Video: 4 Lions Bite off more than they can chew – a Mongoose!

You may have heard of the mighty Mongoose. A very successful hunter spanning Africa, South Asia, Eurasia, and even the Caribbean. These distant relatives of cats and hyenas is renowned for their lightning fast dexterity, a skill which allows them to successfully take down (and regularly dine on) snakes who cannot handle their feints and ferocity!

Here’s a fun video of a mongoose who’s clearly out of her league, surrounded by four lionesses who’ve caught the Mongoose in the open, but can’t decide whether the snack is worth the trouble. There’s one point where the Mongoose seems to have successfully hidden in a hole, when she comes back out fighting to the surprise of the big cats. When you imagine lions weighing the size of a meal versus the chances of being hurt, the Mongoose is clearly more than just a mouthful.

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Small Group Touring Options along Turkeys Aegean Coast

Deluxe Gulet2In June this year our Sales Manager Carolyn Weppler spent 7 days on a gulet in Turkey exploring the Aegean coast, and you can read her article Exploring Turkey’s Aegean Coast here. A Gulet is a traditional wooden Turkish motor sailing yacht typically equipped with two masts, and a popular form of leisurely travel in Turkeys Aegean Sea. Originally built for use by fisherman and sponge divers, today many are purpose built in the coastal towns of Bodrum and Marmaris for privately chartered yachting holidays. They range from basic to luxury and choosing the right one is of the utmost importance – you will be on it for some time!

Deluxe Gulet6Although it is hard to go wrong when you imagine spending a week sailing on a gulet in the azure waters of the Aegean, swimming in what feel like private bays, exploring ancient ruins, beautiful coastal towns, delicious Turkish foods and being waited on by an attentive crew. From the moment you embark in either Bodrum or Marmaris you realize that this is more than your typical cruising holiday. Chilled refreshments and local delicacies welcome you while you luggage is whisked away and placed in your cabin. You quickly realize that eating, drinking,  swimming, snorkelling, relaxing and feasting your eyes on blue skies and even bluer seas is pretty much the schedule except when you stop along the way to explore ancient Greek, Roman, or Mediaeval ruins and interesting fishing villages dating back 3000 years. The area is blessed with a hot dry temperature in the summer months and these cruises are often called the Blue Voyage or the Blue Cruise, and few photos can do this colour justice, you have to see it to believe it. This region of Turkey has the highest concentration of ancient city ruins that range from the glorious splendour of Ephesus to unidentified piles of marble waiting for archaeologists to excavate, but fascinating for the history lover.

Deluxe Gulet9Gulets can be chartered for the ultimate friends and family trip where you set the schedule, tell them what you want stocked in the bar and what you like to eat or you can join a scheduled departure. Yachts range in size from 15 to 45 meters.

To recreate Carolyn’s cruise, we are offering 2 special departures in June 2015 on the same gullet that she sailed on. Priced from $1,966 this includes 2 nights in Istanbul and 7 nights on board the gullet with all meals included, priced at 2 people travelling together.

Deluxe Gulet5

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Deluxe tour of the Emirates – fantastic price!

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

We have negotiated some exceptional deals on first class and deluxe properties (4 and 5 star) in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We’ve paired these with amazing airfares on Emirates Airlines, and have what we know are some unbeatable deals!

Pricing starts at $1,695 from Houston, Dallas and Chicago, $1,795 from New York and $1,965 from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

DUBAIIdeal for travelers looking to choose their own adventure, this trip spends three nights in both cities. Take advantage of multiple tour add-ons. In Abu Dhabi, travelers can go on a safari in the red dunes, visiting camel farms and Bedouin encampments. In Dubai, visitors can see the Lost Chambers at Atlantis and take a trip to the Burj Khalifa observation deck. For more information, visit this Special page for the Best of the Emirates

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Five SUBLIME experiences found only in Zambia!

By Moira Smith, Goway’s GM of AfricaExperts and a passionate South African, living now in Toronto.

