Friday, June 8, 2012

Tai O Stilt Village

A century ago this mostly Tanka Village on the west coast of Lantau was an important trading and fishing port.  Mostly salt and fish was exported to China, but as recently as the 1980's it traded in illegal 
immigrants brought from China in long narrow boats, and sending back contraband such as refrigerators, 
radios and tv's to the mainland.

Today Tai O is mostly a tourist destination.  Some older people still make their living duck farming,
 fishing, and making the village's well known shrimp paste.
This narrow foot bridge connects the island to Lantau.  Until the mid 1990's the only way to cross
 was via a rope-tow ferry pulled by elderly Hakka women.

Another thing they are known for is processing salt fish, which you can definitely smell as you
walk along the market.

A sand crab just waiting for someone to consume him!
We couldn't figure what these were, but they sure cost a lot!
Dried squid!
If  you're not hungry for squid, why not have some shark!!

Hau Wong Temple with neat statues along the top.

Snacking on  fruit as they walk along.
The sign says Snow White Spouse Wanted!!  Not sure how she and her many dwarfs  fit in but then you are never quit sure about a lot of things here!
Locals enjoying a game of Mahjong.
Checking out an alleyway!  Some of the shacks are made with corrugated iron held together
with ropes.
The center waterway still has some of the traditional style stilt village houses.  A fire in 2000 destroyed many of the stilt houses along the waterfront.  When the government tried to tear down the rest and relocate residents elsewhere, there was a lot of opposition, so these few remain. 
This old couple were trying to fish a woven basket from the bottom of their boat!

Bridge that was constructed in 1979.

A lot of the local people ride these three wheel bikes with little trailers on the back. They have a
bell on the handle bars that they ring to let you know they are coming.  I think l need one of 
these to use for getting groceries once l get home!
Grandpa and his faithful companion (who looks so tall there!)
A treat to finish the visit to Tai O with!

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