Tai O

Tai O is a charming, picturesque fishing village in Lantau Island, right next to Kowloon. I visited there with my mom quite a few weeks ago, before the rainy weather started.

Bridge connecting two parts of the village

When visiting Tai O, our original plan was to go see the Big Buddha statue by cable car. By a lucky coincidence, the cable car was under maintenance, so we took a bus in stead; not to the statue, but to the village that was an hour ride away from Tung Chung where we left off.

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Tai O was nice and the atmosphere was relaxed on the two “main” streets. There was only few tourists, perhaps because it was a Friday.

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Tai O’s specialities seem to be dried fish and similar sea products, as well as purple shrimp paste. The smell was…not appetizing in the heat.

Making shrimp paste
Making shrimp paste

The trip to Tai O from Hong Kong Island takes few hours – you can take the ferry to Mui Wo in Lantau, and from there the bus to Tai O. The atmosphere is completely different from the hectic city, so it is definitely worth a visit when the crowds and noise is just too much.

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PS: I saw the first animals (birds and insects and dogs in strollers don’t count) since coming here!

Holy (?) cows by the bus stop
Holy (?) cows by the bus stop
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Luxe life

The reason for not posting for a while is not that I did not have anything to write about; quite the contrary. Last week’s Friday I got to see my mother for the first since leaving to Japan! The last week I left Paul Yee Mansion and moved to The Luxe Manor in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon island.

Beautiful decor in Luxe Manor
Beautiful interior in Luxe Manor

 

Even the toilet in the hotel room was bigger than the room I live in! Besides the luxurious room, there was a rather satisfying gym, and very fulfilling breakfast with a lot of things I didn’t expect! And since my mother came from Finland, I got some souvenirs…

Finnish twist to Hong Kong breakfast
Finnish twist to Hong Kong breakfast

I didn’t think I missed something from Finland, but oh man, the rye bread was something divine! And let’s just say that the souvenir salmiakki I brought to work didn’t last more than 15 mins. I was not the only one enjoying it, though.

 

Dada bar with dada drinks and decor
Dada bar with dada drinks and decor

 

This week I did, saw, experienced and ate a lot of things I haven’t done, seen or tried before. Just to mention a few:

Hong Kong from the Peak
Hong Kong from the Peak

 

Viru beer in a triangle bottle in the highest bar in Asia: Ozone, 118th floor
Viru beer in a triangle bottle in the highest bar in Asia: Ozone, 118th floor of Ritz Carlton

 

 

Lamma Island, almost deserted with beautiful nature
Lamma Island, almost deserted with beautiful nature

 

 

Horse races. To be honest: horses were not the main point in Happy Valley that night
Horse races. To be honest: horses were not the main point in Happy Valley that night

 

 

Tai O: fishermen's village with a lot of character (and gooey, smelly, purple shrimp paste)
Tai O: fishermen’s village with a lot of character (and gooey, smelly, purple shrimp paste)

 

 

Vegetarian sushi. I know
Vegetarian sushi. I know

 

 

Oh yes, these past 10 days have been exquisite – I even got to be a pincushion, aka try Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. I will not do that 3 times a week as advised. This evening mom left back home to freezing Finland, I came back to my home to sweating hot Wan Chai, and started munching on the salmiakki I hid for this kind of situations. Homesickness? Nah. But there is quite nothing like being with family. And we were home, or at least I was. I think mom was happy to go back to the peace and quiet.

 

Oh, I will miss these pillows and everything that came with them
Oh, I will miss these pillows and everything that came with them

Odaibadaibadaa

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Tokyo or New York?

The Monorail is a good way of seeing Tokyo from a different perspective. After a short ride enjoying the scenery, it takes you to the (fake) island of Odaiba. Oh, Odaiba!

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Again: Tokyo or New York?

Of course Japan needs its’ own Statue of Libery! The two towers (SkyTree and Tokyo Tower) just are not enough.

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No, it’s not a space shuttle. Fuji TV headquarters.

What is an artificial island without an UFO-like television station? Oh, and there is a huge Gundam-robot statue, too! (Yeah, I had to Google the writing and I have no clue what it is, but apparently it’s a BIG deal. Enormous.)

 

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Venus Fort. Shopper’s Paradise?

 Besides the huge robot, there’s also a Toyota play showroom, and apparently some kind of amusement park, or at least a giant ferris wheel. When the boys are with their toys, the ladies can spend hours in the Venetian/Greek-style shopping complex. Besides the Venus Fort, Odaiba has another shopping center with amusement park and maybe an aquarium as well (I can’t remember everything!).

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“Please keep the rules!”

There’s also a beach, and an Onsen “park”. I didn’t go there, so can’t really tell much about that. But you get the idea: first a sightseeing trip over the sea (cool), then to all of this and so much more – escape from the city to someplace rather bizarre! Plus the view to Tokyo is, well…

 

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Tokyo from “outside”

You can also take a cruise boat to the city, if you will.

If in Tokyo, do to Odaiba while you’re at it. Why not? Round trip is about 640y (6,5e) depending on the station.