My first visit to Zambia was in the late ‘eighties, when tourism was still in it’s infancy across most of Africa. Zambia, along with many other countries, had sanctions against South Africa, which was still under apartheid. These sanctions meant that we (South Africans) were not only unable to trade with Zambia, but South Africans were denied entry to the country itself. To those South Africans with a passion for travel, especially for the unaltered wildernesses of Africa, Zambia was the holy grail. So when Zambia lifted the travel ban, I leapt at the chance to tour-lead 6 of the most die-hard safari professionals on their first visit to Zambia… but that’s another story! What this did to me however led to a life-long passion for Zambia and the magnificent experiences that it offers. Here I share 5 of my best, in one of Africa’s most exciting destinations:

Canoeing on the lower Zambezi - up close and personal!

Canoeing on the lower Zambezi – up close and personal!

1. Canoeing on the Lower Zambezi
I’m often asked what my favourite place in Africa is. It’s hard to choose as there are so many unique, special and wonderful places (did I mention if you only go to two continents in your life, go to Africa twice!). That being said, the Lower Zambezi is without a doubt in my top three. The Zambezi River is one of the great rivers of the world. Watching a sunset overlooking the Zambezi, G and T in hand, is hard to beat. What really sets a safari to this region apart though, is the range of activities it offers. Morning and night game drives (the lower Zambezi rivals the Sabi Sands for leopard sightings); fishing, strictly catch and release… and who said you can’t find tigers in Africa?; bush walks, photographic safaris and canoeing on the lower Zambezi. For the ultimate lodge Lower Zambezi experience look no further than Chiawa. This family run, award winning lodge is simply superb. And although the lodge nowadays is so much ‘fancier’, than when I first visited, its heart and soul, and the spectacular experience remain unchanged.

Close encounters with Wild Dog on a walking safari.

Close encounters with Wild Dog on a walking safari.

2. Walking in the South Luangwa
When you go on your first safari, one of two things happens. To paraphrase a friend, you either become a ‘safari addict for life’, or you tick it off your bucket list. It’s the former that is the far more likely scenario. That’s why so many travellers find that their first trip to Africa is the first of many. A walking safari elevates the bush experience in so many dimensions. It is said that from a vehicle you see Africa. But on foot you seefeel, hear and smell Africa!

For me a highlight of my first walking safari was tracking an adult male lion by identifying the spoor (…feces!), listening to the warning sounds of the monkeys, insects and birds, and then finally coming across this magnificent beast. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other.
For an authentic walking safari, look no further than the Bushcamp Company. What sets this apart is exceptional guiding (Zambian guides are considered amongst the best in the world); small, exclusive camps that host a maximum of eight guests at any one time; personal experiences tailored to suit the guest; and remote settings free from other vehicles.

NOTE: Zambia pioneered the walking safari, and Norman Carr is acknowledged to be the father of not only the walking safari, but also one of the pioneers of ecotourism in Southern Africa and the world. It’s rare to meet someone who has had such a profound impact on the world in their lifetime. I was privileged to meet this great man on a few occasions. The world is a richer place for him, and in his memory I want to share his obituary, here.

Swim in the Devils pool

Swim in the Devils pool

3. Swim in the Devil’s Pool
Imagine an exhilarating swim at the edge (i.e. the TOP) of Victoria Falls – just before the curtain of water plummets 110 m into the gorge below! Called the ultimate, exclusive Victoria Falls experience, this is something you can only do when the Zambezi River is running low, typically between mid-August and mid-January. Access is from Livingstone Island which is where David Livingstone got his first sighting of the Falls. Ben Parker, owner of Tongabezi – another of my most favourite Zambian lodges, introduced me to this adrenaline filled experience. Later that day he was also witness to my (now) sister-in-law and I overturning our canoe in the middle of the Zambezi. This after assuring us it was perfectly safe – but I digress!

Tongabezi is the perfect place from which to enjoy all that Livingstone and its surrounds have to offer. Its underlying philosophy is that nothing is too much. Private dining in an array of venues from a quirky picnic on an authentic dhow to an indulgent lazy breakfast in your king size bed or your very own Sampan floating on the Zambezi river, illuminated by the Milky Way and paraffin lamps – with every course delivered by canoe.
Check the video out here,

4. Best one-day white water rafting in the world.
The boiling pot, Devil’s toilet bowl, Commercial Suicide, Gnashing Jaws of Death and Oblivion! These are just a few of the rapids you will encounter on what is rightfully billed as the wildest one-day whitewater rafting trip in the world. Actually the boiling pot is not a rapid, it’s where you start your exhilarating ride down the Zambezi at rapid number one – just underneath the Victoria Falls. I warn you though, the climb down to the starting point is not for the unfit (and don’t get me started on the climb out of the gorge at the end of the day!). But it’s completely worth it!

