Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tai O (HK)

Tai O is one of the many islands in HK that you have to take a ferry to get to. It doesn't take very long - about an hour or so - and there are several stops along the way. It really saddens me to see all the garbage that gets thrown into the water along the harbour, including styrofoam boxes (used for keeping fish, I believe) and lots of plastic bottles:

Styrofoam box on the rocks
Inside of the ferry waiting area
Outside, along the harbour

The main street is packed with food vendors, especially dried seafood stores, and as you continue on along the street, you encounter more and more houses that look as though they're about to crumble, squished between two newer houses or stores with no space in between them, as well as empty lots that were overgrown with plants. While the description sounds really bleak, I think these were absolutely beautiful.

Looking out from a dessert shop (doufu hua & black sesame)
End of the main street, looking back at housing
Breaking down, but beautiful in its own right.
And of course, stilt houses all along the shore. We walked into the streets, but I'm still not sure whether those areas are actually open to the public: they are houses after all.

Stilt houses
And even further along the path (we were the only tourists around), there was some incredibly beautiful scenery to be experienced:

I believe the copper-coloured building was for burning articles (as part of worshipping ancestors)
I wonder who lives in that complex?
Suffice it to say I was enchanted by Tai O. While part of me hopes it never changes, half the island already has higher rise buildings than the areas we walked around, and I'm not sure any amount of wishing will make those buildings stay where they are and leave the rest alone.

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