10 Things to Do in Tai O Fishing Village for a Great Trip

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Jonathan

There are many things to do and experience in Tai O historical fishing village. Known for its stilt houses, pink dolphins, and dried seafood, the village offers a unique experience that you won't find anywhere else in Hong Kong. Here are some of the top things to do when visiting Tai O Fishing Village. What…

Things to do in Tai O
ChensiyuanCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are many things to do and experience in Tai O historical fishing village. Known for its stilt houses, pink dolphins, and dried seafood, the village offers a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Hong Kong. Here are some of the top things to do when visiting Tai O Fishing Village.

What to do in Tai O

Tai O village is not a big area, which makes it easy to walk between attractions while enjoying the calming atmosphere of the village. Though the village is relatively small, there are plenty of things you could do there. You may need two days or even more depending on your plan and preferences.

See the Picturesque Stilt Houses

One of the first things that will caught your eye in Tai O were the iconic stilt houses. These traditional wooden structures are built on stilts over the tidal flats, allowing residents to live in harmony with the surrounding waterways. You should take leisurely stroll along the narrow pathways between the stilt houses to feel the serene atmosphere of this charming fishing village.

Take a Boat Ride to Spot Pink Dolphins

A must-do activity in Tai O is taking a boat ride, where you may get to see the rare Chinese white dolphins, or “pink dolphins,” if you’re lucky. The boat tours last around 20 minutes and offer beautiful views of the stilt houses as you pass by them.

Explore the Bustling Market Street

In Tai O’s lively market street, you’ll find a variety of local products. It is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs and sample some delicious local cuisine. Be sure to try shrimp paste, salty fish, and dried seafood, which are Tai O specialties.

Stay at the Charming Heritage Hotel

If you have time and want to fully explore Tai O without rushing, you should spend a night there and consider staying at the Tai O Heritage Hotel. This beautifully restored colonial-era building was once a police station that was built in 1902 and now serves as a charming boutique hotel with only 9 rooms. With its blend of historic charm and modern amenities, the hotel provides a comfortable and unique experience.

Visit Historical Temples

Tai O has several centuries old temples such as Kwan Tai Temple, Yeung Hau Temple, Hung Shing Temple, and Tin Hau Temple. Each temple has its own unique history and is dedicated to certain deities. These temples are related to the Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade during Tuen Ng Festival as each of the deity statues is invited to participate in the parade. Be sure to take some time to explore each temple before continuing your journey through Tai O.

Kwan Tai Temple

Kwan Tai Temple is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong that was originally built around 1488 – 1505 and rebuilt in 1741 to worship Kwan Tai, who is also referred to as Guan Yu, a famous military general of the Three Kingdoms (220 – 280). It’s definitely worth checking out when visiting Tai O.

Yeung Hau Temple

This temple has been declared as a monument and is estimated to be built around 1699 to worship Hau Wong, who is believed to be a general of the Southern Song Dynasty.

Tin Hau Temple

Tin Hau temple at San Tsuen Tai O was built to honor Tin Hau or also known as “Matsu”, who according to legend, possessed extraordinary powers and saved numerous people from maritime disasters.

Hung Shing Temple

Built in the 1746 during the Qing Dynasty, this temple is dedicated to the famous “God of Southern Sea” deity, Hung Shing.

Hike Fu Shan Viewing Point

For breathtaking views of Tai O and its surrounding landscape, head north to the Fu Shan Viewing Point. The hike is relatively easy, and the panoramic vistas are well worth the effort. It’s the perfect spot to snap some memorable photos!

Take a Walk Along Tung O Ancient Trail

The Tung O Ancient Trail is an old path that runs along the edge of Tai O’s waterfront area. It’s an ideal spot for taking in views of the surrounding mountains and sea. The trail also passes by several historical sites such as Hung Shing Temple.

Dragon Boat Water Parade

Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade
Kelvin MaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Tai O’s most popular events is its annual dragon boat water parade. During this event, locals dress up in traditional costumes and paddle their boats along the river while singing songs and performing various rituals. The race is usually held around June, be sure to check Hong Kong Tourism Board to find the exact date for each year.

Celebrate the Tai O Lantern Festival

Another unforgettable experience in Tai O is the Lantern Festival, held annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month. The village comes alive with colorful lanterns and festive celebrations, making it a truly magical time to visit.

When to Visit Tai O

You can visit Tai O anytime of the year, though you may want to avoid July to September when the rainfall is typically high. If you visit sometime around June, you may get to see the annual Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade (the exact date may change every year). During Mid-Autumn Festival in September or October, you can see The Tai O Lantern Festival. As an additional note, Hongkongers may like to visit this village during weekends and holidays, so you may not want to go to Tai O during that time.