The fishing village of Tai O, located on the western coast of Lantau Island, is known for its traditional culture and seafaring way of life. Once a bustling trade port, the village features stilt houses, seafood markets, and graded buildings that provide insight into a Hong Kong of the past, while its street food, cafes, and wildlife-watching boat tours keep it a popular destination today.
Gain comprehensive insight into Lantau on a tour that visits Tai O alongside other island attractions, including the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping 360. To really keep things hassle free, opt for a coach or private driver; you can also explore the scenic trails of Tai O and beyond on a hiking or walking tour. Optimize your chances of seeing wildlife, including this area’s famous Chinese white dolphins, on a tour that includes a boat trip from Tai O.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tai O’s unique architecture, culture, and wildlife make it a must for wildlife lovers, photographers, and anyone interested in the territory’s history.
- Tours that offer round-trip transfers are the best bet for wheelchair-users, as the accessibility of public transport in the area can’t be guaranteed. Most local boat tours, for instance, aren’t wheelchair-accessible.
- Remember to bring cash and small change for the markets and street food stalls.
How to Get There
Tours that offer round-trip transfer are typically the most time-efficient way to visit the village. Bus no. 11 serves Tai O from Tung Chung, but that can take well over an hour. Visitors visiting by ferry can take bus no. 1 from Mui Wo Pier on the east side of the island, though this can take up to two hours. Bus no. 21 from Ngong Ping, which takes around 20 minutes, is the preferred route of most tours.
When to Get There
Tai O’s shops and stalls tend to close on rainy days. Weekends, meanwhile, can get very crowded in the village as locals and tourists pack the streets, so aim to visit on a clear weekday. Additionally, Tai O’s sunset views are considered some of the best on the island. Take advantage of tours that offer dinner by dusk—it’s a thoroughly relaxing experience.
Overnight in Tai O
Most people visit Tai O for just a few hours, but nightfall tends to bring an even deeper sense of calm to the picturesque village. For a relatively small area, Tai O is home to a fair range of hotels, hostels, and B&Bs; far from the skyscrapers and city traffic, overnight visitors can gain an entirely different perspective of life in Hong Kong.