STILT HOUSES, AIRPLANES & DOLPHINS
There is a little for boys and girls of all ages on this easy-to-moderate walk along the northwest coast of Lantau Island: New
dormitory towns, old temples, traditional villages, unique fishing communities, gleaming airplanes and pink dolphins….
Setting out from Tung Chung MTR station, we pass through the remains of an old fishing hamlet and walk around a giant
public (council) housing estate to visit a traditional tiered-roof shoreline 18th-century temple dedicated to Hau Wong; a loyal
and courageous general who, despite failing health, remained in the army to protect the last boy-emperors of the Southern
Song Dynasty when they took refuge southwards in Kowloon.
Leaving the temple, we follow a series of undulating village footpaths along Lantau Island's northern coast which join
together the small villages of San Tau, Sha Lo Wan, Sham Shek Tsuen and Sham Wat. We will discover whether the Chek
Lap Kok International Airport or the Hong Kong - Zhu Hai - Macau Bridge have had any impact on these remote farming
hamlets while we take in the beautiful scenery and – probably - succumb to a little plane spotting.
After a brief snack and refreshment stop at one of the small stores at Sham Wat bay, the concrete ends and we follow a dirt
trail into Tai O.
The Tanka people arrived in Tai O many centuries ago. Most of them were fishermen, but salt production was another major
industry and source of income to the village. Having this much salt around gave rise to another unique industry of Tai O; the
production of salted marine products like salted fish, salted shrimps, salted squids, shrimp cakes and shrimp paste. These
are still popular souvenirs for tourists and are well known worldwide. Apart from marine products, other food products like
duck egg yolks and vegetables are also preserved with salt. Although the salt harvest in Tai O ended in the early 1970s, the
production of salted preserved food continues to this day and is usually carried out by the older residents of the village. You
will be amazed by the sheer number of stores selling both salted marine products and fresh seafood along Tai O’s narrow
One distinct feature of Tai O are the ‘Pang Uks’, a kind of stilt house built over water or on small beaches. Developed from
the boat houses of the Tanka, after they moved to reside on land, these houses were once found in many other fishing towns
and villages in rural Hong Kong, but only those in Tai O are preserved in large numbers. Traces of the big fire that swept
through Tai O in 2000 can still be found, but many of the traditional houses have been rebuilt, so it is still possible to catch a
glimpse of what life was like hundreds of years ago as time seems to have slowed down here.
Having made our way through Tai O, we suggest finishing the outing with a 30-minute boat trip which will take you not only
around the waterways of Tai O but also out to sea in search of the endangered pink coloured Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa
chinensis). While there is no guarantee of a sighting, it is a great end to a pleasant walk.…
Back on shore, you have the option to join the group for a quick shared lunch at a small restaurant before heading back to
|Participants on all Hansen's Events' hikes and rides take part entirely at their own risk. By joining any of our events all participants are automatically seen to have
agreed to have entered into a disclaimer which exonerates the outing leaders and the organizers from any personal or public responsibility whatsoever and for any
claims, injuries or damages arising thereof.
|... exploring Hong Kong's other side...
|by Hansen's Events
|Due to work commitments, holidays and other personal matters,
Hansen's Hikes & Rides has decided to SUSPEND all operations until further notice.
Apologizing for any inconvenience caused,
we hope to partially resume our outings towards the end of the year.