kong's commercialized hotspots, Tai O Fishing Village ( 大澳 ) is probably your best bet where local essence awaits you.

tai o oldest fishing village hong kong
Rustic charm takes over the minute you set foot in the " Venice of Hong Kong ", where you will find historical setting such as waterways, stilt houses and fishing boats. Although the structural designs are quite unique, the place is far from romantic as compared to the renowned Italian city.

What You Can Do In Tai O:
lantau island tai o oldest fishing village map

tai o sampan boat trips stilt houses waterway
Home to the Tanka people, Tai O is a community of fisher folks who literally live on the water in their stilt houses for generations. A hot tourist spot famous for its Stilt Houses ( 棚屋 ), tourists love taking boat trips out to the sea to catch Chinese White Dolphins or otherwise known as the Pink Dolphins; that is, if you are lucky enough.

tai o venice of hong kong
hong kong tourist attraction tai o boat ride
Our 20-min boat trip cost us just HK $20 (approx USD 2.50), which took us leisure cruising on waterways to see the stilt houses. Just look at my 1.87m tall prince! His mommy looks like a dwarf standing next to him. Sigh!

tai o sampan boat tours stilt houses
hong kong tourist attraction tai o stilt houses
hong kong historical attraction tai o stilt houses
tai o boat trips stilt houses
tai o waterway stilt houses sampan boat tours
Although I have seen stilt houses built on water in countries like Indonesia and China, witnessing people living in these interconnected stilt houses on water is always an interesting experience for me.

tai o boat trips catch chinese white dolphins
After about 10 minutes of cruising, the small wooden boat suddenly increased its pace and transformed into a speed boat and ventured out into the open sea in search of the dolphins! Gosh, that was really scary and you could see some of the tourists broke into cold sweats and held on tightly to the metal poles!

tourist tai o fishing boat adventure pink dolphins
tai o sampan boat tours catch pink dolphins
It was a gloomy day and the sky turned dark as though a storm was approaching. I lost all interest to catch the dolphins; I just wanted to turn around and return to shore quickly. At that moment, I was wondering if there were any life jackets on the boat in case.......... Lol!

As it was winter in December, it was freezing especially with the strong winds blowing in your face. After about 5 - 10 minutes of fruitless attempts, no dolphins were in sight. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time cruising and seeing those stilt houses; going out to the open sea was indeed an exhilarating experience. It is a pity no dolphins were sighted though.

What To Shop In Tai-O Market:
hong kong tourist attraction tai o luxury haven
sight seeing tai o market salted egg yolks
Salted Egg Yolks ( 鹹蛋黃 )

lantau island tai o fishing village duck gizzards
Dried Duck Gizzards ( 幹鴨腎 )

hong kong tourist attraction tai o dried seafood
Dried Oysters ( 蠔豉 ) and Dried Clams ( 蜆 )

lantau sight seeing tai o market dried starfish
Dried Starfish ( 幹海星 )

lantau sight seeing tai o market pufferfish
Dried Pufferfish ( 幹河豚 )

tai o locally produced food dried abalone
Dried Abalones ( 幹鮑 )

hong kong sight seeing tai o market fish maw
Fish Maw ( 花膠 )

tai o locally produced food shrimp paste
Here at Tai O Market, you will find locally produced food like the famous shrimp paste, salted egg yolks, and salted fish. Other dried seafood include fish maw, starfish, abalone etc. There are many shops selling these, so be sure to find the right shop and don't get ripped off.

lantau tai o fishing village grilled squids
lantau tourist attraction tai o market bbq prawns
Some yummy bbq seafood like these grilled squids and cheesy prawns were spotted at Tai O Market.

tai o tourist spot community of fisher folks
You can also see the locals selling seafood in push carts.

tai o fishing village seafood cutting fish
We caught a glimpse of a middle-aged woman squatting down just outside her home, cutting up a big catch. It was such an unsightly bloody sight, and had attracted quite a crowd watching the " performance ". Lol!

