Last day as a tai tai

So I guess the reason I have been writing less frequently is because I have been busying my days with internships part time jobs etc.  Last Friday was actually my last official day as a tai tai (I’d handed in my notice at Time Out and part time job for corporate world job – eeek – more on that in the coming weeks) and so I thought I’d best make the most of my last day of freedom.  So despite weather warnings I thought i’d head to Tai O, a small fishing village on Lantau Island I’d been desperate to visit since our arrival.

It was actually a much longer journey than I anticipated.  Firstly, I had to get a bus into central HK, followed by a picturesque boat ride from the island over to Mui Wo, Lantau which took around an hour.  Maybe picturesque isn’t quite right because of all the shipping vessels you see (and get very scared of when it appears like you are almost about to crash into them), but the views of the skyline on the Island are something else.  Anyway, from Mui Wo I took the bus to Tai O which again was probably about another hour. So you can imagine I was pretty pleased to arrive when what should happen?  But the heavens opened big time and I spent twenty minutes sheltering under a make shift tarpaulin from the storm until it was safe enough to wander with an umbrella.

(you can’t really see the extent of the storm in this pic – dammit)

It doesn’t take very long to explore this little village at all.  An old fishing village, there used to be a much larger community in comparison to those that remain today.  This quaint place used to house 20,000 people and was the most prosperous port of the River Delta.  Salt production was also a major source of industry right up until the 50s.  Despite the depopulation and increase in tourism, it still has a rustic charm and very much feels like the original ‘real deal’.  Dried seafood markets line the roads, villagers sit out in the square – catching up on the daily gossip and local food dominates the streets.

A great way to have an explore is to take a water tour around the coastline at just $25.  The ‘tour’ (really just a boat ride) takes you along the coastline – a great way to see the stilt homes and if you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of Hong Kong’s Chinese White Dolphins.  That day I wasn’t so lucky, but I’m told you can pay a bit more and head further out to sea on special dolphin watching trips.  Might do that next time!

I had a wander around the markets and snuck a peak at the local temple.  Lots of restaurants were shut, and I would imagine that they only open at the weekend when there are more visitors.  I did manage to find a cute little teahouse called Solo, where I treated myself to an iced ginger tea, whilst reading my book.

I think if the weather had been a bit better I could have combined the trip with a bit of seaside action – I noticed a lot of beaches on the way over to Tai O which on a brighter day I’d certainly be stopping at.  I’d love to come back with Joe and generally spend a bit more time in the area, maybe even do an overnight and some hiking up to the monastery.

Finally, I thought i’d leave you with a couple of comical scenes I spotted on my travels…