Tai O Fishing Village – Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Taking a brief ferry ride over to Lantau Island is an exercise in contrast. While Hong Kong Island is a bustling, cosmopolitan city complete with a harbor laser show at night and every restaurant and store you can imagine, Lantau Island is a quiet refuge populated mostly by cows and people living very simple lives. I enjoyed the break from the big city. I seem to be drawn to this type of atmosphere, where life moves slowly and is uncomplicated by urban institutions.
Known as the “Venice of Hong Kong”, this fishing village consists almost entirely of pang uk, or stilt houses built on the river. The inhabitants of the village were friendly, waving and smiling as we went by. They make their living by producing fish and fish products, but the lifestyle is slowly dying out. Most of them cannot live on the income from fishing alone, and the younger generations are trading the village lifestyle in for the big city and more opportunities.