The History of Tai O Fishing Village In 1 Minute

Photo of Michaela Fulton
27 April 2017

Partly located on an island of the same name, Tai O is situated on the western side of Lantau Island – one of the biggest outlying island locations in Hong Kong that makes for a perfect day trip out of the city.

Some proclaim that Tai O is the ‘Venice of Hong Kong’, but don’t expect it to be anything like its Italian counterpart. A small community area that became popular because of its close vicinity to Ngong Ping and Tian Tan, it does have a unique tranquil atmosphere that is hard to beat when you’re looking for something different to Hong Kong’s city centre.

The buildings and stilt houses that can still be seen today originate from the 19th Century, when fishermen in the Ming Dynasty began to reside here. It became one of the most important fishing ports in Hong Kong, and the only place that has a sedentary fishing community that has been around for more than 100 years.

© Thomas Au / Flickr | © Polar / Flickr | © Ruth Johnston / Flickr

When the British came to Hong Kong, this small village was known as Tanka, and during and after the Chinese Civil War, it became a primary entry-point for illegal immigration. Now, fishing has become a less than satisfactory means of support for the village yet its pretty setting on the coast makes the village a dream for tourists, locals, and photographers looking to get a glimpse into that quaint, old lifestyle. You may even be lucky enough to spot the rare pink dolphins that swim around the waters of the village.

Address: Tai O, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands

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