W a i t i n g
at Central Pier 6 for the ferry to Lantau Island is part of the journey one has to endure to get to Tai-O. But itâ€™s worth the ferry ride and the bus ride that comes after.
On the main part of Lantau, a river splits to the north and west and at this fork lies the village referred to as Tai O.
S i m p l e tow n One look at Tai - o, and itâ€™s a massive fishing village filled with people who are contented. Kids still enjoying the simple pleasures of old childhood games. Their main mean of transport being on bicycles are just part of the whole old-school feeling you get from Tai-O
Many of the village folks depend on their little shops that line the streets to help them get by everyday. One man, has been selling Vanilla Egg Pancakes for more than 15 years. Everyday he sits by his stall in modern aviators, waiting for customers to come by.
T a i - O
L i f e
Napping on benches under trees, old coke bottles, fishing from their houses on stilts by the river. Making shrimp paste. Strolling by the street alleys. Playing chess. Thatâ€™s basicallly the routine life of the locals living in Tai - O.
Some of the more common shops sell dried goods like dried fish, shrimps and other kinds of seafood. One might wonder who would buy these. The fact that there are more than 10 similar stalls says otherwise.
He claims that his natural mountain mint tea removes the heatiness from our body and detoxes us of bad toxins. Aside from his supposedly well-known tea, he sells other things like a special fried carrot cake and other fried street foods that are sure to satiate ones tastebuds. He was not originally from Tai - O, but he has been living there for the past 30 years. He used to rear pigs but decided to help his wife with their food stall. He has said that over the years, many residents have closed shop and moved out because there was less business activity. He used to be able to sell 5 pigs a day. But it is impossible today to even sell half a pig. There are less fish to be caught and most of their customers are tourists. He has 3 daughters, 2 of which are still working on the island and they still live with him. When asked whether he will ever move off the island, he says “never. I will never leave this place. It’s quiet and laid-back. The air is cleaner. I don’t need anything else.”
â€œ L i fe b e g i n s a t 7 0 â€? ;a local who grew up in tai-o and does odd jobs in his retirement.
Most of the traffic of people seen in tai-o are made my tourists mostly. Many make a business out of providing boat rides along the western shore and the main creek, as well as selling little souvenirs to them.
Pang uk (棚屋) is a kind of stilt house. It is built right over the waterway. Majority of the people living in Tai-O live in these Pang Uk’s. The whole village just looks like something out of a history book. One look at the village and you would wonder whether they are as backwards as they look. In reality, they really are not intertwined with all the technologies and advancements of the outside world.
The people in Tai-O are not alone. Animals of all sorts join them in their everyday lives. From cats to dogs, fishes to dolphines. They all live together as a community and are equally a part of the Tai-O heritage and culture.
TA I - O