Tai O Fishing Village - Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Hong Kong island isn’t all crowded streets, neon lights and towering concrete buildings. There’s a side to Hong Kong that not everyone knows about and peaceful Tai O fishing village is the perfect example of this.
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We hadn’t even heard of Tai O fishing village when we boarded our ferry from Hong Kong central to Lantau Island. The main reason we decided to head over to the island was to visit Cheung Sha beach, Hong Kong’s longest stretch of sand.
We still had plenty of time left in the day once we’d finished enjoying some beach time, so we got on our 4G connection to see what else we could see while we were on Lantau Island. Tai O seemed a good destination since we had not been to a Hong Kong fishing village before.
Related reading: Check out our guide to the best things to do in all of Hong Kong!
Tai O Fishing Village Location
Located on the west side of Lantau Island, Tai O fishing village is a great place to spend a few hours. If you’re a fan of fishing, you would be in total fishing heaven here.
Lantau Island is the biggest of Hong Kong’s islands, so it’s a popular destination for Hong Kong city day-trippers. Most visitors head to the island to ride the cable car to the Big Buddha, but not everyone makes the extra effort to see Tai O.
Lantau Island is a lovely place to spend a whole day. It’s one of the many Hong Kong islands that are in complete contrast to crazy Hong Kong central. Much of the island is uninhabited and the rolling green mountains are protected parklands. It’s calm, with quiet roads that are perfect for exploring the multiple sights of interest including Tai O fishing village.
Things to do in Tai O Fishing Village
Tai O fishing village is famous for its unique stilt houses built above the water. It’s also known for its pink dolphins which we, unfortunately, didn’t see. The stilt houses are mostly inhabited by fisherfolk, who are descendants of the ancient Yueh tribe, Hong Kong’s first major settlers.
There are plenty of things to do in this unusual Hong Kong fishing village to keep you occupied for at least a couple of hours.
Sun Ki Bridge
Sun Ki Bridge offers a great viewpoint of many stilt houses down a long section of the river. The 30-year-old bridge was funded and built by local residents as a way to gain better access to the village. Not many tourists made it this far into the village so was nice and quiet while we enjoyed the views. Sun Ki bridge is probably the best stilt house photo opportunity in Tai O fishing village.
Browse the Hong Kong Fishing Village Market and Shops
At the time we visited, Tai O fishing village was quite buzzy with market activity. The narrow vehicle free lanes in Tai O are great for browsing market stalls and shops. The most popular item sold in the village is dried fish which is hung around Tai O everywhere you look. We hope you enjoy the smell of fish! If not, this Hong Kong fishing village might not be for you 🙂
There are obviously lots of fishy treats to eat including tasty steamed fish balls and dumplings. We found one lady selling a variety of traditional Chinese sweet rice puddings which were delicious.
Tao O Boat Trip
A boat trip around Tai O fishing village is a great way to get a different perspective of the stilt houses. The boats take you close to the houses so you get a more intimate feel for how the locals live.
The boats also take you out to sea in search of Chinese white dolphins. They also call them ‘pink dolphins’ because, for some reason here in China, they have overdeveloped blood vessels, making them appear pink in colour.
Don’t get your hopes up too high for seeing them, as they are sadly dying out around Hong Kong due to pollution. However, the Tai O boat trips are still worth it at just $20HK (£2) per person.
Chill Out with a Drink on the Waterside
There are a handful of simple restaurants and coffee shops in Tai O fishing village. Some with small stilted terraces opening out onto the water. Having just a handful on offer meant that Tai O still has it’s traditional charm and not over developed like some Chinese villages we’ve heard about.
However, we did notice a couple of new players in town which could be a sign of where Tai O fishing village is going. These newer breeds of businesses included a cat cafe and another selling craft beer! Let’s hope it stops there.
How to Get to Tai O Fishing Village
We were staying in the Wan Chai area on Hong Kong Island and getting to this Hong Kong fishing village was pretty easy. We decided to take the ferry to Mui Wo on Lantau Island but there are buses you can take to Tung Chung, also on Lantau Island. Tung Chung also has an MTR station. From either of these towns, you can take a bus to Tai O fishing village.
If you’d like to take the ferry from Hong Kong central, as we did, then read on.
Follow These Steps
- Take the MTR or tram to Central Station
- Walk to the Cental Ferry Terminal
- Follow signs to pier number 6 for Mui Wo (Lantau Island)
- Take the fast (35 mins) or ordinary (50 mins) ferry to Mui Wo
- Once at Mui Wo, take bus 1 from just outside the ferry terminal
- Get off at the last bus stop for Tai O (35 mins from Mui Wo and around $15HK)
You can check out the Central to Mui Wo ferry schedule here, and the various ferry prices here. We took the fast ferry at $28HK each way.
As great as Tai O fishing village is, it wouldn’t be worth going all that way from Hong Kong central just for it. Make sure to include some of the other Lantau Island highlights such as Tian Tan Buddha and Cheung Sha Beach to your day trip on the island.