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Tung Chung to Tai O: follow the scent of the sea and explore this ancient village
Written by South China Morning Post
If the route passing through Sha Lo Wan Village is temporarily closed, it will not be possible to walk from Tai O to Tung Chung. For inquiries, please call the District Lands Office, Islands at +852 2852 4265.
Average hiking time: About 4.5 hours |Distance: About 14.5 km | Difficulty: Difficult
Tai O is one of Hong Kong’s oldest fishing villages. This hike transports you to ground zero of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, heavy with pungent smells. Hong Kong owes its origins to villages like Tai O, and the aromas recall almost-gone eras of its history.
Tung O Ancient Trail starts at Tung Chung Fort, built in 1832. The site became a naval headquarters in 1898, then turned into a police station and later a school.
Stop 2: Tung O Ancient Trail
The mostly concrete, gently undulating Tung O Ancient Trail takes you past centuries-old villages, vestiges of Lantau’s traditional agricultural and fishing life — you may catch a whiff of incense from an old temple or of drying seafood and freshly stirred shrimp paste.
Stop 3: Tai O Stilt Houses
The concrete path eventually turns into a mountain trail as the distinct stilt houses of Tai O appear in the distance, sitting above the water as they have for generations.
Stop 4: Tai O Heritage Hotel
The deeper you venture into Tai O, the stronger the cacophony of smells from its famous foods, such as salted fish, duck egg yolks and shrimp paste, becomes. A couple of hundred metres later, you arrive at the end of the trail, Tai O Heritage Hotel. Perched high on a lush hillside, this historic building was originally a police station from 1902.
There are stores at Sham Wat Wan. Plenty of shops can also be found near MTR Tung Chung Station and Tai O Market.
Getting to Tung Chung
From MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, take bus 3M, 11 or 11A at Tung Chung Town Centre Bus Terminus and get off at Ha Ling Pei. Follow the signs to Tung Chung Fort.
Leaving from Tai O
Take bus 11 back to MTR Tung Chung Station.
A ferry is available from Tai O to Tung Chung and Tuen Mun. From these points, public transport is available to other destinations.
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