A short bus ride from the Big Buddha, the Tai O Fishing Village is home to some of the merely 2,000 fishermen still working in Hong Kong. As in many places, youth seek the sophistication, education, and job opportunities of the city over the back-breaking labor of their forefathers. Visitors can board a speed boat to survey the tiny inlet of houses-cum-docks at Tai O. Wooden shacks are supported by barnacle-covered stilts varied only in degree of color and decay. Lined with speed boats and pastel wooden fishing vessels, the inlet is presided over by the green peaks of Lantau Island.
The highlight of speeding through this village is the search for the elusive but curious Chinese White Dolphin, which is actually pink!
A Day at Tai O Fishing Village & Heritage Hotel
You board a bus to one of Hong Kong’s few remaining fishing villages, Tai O. From a speed boat loaded with tourists, you see colorful houses on stilts with Lantau mountains in the backdrop. Two cats are perched near the water, eager to glean any remnants of the day.
The boat leaves the channel and within minutes you’re in the China Sea playing “Spot the dolphin.” Fellow passengers erupt with glee as a pink fin is spotted just feet from the vessel. Then another! And another! You had no idea the Chinese White Dolphin was actually Pepto pink. The elusive creatures seem to be circling the boat, though none of them breach for very long. You are in awe.
And you are hungry. Again.
You have a reservation at Tai O Heritage Hotel for afternoon tea. The elegant dining room on the second floor has a wall of windows where you can view the sea as well as a lush forest. Your tea and light appetizers hit the spot. You don’t want to leave, but the sun is setting and the horizon turns a vibrant orange. You board your boat back to the village, then glide past the Big Buddha in a glass-bottom cable car.
I visited Hong Kong as a guest of United Airlines. As always, opinions are my own.