As promised, Ry and I finally got round to taking a ferry from our local pier (Tuen Mun) after living here for over a year! As the departures were few and far between with only 3 destinations, we decided to head to Tai O to check out its natural infinity pool! We made it just in the nick of time and raced onto the ferry…
An hour later, we arrived in Tai O, the oldest fishing village in HK, located on the Western coast of Lantau Island, popular for its seafood, stilt houses and fishing culture.
Look at all that luscious greenery!
Over a century ago, Tai O used to be an important trading and fishing port, however this is no longer the case as most young people move away when they come of age. Tai O is mostly populated with Tanka people – a nomadic southern Chinese ethnic group who have settled in the community over the past two centuries, having previously lived on junk boats in various parts of the South China Sea. They have built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats for generations. These unusual structures are interconnected, forming a tightly-knit community that literally lives on the water. Unfortunately since a large fire broke out in 2000, the village mostly consists of squatter’s huts and dilapidated stilt houses. Nevertheless the stilt village is a big tourist attraction.
Since coming here with Sarah and Luke last year, I’ve been craving their giant fish balls, which seem to be an island delicacy!
One spicy, one traditional. I like to take a bite of each, just to mix it up!
Tai O is a quaint and peaceful village, with no recognizable shops in sight.
It’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its bright lights and traffic.
There was also an abundance of shrines.
We took a relaxing walk down the main stretch, with the occasional dinging from a local bike whizzing by.
Many residents continue to make a living the traditional way, through selling fresh and dried seafood and shrimp paste, which is famous in this area.
Our final stop before the hike, was a privately-owned museum, filled with housing implements and photos collected from locals, to offer us a visual insight into this centuries-old village and the Tanka people that inhabit it.
There were also fishing nets and traditional wedding outfits.
Having explored the village from top to toe, we began our hike to the infinity pool with stunning views along the way! 😀
We also discovered banana trees, goldfish, berries, flowers, chilies and huge spiders!
You’re on the right track if you see this sign!
We met some friendly, fellow infinity-pool hikers on the way, just catching their breath!
An hour or so later…
We found it! 😀
Oh man, it felt so good to get our sticky, sweaty selves in the cool water!
When we arrived, there was just another couple there, and then we were joined by the three travelers that we met on the way. Having made it up here, we all wanted to take a photo from the other side and the only way to do that was to swim with our phones/cameras, so Ry popped my phone into a plastic lunch box and swam over with it. Luckily, all went swimmingly 😉
Check out that view!
Ry even climbed up by the waterfall! While we were there, we met some sweet Hungarian travelers who we lent our lunch box to for them to safely get their camera to the other side, along with a group of really good looking Chinese people who we swore must’ve been Abercrombie and Fitch employees…
Upon returning to the other side, our fellow adventurers offered to take a few snaps for us, which was lovely of them!
This is one of my favourite photos! 😀
Once we’d had our fill of swimming, we got changed and headed back to catch our ferry home.
I may or may not have had a few more giant fish-balls, while we were waiting (I did).
Oh, and we met this casual wanderer too!
To find out how to get to the infinity pool, we followed this super helpful step-by-step guide by Hike Hong Kong.
PS. technically the pool is a catch basin and you’re not supposed to be there or swim there, but we won’t tell if you don’t! 😉