It’s just 10 minutes by cab from the airport to Tung Chung, and from there bus 11 will take you through Lantau Island’s expansive greenery to Tai O in less than an hour. It’s been dubbed the ‘Venice of the Orient’ – an atmospheric fishing village where stilt houses line both sides of the channel.
Treat yourself to a Hakka cha guo sticky rice treat from Yan Gu (11A Wing On Street) before you step on board a speedboat with Tai O Boat Excursion (HK$25) and get up close to the stilt houses. Afterwards the boat heads out into the harbour and if you’re very lucky, you’ll spot some of Hong Kong’s endangered pink dolphins.
Follow the smell of the dried seafood and cross the Tai Chung Pedestrian Bridge to reach the al fresco Tai O Market. It’s the perfect spot to grab a snap of both sides of the village.
Time for a late al fresco lunch at Crossing Boat Restaurant (33 Kat Hing Street). You’re in a fishing village, so order the house specialities: deep-fried squid patties and long chai rice, a richly fragrant parcel of rice wrapped in lotus leaf with dried seafood, pork and shrimp paste.
Tai O Market Street and the adjacent Shek Tsai Po Street are packed with good eats and souvenirs. Tuck into a classic HK-style egg waffle at Wah Kee (121 Shek Tsai Po Street), still cooked over an old-school charcoal grill, and grab your foodie friends a present of umami-laden shrimp paste at the nearly century-old Sing Lee Shrimp Sauce and Paste (10 Shek Tsai Po Street).
A stroll along Kat Hing Back Street leads to the Tai O Viewing Point and views of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. From there, it’s an easy 15-minute walk up the hill to the Fu Shan Viewing Point for more commanding views of the greenery of Lantau.
Grab a coffee at Tai Ohhh (1 Tai O Market Street ) and enjoy a sunset stroll along Tai O Promenade. This long path loops around a mangrove forest, planted over former salt pans: a reminder of the village’s enduring history and relationship with the sea.