How To Get To Tai O:
taxi to tai o oldest fishing village
To cut down on waiting time, my family took a 10-min taxi ride which cost us just HK $50 ( approx USD 6.50). This saved us a lot of time waiting and queuing for the public buses. But if you are a traveller on a shoe-string budget, you can take bus 11 in Tung Chung Town to Tai O (50 minutes) or bus 21 from Ngong Ping (20 minutes).

how to go tai o oldest fishing village
lantau sight seeing tai o public bus queue
Spotted a long queue at the Tai O bus-stop on our way home. As you can see, the queues for buses are really long, so it makes more sense just to take taxi.

lantau island majestic outdoor bronze tian tan buddha
Have you been to Tai O ( 大澳 )? It is certainly a good tourist spot to visit after your pilgrimage to the Big Buddha which is just about 20 minutes away. Tai O provides an excellent educational trip and an eye-opening experience especially for children like those in Singapore, since the kids here are so pampered and enjoying quite a good life. Read about our Lantau Island Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Adventure ( 大嶼山 )!

hong kong citygate outlets shopping
Next up, check out Citygate Outlets, Hong Kong Designer Shopping Paradise!


  1. Wow..that pufferfish is amazing!

    Check out my new post Here!!!

  2. Been to Venice, been to Halong Bay and a couple more of similar boat rides surrounded with nature. But Venice of Hong Kong? Not yet and gonna soon after seeing it and what else is there in this place.

  3. The boat ride it looks so peaceful. Grilled squid this is the first time I read you could grill it yummy

  4. What a great report, I love the description of this village and the pics :)))
    Your son is well above you, my kids too will become much taller than me...


  5. Like some of your photos :) M&MFASHIONBITES

  6. Wow, what an amazing place! I always love your posts and your amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing your amazing adventures! x

    Beyond The Velvet | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  7. The dried puffer fish is a sight to behold. Thanks titbiy/

  8. OMG So interesting photos.
    My husband loves Hong Kong and I undertand why. I hope to visit this wonderful place.
    Have a nice day sweetie
    Maggie Dallospedale Fashion diary - Fashion blog

  9. I don't like boats that speed up....I never could see the attraction in it. I'm sorry you haven't spotted any dophines on that ride but you never know...maybe next time. I often saw dolphines when I took ferry rides in Croatia...but you never know when you can see them. Sometimes I see a bunch of them and sometimes none.

    Thank you for sharing these photographs!

    1. Lucky you, Ivana! Sadly, I never have much luck spotting dolphins.Croatia sounds like a nice place to visit too :D

    2. it fav part are the islands, I wish to visit them all some day.

  10. OMG! The dolphin cruising sounds like a thrill! But, not with a storm coming! I would be holding on for dear life as well. lol. 'm surprised how affordable it was! I'll have to add that to my bucket list. When does it begin to warm up in that region?

    ♥ | | xoxo

    1. It's especially scary when you're on a small boat. Hahaha! Yap, the prices are amazingly cheap. I was just as surprised. I find May to mid-September can be too hot. I like visiting HK in other months actually. Thanks for popping by & I've left my comments in your lovely blog!

  11. Such a fun cruise (though I'm sure I'd be cold, too) and a wonderful market! Thanks for taking us along on your adventure, Shirley!!

  12. This looks like such a fun trip to take with your son, although I can't say I could be caught trying any of that food - I'm not too adventurous haha! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  13. wow...great !
    All pictures :)
    Your son is handsome :)

  14. Wow, your photos are so beautiful :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Hi Shirley,

    What a lovely laid back place to visit. I see lots of interesting ingredients in the market... the dried pufferfish looks amazing!


  16. I've always wanted to visit Tai O but I am afraid of getting seasick!

    1. Well, the boat trip is optional. You can always check out the daily lives of the locals, the locally produced dried seafood, & indulge in the charm of the village, Ken.

