Assorted dereliction, Tai O, Lantau, Hong Kong, August 2018

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HughieD

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1. The History
Tai O is a fishing town, partly located on an island of the same name, on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong and is popular for its seafood, stilt-houses and fishing culture. The village name means “large inlet”, referring to outlet for the waterways of Tai O Creek and Tai O River that merge. Historically Tai O was used as a base of many smuggling and piracy operations with the inlets of the river providing excellent protection from the weather and a hiding place. Fishermen began to settle here from the Ming Dynasty onward. In early 16th century the Portuguese briefly occupied it (unsurprising given Macao is a stone’s throw away) as it continued to be a haven for smuggling and pirates. During the Chinese Civil War it became an entry-point for people fleeing the mainland. Economy-wise the area has been famous for its salt production and fishing. Both prevail but now tourism provides the town with its major income stream. Many flock to see its stilt houses or “pang uks” and it has been dubbed “The Venice of Hong Kong”. In 2000 at large fire ripped through a number of houses on the southern side of the river although many have now been rebuilt. Limited by its lack of tourist-standard hotels, this was partially addressed, albeit at the luxury end of the market, when the former Tai O Police Station, a Grade II historic building, was turned into a boutique hotel called Tai O Heritage Hotel by Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation. The local community have had to suffer a number of other natural disasters including the very recent Mangkhut typhoon.

2. The Explore
Like many rural areas in Hong Kong, Tai O has more than it’s fair share of empty houses. I’ve been coming here for years and love nothing more than a wander around its winding alleys and car-free streets. Here’s a collection of a few of the abandoned buildings in the town, many of which that have been empty for years.

3. The Pictures

This concrete carbuncle has been here for as long as I remember, gently crumbling away. I think it was intended as a residential block but the owner ran out of money and the place never got finished.

42959720210_8c4816d800_b.jpg img9286 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44720572392_3b204438cb_b.jpg img9287 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44770083041_71ca3b7734_b.jpg img9288 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43860438495_15023e8926_b.jpg img9289 by HughieDW, on Flickr

21001088975_6e29d6969b_b.jpg img0582 by HughieDW, on Flickr

20378502114_1d9c8b6c2e_b.jpg img0581 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This relatively modern place has also been empty for years, maybe because of the end of dynasty or the fact that the next generation didn’t want to live in the rural sedentariness of Tai O:

44769974971_c3af4ed69d_b.jpg img9311 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42959551560_e21321a408_b.jpg img9309 by HughieDW, on Flickr

There’s even less hope for this forlorn shack:

43860316165_0228cbb4be_b.jpg img9312 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This old wooden place is in better shape but again has been empty for as long as I can remember:

42959293570_7d10e96cc5_b.jpg img9315 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44050625124_47252937ac_b.jpg img9318 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44769899761_d9a57c806d_b.jpg img9313 by HughieDW, on Flickr

It’s just a matter of time before it falls down:

44720097622_58b2c74a3c_b.jpg img9317 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And few other randoms:

20844044159_dafe4365da_b.jpg img0566 by HughieDW, on Flickr

21038396191_bd128bea76_b.jpg img0573 by HughieDW, on Flickr

20408088424_916806978c_b.jpg img0592 by HughieDW, on Flickr

30966931018_12e9eebcc5_b.jpg Tai O 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

Mikeymutt

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You got a lovely variety off stuff there hughie.love how trees quickly encroach over there as it's such a green country
 

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