I could smell the fish from 50 meters away. I had love to say it has something to do with the fact that I am Bengali, but that wasn’t it. I mean, come on, this is the waterfront we are talking about – anyone would have been able to smell the fish.
Now this waterfront, it isn’t just any waterfront. It’s a stretch of concrete along the Tung Chung ferry pier on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The Tung Chung Waterfront (as it is called) is a calm association of a bus stand, a taxi stand, a ferry pier, a boat wharf, a traffic roundabout, and of course, the Waterfront Walk.
Any given day you are likely to find a motley crew of fishing enthusiasts honing their skills along the waterfront. Most of these men and women are lone anglers, although on the weekends you will find ‘fishing families’ spending the day at the waterfront as well; Mom, dad, son, daughter with their respective fishing gear.
The ferry pier is the link between Tung Chung and Teun Mun, an important part of the new territories of Hong Kong. Teun Mun has historical lineage dating back several centuries. You know where else you can go from the Tung Chung ferry pier? To Tai O, a medieval fishing village at the other end of Lantau Island.
I have been to Tai O several times. With my family and on my own. I have been there by bus, by ferry, and by way of a hike. Yes, it is possible to hike from Tung Chung to Tai O.
Tai O is just one of the several fantastic, quaint little places you can visit if you are on Lantau Island. Mui Wo, Ngong Ping, Pui O, Cheung Sha among other places.
It’s been a couple of years since my last visit to Hong Kong and even longer for the family. I first visited Hong Kong in 2006 and straight off the flight, we went to the just-opened Novotel Citygate Hotel in Tung Chung. I took an instant liking to the quiet, idyllic, town-life of Tung Chung. In fact, unlike many others who visit Hong Kong for any length of time, I always preferred staying on Lantau Island to Central or Kowloon. I do like visiting other parts of Hong Kong, but Lantau – to be precise Tung Chung – feels more like home. A sentiment that my family always shared whenever we visited together. I think it is because it is on the crossroads of rural and urban lifestyles. One can enjoy a long, peaceful walk without being disturbed, have a leisurely bowl of Noodle soup, or waltz right in the middle of a bustling city centre.
Good Morning World. There is an idyllic, slow-motion quality to life along an old waterfront, that helps us see things in perspective, come rain or shine.