Tai O 大澳

Tai O (大澳), a fishing town located on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong, is a hot tourist spot known as the “Venice of Hong Kong”. It’s a shame that I had been to Hong Kong 4 times but had never visited Tai O before this trip, so this was definitely on my itinerary this time. 🙂

There are a few ways to get to Tai O & I chose the “easiest” route, which is the most economical way as well:

Take the MTR to Tung Chung station. From the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 11, a 50 min ride to Tai O bus terminus. The bus ride costs HK$11.80 (S$1.90) per adult from Monday to Saturday & HK$19.20 (S$3.10) on Sundays & Public Holidays.

Berth for bus 11 - accurate bus arrival info! Do remember to cross the little lane at the bus terminus as this is right at the end.

Berth for bus 11 – accurate bus arrival info! Do remember to cross the little lane at the bus terminus as this is right at the end.

There are also 2 alternative ways to get to Tai O:

1. Take the MTR to Tung Chung station. Take Ngong Ping cable car to Ngong Ping Village (about 25 min, HK$94 per adult for single trip standard cabin). Take bus 21 to Tai O bus terminus (about 20min).

2. Take the ferry from the Central Ferry Pier no. 6 in front of IFC Mall that connects to Mui Wo on Lantau Island, then catch bus 1 from the bus terminus to Tai O bus terminus.

So much for the transport logistics, I must say that the 50 min bus ride was quite a good one as along the way it was quite scenic. I even saw a number of cows wandering on the road! Furthermore, it was also amazing how one can be brought into the rustic nature, complete with mountain & sea, within such a short time, from the urban city shopping life at the Tung Chung station / Citygate Outlet area. 😛 Btw just a piece of advice for you to enjoy a better scenic view if you do take bus 11 to Tai O, remember to sit on the right side of the bus instead as most of the scenery is on the right. 😉

Scenery taken during the bus ride to Tai O

Scenery taken during the bus ride to Tai O

Yay! Reached the Venice of Hong Kong :)

Yay! Reached the Venice of Hong Kong 🙂

After alighting from the bus at the Tai O bus terminus, I could see the big Tai O sign & map (picture above). There were already a few boat company personnel trying to get us to go for their boat ride round the village for HK$20 (S$3.20). I did not take the boat, instead I walked along the waterfront for a stroll & proceeded to the rope-drawn ferry bridge. Without further ado, show you some pictures of the charming fishing village. 😉

Very sunny & windy day - perfect for beautiful pictures!

Very sunny & windy day – perfect for beautiful pictures!

“Welcome to Tai O” sign at Market Street

Beautiful mural depicting life at Tai O in Chinese, with a temple & village committee building next to it

Beautiful mural depicting life at Tai O in Chinese, with a temple & village committee building next to it

The Market Street (街市街) is a little street just across the ferry bridge with many old shops selling local products, particularly dried seafood such as salted fish and duck eggs etc. Somewhere along this street is a temple, a building where the village committee gathers for meetings I presume, and beautiful mural on the building in the picture above. I love the mural because you can easily see what Tai O has to offer – pink dolphins, egrets, local specialties such as salted fish & seafood (咸鱼海味), shrimp paste (淡口虾酱) and charcoal grilled eggy pancake (炭烧鸡蛋仔).

I had read online about how good the Charcoal Grilled Eggy Pancake is, so was trying hard to hunt down the shop. Fortunately I found the uncle who was charcoal-grilling his famous egg pancake to a number of customers a short distance from the mural at Kat Hing Street (大澳吉慶街59號地下). There is no shop name but you definitely can recognise him because there are big publicity posters at the shopfront to catch your attention. Moreover, this cool uncle wears sunglasses when charcoal-grilling the pancake. 🙂

(Top) eggy pancake fresh from the charcoal oven, with the shop in the background! (Bottom) the cool uncle working hard to grill the pancakes

(Top) eggy pancake fresh from the charcoal oven, with the shop in the background! (Bottom) the cool uncle working hard to grill the pancakes

Oh almost forgot to tell you that the charcoal grilled eggy pancake costed HK$13 per pack (S$2.10). It was really yummy, fragrant, fluffy & crispy! Especially good since he charcoal-grilled the pancake only when customers come. You must try this if you go to Tai O! Btw, he has a big dog in the shop that doesn’t like customers taking photos. I was trying to take photo of the shop with the uncle working hard then suddenly the dog barked a few times & startled me. The uncle then told me in Cantonese that it doesn’t like people taking photos. So I had to stand further away from the dog to “secretly” take photo haha.

I only walked till I reached Sun Kei Street (新基街) before I turned back because it was really quiet there & looked like just a place for residence. Besides it was already 4.30pm by then & I wasn’t sure if I could cover much before I had to go back to the bus terminus to catch a bus back to Tung Chung since sunset was between 5.30-6pm. More photos below of the picturesque village. 🙂

Sun Ki Bridge - built in 1979. This made crossing the river much easier than before when they had to use punt across the river.

Sun Ki Bridge – built in 1979. This made crossing the river much easier than before when they had to use punt across the river.

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On the waterfront promenade facing Fan Lau

On the waterfront promenade facing Fan Lau

Sunset @5.26pm!

Sunset @5.26pm!

It was a short visit to Tai O around 2.5 hours, but I really enjoyed my time there. Somehow I felt peaceful & at ease when I am in touch with the nature, a good break from the typical city life hehe. I didn’t do much except walk along the few streets & waterfront promenade, take pictures & eat the eggy pancake. In fact a lot of the time I was “idling” & enjoying the cool strong wind that day. Definitely there is more to explore at Tai O like taking a boat ride to view the stilted houses or try my luck to see the pink dolphins again, or even to go all the way to the Tai O Heritage Hotel which is at the end of the village.

If you are getting bored of the typical Hong Kong city life, do visit Tai O for a refreshing change! However try to visit it on a weekday to avoid the crowd. I visited on a Monday. What’s more, the bus fare is cheaper on weekdays too! 😛 Have fun!

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