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Tai O fishing village — experience traditional Hong Kong culture

Sassy Hong Kong
  • Written by Sassy Hong Kong
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Tai O is hidden away at the far end of Lantau Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a step back in time as you explore the historic Tai O fishing village, home to the iconic Tai O Heritage Hotel, scenic hiking trails, traditional restaurant fare and street snacks. Keep an eye out for local Tai O souvenirs such as shrimp paste, salty fish and dried seafood.

Tai O is home to the Tanka people, a community of fisher folk who’ve built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats of Lantau Island for generations. These stilt houses are interconnected, forming a tightly knit community that lives on the water. 

Things to see and do in the Tai O fishing village

Visitors on a boat trip

Tai O boat trips

A boat tour is arguably the best way to see Tai O’s stilt houses and canals. As you wander around the town, you’ll find vendors selling tickets for boat rides through the waterways.

Tai Chung Bridge and Sun Ki Bridge

Visit the Sun Ki Bridge for a classic Tai O photo of stilt houses against rolling green hills. Over at the Tai Chung Bridge, you’ll see how the bridge is drawn for boats to pass through — it’s a sight to behold. 

Important Tai O festivals

Tai O during the Lantern Festival

The Tai O Lantern Festival

Tai O celebrates Mid-Autumn in style! In the seaside fishing village, colourful local handcrafted and painted lanterns are hung during the 20-day festival in autumn. Both the Sun Ki Bridge and Tai Chung bridge make excellent photo locations.

Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade

Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade

If you happen to be in town for the annual Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade, then you are in for a treat. The parade has been a religious activity for over a century, and was inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage in 2011. The sacred sampans carry statues from local temples through the waterways as part of this centuries-old tradition.

Tai O restaurants and must-try street snacks

Cheung Choi Kee

Cheung Choi Kee

Cheung Choi Kee is known for their ‘husband rolls’. A Cantonese wordplay on ‘shrimp and pork rolls’, this mouthwatering treat is made from the famous Tai O shrimp paste lathered on pork filling and wrapped in pastry.

Fish balls at Fuk Hing Hong

Fuk Hing Hong

Fish balls, marinated cuttlefish, and tofu pudding are hard to miss at Fuk Hing Hong, a food stall located at the entrance of the Tai O fishing village. You know they’re good when locals also queue for their food.

Tai O Store

Fresh seafood is a must-try in any fishing village. For a tasty street snack or two, Tai O Store grills shrimp, cuttlefish, squid, oysters, and scallops over charcoal.

Crossing Boat Restaurant

Crossing Boat Restaurant

Crossing Boat Restaurant’s balcony provides a great view of the boats cruising by Tai O while you enjoy traditional Cantonese dishes. The charcoal-roasted goose, fried cuttlefish patties and Tai O steamed rice wrapped in lotus leaves are our top picks.

Tai O hiking trails

Tai O Country Trail

The Fu Shan Viewing Point

You can reach the scenic Fu Shan Viewing Point by hiking 20 minutes along the Tai O Country Trail. You’ll be treated to views across the water, including the Hong Kong–Macao–Zhuhai Bridge. 

The Tung O Ancient Trail is surrounded by a breathtaking coastline

The Tung O Ancient Trail

Hiking from Tung Chung to Tai O will work up an appetite. For an energetic start to your day, follow the 14.3 km Tung O Ancient Trail (approximately 3.5 to 4 hours) along the northern coastline of Lantau Island from Tung Chung all the way to the Tai O fishing village.

The Tai O Heritage Hotel

The Tai O Heritage Hotel

Whether you’re staying the night, dining at their restaurant, or taking a guided tour, Tai O Heritage Hotel is not to be missed. Formerly a marine police station built in 1902, the historic building has been transformed into a boutique hotel and recognised by UNESCO. Take a free guided tour at the hotel or enjoy the afternoon tea set with Tai O delicacies!

How to get to Tai O

How to get to Tai O

Central to Tai O 
Take the train to MTR Tung Chung Station, or a ferry  to Mui Wo from Central Pier No. 6 to reach Tai O. Then, follow the instructions below. 

Tung Chung to Tai O
Take bus 11 from MTR Tung Chung Station to Tai O (the journey takes about 45 minutes).

Mui Wo to Tai O
Take bus 1 from the Mui Wo Ferry Pier to Tai O (the journey takes about 45 minutes). 

Tuen Mun to Tai O
The ferry from Tuen Mun operates several times daily between Tuen Mun and Tai O via Tung Chung.

Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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