Moira0008

From left to right: (and a lot younger!) Allen Eccles, Alan from Bonaventure, Andy Dott, Dave Van der Spuy, Phillip Lategan, Moira Smith and Gerald Oelofse. Not pictured – Colin Bell.

The most exciting time to raft is during the low level water period, approximately mid-July to mid-February. This is when you’ll do rapids 1 through 23. In high water, when it’s deemed ‘milder’, rafting starts at rapid 11.

To the right is Moira in her element during the late 1980’s during her first visit to Zambia – pioneering the rafting industry!

Great birding in the Kafue

Great birding in the Kafue

5. Birding in the Kafue.
Birders are a breed apart. On my aforementioned first trip to Zambia with the intrepid 6, I was in awe of their knowledge. They could recognize and identify LBJ’s (little brown jobs) in flight, at a 100m distance, knew every bush and tree – the scientific names, and to my, then, almost teetotal ways could put away an obscene amount of beer, with no apparent effect!

They did instill in me a love for natures smaller things in general, and birds in particular. The Kafue National Park in Zambia is a birders paradise. Thanks to the outstanding array of habitat types, the plethora of bird species the Kafue houses stands at over 500 recorded species, roughly as much as the whole of Europe. With too many to write here, some notable ticks in the Kafue are as follows: Pel’s Fishing Owl, Black-cheeked Lovebird, Chaplin’s Barbet (Zambia’s only endemic bird), Wattled and Crowned Crane, African Fin-foot, Bohm’s Bee-eaters, the list goes on. Zambia made a birder out of me!

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Rock the Kasbah with Sir Richard Branson, in Morocco

We have a label applied to the worlds best hotel, Stay’s of Distinction, and these encompass properties that are special, unique and offer exceptional qualities. The Kasbah Tamadot, Sir Richard Branson’s Moroccan Retreat embodies all that a ‘Stay of Distinction’ should be. Bought by Sir Richard Branson in 1998 during one of his famous ballooning expeditions, Kasbah Tamadot is set at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains one hour’s drive from Marrakech, Morocco. With 27 individually designed rooms and suites and with most staff employed from the nearby Berber villages, the hotel has a real feeling of staying in a Moroccan home.

There’s so much to do at the Kasbah though relaxation should certainly be on the agenda. The traditional Moroccan Hammam offers a full range of treatments for men and women. Swim year round in either the indoor or outdoor pools or work up an appetite playing tennis or working out in the gym. And if you want to venture further afield there are a number of excursions including the option to discover the beautiful Atlas region by foot, 4×4 vehicle or by mule.

Richard Branson recently escaped to Kasbah Tamadot and below he shares his experience. Please note, this was first published on the hotels blog, and you can find the original article here.

Spent a wonderful few days in Morocco, rocking the Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains with family and friends.

We are lucky enough to have converted an old kasbah in the Atlas mountains into a beautiful little boutique hotel. In the summer months, when the cities are often extremely hot, up in the mountains is idyllic. I usually stay in Room 31, now aptly named Tarrat, the Berber word for Virgin.

Kasbah Tamadot

While on this trip, we heard some of the nearby villages were running out of water, so we’re helping to get a well built. If you own a business, whatever region it is in, it is important to help the local community.

Eve Branson at Kasbah Tamadot

When we bought the resort, my mum joined forces with Virgin Unite and Virgin Limited Edition to ensure that we worked hard to improve living standards in the communities around the property. The Eve Branson Foundation helps local people set up sustainable enterprises – everything from a carpet workshop to a craft house run and managed by locals. When you visit Kasbah Tamadot you can buy some of these beautiful handmade items too.

Kasbah Tamadot

Many of the Berber people that live in the area work at the Kasbah, and they are delightful people to spend time with. I played tennis with some of the locals and guests, and we enjoyed some spectacular meals together. We also went down to Essaouira, a beautiful coastal town, for some refreshing kitesurfing.

In general it is great to see this stunning country in North Africa thriving and maintaining stability. It is a brilliant country to visit and the benefits of sustainable tourism are clear to see for all. I’m looking forward to my next visit already.

