Hong Kong, Outdoor Activity, Outlying Islands

Hiking: Tung Chung to Tai O

The other weekend I joined a Meet-up group hike from Tung Chung to Tai O. We were a group of 30 people, a mix of Chinese and Westerners all from different backgrounds. I’ve met students looking for jobs, people that have lived and worked in Hong Kong over 20 years, newly arrived people and others that are ready to pack their stuff and leave Hong Kong at the end of this year. All in all a fun group of people to hike slowly on a hot sunny day from Tung Chung to Tai O.

We started off at the Yat Tung Estate and made our way to the waterfront, where we followed the signs to Tai O. The first stop took us to a small temple direct at the water. There was no name, but given that the temple was close to the sea I would assume it is a Tin Hau Temple, dedicated to the Deity of the Sea.

We then passed through a rural area with a few houses. All built in the typical villages style, with two floors, a flat roof and a balcony. It was a hot day, but very overcast – so the light is not great and the sky is too bright, but actually the dots in the background are the cable cars of the Ngong Ping Cable Car to the Big Buddha.

The hike is very easy – it is just a walk on an almost flat path with sign posts at every bend or corner. The sign posts are in English and Chinese, so it’s easy to find your way.

After about an hour hiking, we came to a viewing platform that overlooks the new airport. From this spot you have a great view over the full length of the airport and the runways. We saw a few planes starting in just a matter of a few seconds. It was very busy day at the airport.

The hike continued alongside the bay, we kept following the path, which just meandered in and out the forest, alongside the water. There were a few steps and increases, but all in all, an easy hike.

After 2,5 hours we came closer to Tai O and the weather improved, we could actually see some sunshine and blue sky peeking through the clouds. While this was nice to watch, it also meant that it got hotter and we had to be careful not to get sunburned.

I did not get sunburned (luckily) but as you can tell from this picture, I was very sweaty! Luckily everyone was feeling the heat.

We then arrived in Tai O, the lovely small fishing village. We were lucky that there was a Peking Opera being shown, so there was a small theatre erected at the end of the village and a makeshift bridge out of bamboo that crossed over to the other side.

This allowed us to quickly go to the other side and visit the small temple there. I’ve been there before, so new pictures this time – just a picture to show the bridge with its beautiful flags, all to celebrate the Peking Opera that was being shown in Tai O the next days.

We walked back into the village, making our way carefully past the stilt houses. As it was a Sunday, it was quite busy. Lots of families were sitting outside the houses, chatting to friends and neighbours. Some women cooked lunch, small kids ran around and it was a really atmosphere around us.

We made our way to the new ‘old’ bridge that had been rebuilt and all lined up for another picture.

Then it was finally time for a great lunch, with lots of meat, fish, vegetables and rice – exactly what we needed after a three hour hike. After the lunch, we caught the bus back from Tai O to Tung Chung and not surprisingly, half the group was sleeping during the ride! What sunshine, exercise and food can do to you!

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