  17. Shirley! this is totally seafood haven! you tempt me with all those 'killer food'! make me so hungry...

  18. So nice to see your lovely photos, I love all the coloured boats, water and presentations here. And you look great, Shirley. :)

  19. What an interesting place!

    I'm hoping to join an ultra marathon in Lantau called the Trans Lantau. Maybe in 2 years time. ^^

    1. Gosh, you're amazing! I think it'll be such a fun event......

  20. Perfect trip dear!! ;) Amazing pics.
    Kisses from Spain.
    Xoxo, P.

    My Showroom

  21. For a moment I thought you and your family have fallen in love with Fishing.... but.... wait... this is a different kind of fishing.... looks more like another round of shopping and feasting.....

  22. dam, cant resist when u update some of your photo at facebook, then I decide come here and see see!

    Hope everything is fine with you while you traveling and I do hope I can travel oversea too . . . ^^

    1. Hahaha! Glad my travel photos have attracted your attention. Always good seeing you here! xoxo

  23. Stunning photography! That dried puffer-fish is too cute to look at!!

  24. Owh, this looks so great! I wish to visit this place and try their food... i bet the taste is unforgettable :)
    have a good day!

  25. Thanks for taking us along your adventures in Hong Kong Shirley. I love seeing the sights!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  26. Thank you for this informative post. I want to go to Hong Kong now!

    Jasmine xx

  27. That is one handsome looking boy you have there, Shirley. My son is taller than me too. I feel like a shrimp next to him, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing this expereince with us, Shirley. You amaze me sometimes. You are as comfortable in a luxurious hotel as you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean! Simply amazing!

    The houses on stilts are indeed a wonder and all of those dried foods in the market. I didn't know you could dry some of that stuff. I guess it is the best way of preserving for the surroundings.

    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us Shirley. Great shots!!!

    1. It's crazy how fast they grow, isn't it? I love how you described yourself as a shrimp next to him, Louise. Hahaha! I'm not that pampered, you know? I enjoy going places regardless whether they're filled with dirt or snow. Heehee!

      I'm glad you've found it informative, dear. Chinese use a lot of these dried seafood to make soups & they taste awesome! Would love to cook for you some day.........

    2. You are very adaptable though Shirley and not everyone can be that:) I remember a saying my father told me a long time ago. it went something like, "A wise man can speak to a person who has never had an education just as well as to a professor or scholar" Well something like that. You, Shirley, can fit in anywhere!!!

      And I would LOVE to cook for you too and believe me, like you, I don't always cook, lol...

    3. Louise, you're like a wise man yourself; your words are always music to the ears. They're like lozenges soothing my sore throat, dear. Well, new post is up but I'm not sure if shopping if your kinda stuff.........

  28. This looks like a very interesting and authentic spot. I love to wander around local markets when I'm travelling and this one looks fascinating.

  29. Absolutely love the pictures Shirley, you make everything look so exciting!!! <3 & the food looks delicious <3

    Serene xox

  30. Just amazing and thank you so much for your support!! I deeply appreciate it ;)
    My Lyfe ; My Story

  31. I'm loving this place already - look at all the dried ingredients!
    The boat ride is surprisingly cheap. I guess I should start listing down places I must visit at least once in my life ♥ ♥

  32. Shame on me. I have visited HKG many times but had no fate to visit Tai O or Lamma Islands. The cheesy huge prawns really caught MY EYES!!!! Yum! Yum!

  33. the sea cruising to see the dolphins is absolutely a great experience
    I have experienced once before when I visited Pulau Aman, Penang a year back
    I felt scared too when boarding on the speeding boat
    even though i'm the one with life jacket on
    it feel like the boat is flying on the water xoxo

    1. Hahaha! You're too cute, Emily! Imagine none of us had any life vests on. Don't think it's a good idea actually......


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