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Wombats – They grow up so fast!

One of our favourite partners in Australia, the Healesville Animal Sanctuary near Melbourne, sent our marketing team this email – we just had to publish it here!
Wombatbabe

This adorable little wombat is now 8 months old and was brought into the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary 3 weeks ago after she was found by the side of the road. Unfortunately, cars are a great risk to wombats living in the wild and road trauma is the main reason wombats come into the Sanctuary. Keeper Amie has been hand raising the baby wombat who is treating Amie as her adopted mum, following her where ever she goes. Her keepers say that the baby wombat is starting to build her confidence after being quite shy when she first arrived. And in promising news, she is already starting to make friends with the other wombats, enjoying nothing more than to flop on her back and run around, all normal characteristics for a young wombat.

The gorgeous girl loves to eat grass and drinks four bottles of milk per day. Her healthy appetite has seen her gain over 500g since she arrived!

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Fiji Airways invites you to find a ‘Home Away From Home’

Website FIJISome of us never leave our homes or home towns – or never travel overseas. It can be family pressures, hectic lifestyles, tragedies or hardships that keep us bound and we think we could never possibly get away. So Fiji Airways is looking for individuals, couples or families who truly deserve an extraordinary break, to allow them to step from the demands of the everyday and give them the chance to experience a home away from home unforgettable experience. The airline is inviting people with remarkable stories who deserve the chance to getaway to share their stories. Some of those people will be rewarded with an unforgettable getaway and will be, as all passengers of Fiji Airways are, treated with the same warmth and care you’d expect from your family and friends at home. As soon as they embark on their journey through to touching down, they will instantly be cared for and enjoy that relaxing feeling only being amongst family and feeling at home can give you.

Nominate yourself or someone you know who truly deserves a Home Away From Home trip of a lifetime. To find out more visit https://ourhome.fijiairways.com

For more travel ideas, see all Fiji Travel Ideas

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Recipe: A Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe from Azur Lodge

For Azur Recipe Article - CakeAzur Lodge is the Goway Stay of Distinction in spectacular Queenstown. It is uniquely tucked away on 3.5 acres of private hillside off Lake Wakatipu and is only five minutes by car from downtown Queenstown. Azur offers superb luxury accommodation with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, there are nine freestanding, open plan villas and a main lodge that serves as the focal point for the lodge. Azurs take on service is personable, friendly and professional all the while catering to each guests individual needs. Nightly rates includes private return airport transfers and on demand transfers to Queenstown centre, full breakfast, afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, complimentary WiFi, turndown service and full use of the Lodge facilities. Azur can also facilitate in-villa dining, spa treatments and itinerary recommendations – simply for starters. Whatever you need is no trouble at all at Azur. Here are the top 5 selling tips for Azur.

  1. All 9 identical villas offer uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu & the surrounding mountain ranges
  2. 5 minutes from downtown Queenstown by complimentary on demand transfer- between 7am-11pm
  3. Complimentary airport transfers on arrival and departure
  4. Full breakfast served in the main lodge or privacy of your own villa, homemade afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks & canapés
  5. Guests dine at one of the fine restaurants in downtown Queenstown with door to door transfers or privately in their villa any night during their stay

This recipe’s a beauty from the fabulous Maria at Azur Lodges, she is responsible for the fantastic breakfast every day, the afternoon teas and pre dinner canapes.

Azur Lodge, Queenstown, NZ

Azur Lodge, Queenstown, NZ

Chocolate Fudge Cake Ingredients:

  • 250g Butter
  • 250g Chocolate
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp of ground almond
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate Fudge Cake Cooking Instructions:

  • Pre- heat oven to 180c, grease and line a 24cm cake tin.
  • Melt butter and chocolate together over double boiler pan. Put aside.
  • Beat egg yolk and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Fold in melted butter and chocolate, then fold in flour and ground almond, put aside.
  • In another bowl beat together egg white and cream of tartar, until soft peak (do not over beat – or cake will collapse).
  • Fold both egg white mixture and chocolate mixture together gently. Pour into greased pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Take out and let cool in pan, the cake will still be wobbly, and will set when cooled to a fudge like texture. Do not be concerned if the cake does not seem cooked after 45 minutes – it is supposed to be like that.
  • Sprinkle lightly with icing sugar, best served with fresh berries and whipped cream!

