Sunday, May 08, 2011
The End of the High Junk Peak Hike - Po Toi O (布袋澳)
It is a small fishing village south of Sai Kung. There probably isn’t too much fishing left here these days. There are a few fish farms. But the bulk of the sea food come from far away places like Qingdao, Da Lin, Indonesia, Philippines, ...
The bay, with its narrow opening to the ocean, does look like a small-mouth bag. There are fish farms, houses on stilts, and quite a few sea food restaurants at the edge of the water with great views.
There were sea weeds and salted fish drying under the sun. They smelt fresh.
We came at low tide. Some of the boat houses sat comically, more than a meter below the make-shift piers that serve them.
I like the place. Not the least because of the sea food. The sea food, in reality, can be found in a lot of the numerous restaurants and wet markets in Hong Kong.
But the atmosphere is hard to duplicate. Sadly, authentic and enjoyable villages and communities like this are fast disappearing from Hong Kong. Perhaps partly by design, but more because of simple neglect and ignorance.
Before we went down to Po Toi O, we stopped by the Tin Hau Temple to look at the rock carvings from the Sung Dynasty. The Sung is one of the most open and civilized periods in Chinese history. The emperors were far less autocratic and brutal. There were fewer restrictions on industry, commerce, travel and personal freedom. Technology and the arts made tremendous advances in the Sung Dynasty. After that, China went backwards. More on that later.