Entire Hong Kong is just skyscrapers and high rise living estates right? Wrong. Of course HK is one of the richest and most expensive regions in the world but as befits a city which has grown in accordance to capitalistic model, the gap between the rich and poor is present.
A few words of introduction. It’s quite clear to most of people where HK is and what its approximate political status is so I will focus on geography. Hong Kong in fact is not just a mega-city but a whole region comprised of nearly three hundred islands and a large peninsula and is divided into into three administrative regions: New Territories, Kowloon which mostly lay on the peninsula and Hong Kong Island.
A quick glimpse is enough to determine that the richest and most representative places are HK Island and Kowloon both packed with fancy shops, skyscrapers and business centres. But it has more towns scattered around with a few of them being on the largest island belonging to New Territories- Lantau. Unlike Kowloon and HK Island, Lantau is quite laid back and mellow with lots of green areas and small towns. One of those towns is very special though. Until last time when I went to HK I didn’t know about its existence (how?), weirdly as tourists increasingly visit it and it’s mentioned in every tour guide. Anyway, the special thing about it is that it blatantly represents the gap mentioned above. Tai O because this is what the fishing village is called has been mostly built on stilts plunged in water. Cluster of small houses stands in a row a few meters above water, wall to wall, connected with one another by water canal, tight alleys and a web of wooden platforms. A site bringing in mind a view of poor water markets from Southeast Asia is actually not that far from the most expensive pieces of land in the world and it’s still the same region
. In the gallery below I have set together photos from Tai O with the “expensive” part of HK so you can compare distant life standards of people living in those two places.
There is much more to read about the history of Tai O in the web for those interested. There will also be another post from the village showing it from the inside. Hope you will enjoy.