Enjoy!

For more information on Azur lodge, who sent us this recipe, please visit our webpage: Azur Lodge – Stay of Distinction

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Winter Escape Ideas: 5 Top Countries

With September here, many North Americans begin to panic at the rapid approach of winter. We collected our thoughts on 5 awesome destinations to visit this winter.

Australia

Australia Koala_145270666The perfect destination for outdoor activity, classy cities, good wine and beaches – take Sydney for example, not only does it offer up culture, history, markets, shopping and  fantastic restaurants, but where else can you climb a bridge, jet boat in a world class harbor and learn to surf all in a day (or two)? Add to that snorkeling or diving on the world’s largest reef, ballooning, camel rides, sailing, bungee jumping, hiking, golfing and more – Australia has a lot to offer.  Being in the southern hemisphere guarantees warm temps ideal for beach time during the North American winter (although its VERY hot in the ‘Outback’).   Add to all of this an array of bizarre, indigenous animals found no where else in the world.  With the competition fierce on the airfare market there has been no better time to fly Downunder.  A destination that people used to head to for 4-6 weeks due to high air costs is now being packaged up for a quick 10-14 day visit.  Whilst longer is better, the trend towards shorter continues to grow as Globetrotters search for options beyond the Caribbean.  The must sees are Sydney, Cairns (for the Reef) and Melbourne and then if you can squeeze your trip to 14 days you can add in Kangaroo Island or even the Outback.   Check out these offers with Air New Zealand and Goway offering 6 Great Aussie Cities for 1 Great price.

South Africa

Often called the world in one country, South Africa continues to wow visitors with the Big 5 in game viewing, magnificent scenery ranging from stunning coastline to green valleys and mountains,  a world renowned wine industry and appetite for fine food that has created an innovative restaurant culture.  Visitors are always pleasantly surprised with how far your dollar stretches here, allowing for further indulgence.   If you’re a thrill seeker what better thrill than to dive with sharks, walk with elephants or track and tag rhinos? If you love culture and history you’re in luck. South Africa is the only country in the world to have 11 official languages – and many more unofficial ones! Its history is fascinating. Walk in the footsteps of Mandela, see the battlefields of Shaka Zulu and see where Ghandi started his passive resistance movement.  With all this, plus long balmy summer days, there’s never been a better time to visit.   South Africa is an ideal safari for any nervous first timer. It offers all of the continent’s wild beauty, incredible safari options and authentic tastes of African culture, balanced with modern, cosmopolitan cities and world famous wine regions like Stellenbosch. For some inspiring ideas and excellent savings check out our Africa on Sale webpage.

Thailand

It doesn’t get much better than Thailand, the food is to die for, the coastline is full of breathtaking scenery and white sand beaches, small island getaways abound, the shopping is fantastic, there is trekking, rafting, and world class diving plus you can’t go far without bumping into a historical site, temple or palace.  There is more than enough nightlife to satisfy those that love to dance the night away yet at the same time it’s not hard to find a quiet little spot to escape reality.  Although no longer the bargain destination of the 80’s and 90’s, you can certainly stretch your dollar here.   Perfect for a two week vacation from the dreary North American winter.  We recommend starting with Bangkok and ending with 4 glorious days on a beach in the Andaman Sea – the challenge will be what to see in between.  As Thailand receives about 16 million tourists a year there is no shortage of info floating around the web on Thailand and everyone knows at least someone who has been there, who almost certainly won’t stop talking about it! When you’re ready to plan out a trip, speak to an expert who knows their stuff.

Peru

A bucket list destination for just about everyone for good reason,  home to new seventh wonder of the world Machu Picchu, rugged mountain ranges, lush green valleys, wide open canyons, too many ancient ruins to count, and  a vibrant Andean culture with the best cuisine in Latin America.  Peru is quite possibly one of the best countries you will ever visit.   Adventure abounds for those that crave  activity from rafting, zip lining, mountain biking to the infamous Inca Trail.   The country is steeped in culture with museums, churches and fascinating architecture.   One could spend days in Cusco alone simply exploring the Plaza’s, churches, restaurants, cafes and artisan shops.  The Sacred Valley is home to several UNESCO world heritage sites and several excellent outdoor markets to explore.  With Peru being just one direct flight away from many major North American cities, with no time difference, you can have an incredible trip over 1 week you can do a quick one week vacation with next to no jetlag.

