Life, Culture and Travels from the perspective of a Cuban
Afternoon in Lantau Island
Categories: Trips

This weekend flew by for me. I wanted to go to one of the HK sandy beaches for at least half a day and I kept waking up late and getting lost in the concrete city. The unexpected highlight of the weekend came yesterday when a friend from HK recommended us to visit Lantau Island for dinner. There was not swimming involved but we got to see the incredible nature of this land and to explore Tai O community for a few hours.

We took a ferry from Jordan to Central Pier and then from Central Pier we paid 28.4 HK dollars (less than 4 US or CAN dollars) per person for a fast ferry to Lantau Island. Water transportation is pretty affordable and you get a good view the city skyline and little mountain islands along the traject.

In 30 minutes you are placed on a completely different HK world. You get off the ferry to confirm that only 30% of Hong Kong is city, the rest is all green and relaxing space. An HSBC bank branch surrounded by palm trees and the ocean was my first realization of how my idea of HK did not include the other 70% at all. The warm and humid October weather made me feel fortunate to be here and kept Havana in my mind.

A bus drove us to the west end of the island, where Tai O is. I was delighted with the vegetation and hills. The driver had to stop a couple of times to let the cows  go to the side of the road. Soon it started to get dark as sunset here is at 6 pm. I could not see much after a while, only the few locals getting on and off the bus at each stop.

Tai O is a small fishing village. It was closing time for the market when we entered the town but our friend bought fresh crabs for dinner. We headed to the restaurant next door as the town closes their businesses really early. Customers can purchase fresh seafood at the market and ask a restaurant cook to prepare it for $50 HK. We ordered three more dishes to share and had a succulent dinner at 8pm!. I guess I am not used to normal dinner time anymore.

The streets were empty and quiet when we finished our meal. We went for a walk along the water, following the stilt houses road and began to see locals following the same path by bike and some neighbours barbecuing. Most of the houses had the doors open so it was really easy to glance at the living rooms, almost each of then with a shrine. The majority of the neighbours were gathered playing Mahjong.

The area was not well lit but you could watch the mountains in the distance, surrounding the town. It must be beautiful to look at during the day.

Our friend wanted to show us the old police station at the end of the road but to his surprise we found a fancy hotel. The construction was turned into the Tai O Heritage Hotel which was beautifully remodelled. We went up to see the lookout and found out that they have nine rooms. The room costs about $165 CAN per night.

On our route back we found the spot where the younger Tai O crowd meets for games and drinks, which is by the street market entrance. They seemed happy and chatty and gave us a loud Hello when we passed by.




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