French Polynesia (Tahiti)

We couldn’t do a top 5 Winter getaway list and not include this island paradise! This year Tahiti tops the sun destination list, and has done for decades.  Long considered a dream destination for honeymooners, Tahiti is actually far more affordable and accessible than you might think.  Serviced with daily flights from Los Angeles makes it easy to get too – plus winter is actually their low season, meaning there are numerous specials and value adds (such as free meals, which on Tahiti can add up) at many resorts.  Considered to be the wetter season, this really shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and the islands themselves are lush due to the rainfall.  It rarely rains for longer than an hour or two here and there and the temps hover in the low 80’s.  Often overlooked is the capital and port city of Papeete which is well worth the visit if you like markets and are interested in local culture.  With the food truck industry now booming in North America the Tahitian’s have actually been dining from these local mobile eateries called Roulottes for decades, and we highly recommend a trip to Papeete just to dine at one of them!  With a distinct French influence combined with hints of Asia and definitely Polynesia, Tahiti takes fusion to a whole new level.   A night or two in Papeete can be easily combined with 5 nights in Moorea or Bora Bora for the perfect week long getaway.

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The Venice of Hong Kong – Tai O & Lantau Island

Tai O Lantau Island Hong Kong China Asia_109646432Hong Kong is just one of those cities you have to visit, at least once, in your lifetime. There’s literally too much to do, to see, and to eat! It’s a city which can actually be a trip unto itself, a standalone destination full of culture (and even a healthy dose of culture shock), interesting history, impressive architecture (old and new), and brimming with progress.

The view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

The view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

As a travel company with a long history of promoting Hong Kong, we recommend that every traveller should take the funicular up to Victoria Peak (incredible views), hop on the Star Ferry to go from Kowloon to the Island, explore the Temple Street Night market, the Bird market, Stanley market (If there’s a market…go! You get the idea) and stop by the Man Mo Temple.  However – your average recommendations for Hong Kong will suggest the above, but what many first time visitors miss are less well-known activities that are just as impressive, potentially more-so. The above recommendations could be squeezed into a 2 day visit, but if you have the time, here’s how to easily add a 3rd day, or more!

Take some extra time to visit…

Lantau Island – The Venice of Hong Kong

Lantau Island Buddha Hong Kong China Asia_77460880The Island of Lantau is actually larger than Hong Kong Island, but with far less development, it has a totally different vibe. Tai O is a village on the west coast of Lantau and was once an important fishing and trading port for China up until about a century ago, with salt and fish being the main exports. Tourism has since replaced fish and salt as their most important revenue generating source, and as such it is a bit crowded during midday – but it is an interesting look at the life of a traditional Chinese fishing village. The village itself is the main draw, with many houses built on stilts above the water, and paints a picture of a people with a close affinity with the ocean. There’s an enormous Buddha which is a major draw for locals as well as mainland Chinese, and it is quite impressive.

Salt was the real wealth of Tai O, and some of the salt pans still exist today but most of them have been filled in, in order to build homes, land is the scarcest resource here. A large number of the people residing here still make a living by duck farming, small-scale commercial fishing, making shrimp paste (a village speciality), as well as salted fish. Hong Kong is a seaside city, and seafood is it’s lifeblood, and Tai O still remains as a top-quality area to buy both fresh and dried seafood.

Tai O village also spreads onto a tiny island about 15m from shore, and until the mid-90s the only way across was a tiny rope tow ferry which was pulled by elderly Hakka women. This and the high number of sampans earned Tai O the nickname “the Venice of Hong Kong”. There is now a small footbridge over the canal, but on some weekends the rope tow ferry is resurrected.

Some traditional style village houses are still standing in the centre of Tai O, including a few of the famous stilt houses on the waterfront. The stilt houses and the Kwan Tai temple were dedicated to a god of war and are on Kat Hing St. Along with Kwan Tai, there are a few more temples including an 18th century in honour of Hung Shing patron of fisher folk.

With even a few days in Hong Kong, you’ll have more than enough to do. But if you get the chance, break-off and checkout Lantau island, and the village of Tai O.

Hong Kong HarbourKowloon v/s Hong Kong – How to choose

HK Tourism Board Logo

 

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