Page 10 - Before we travel to Lantau Island, one shot of the Stanley Market

This beach adjoins the market (a real tourist trap), altho there is one fine antique dealer there, up about 4 flights of stairs - not for the faint-hearted.

Lantau Isaland is the largest island in the archipelago around Hong Kong. The new airport was built on landfill on the north of the island, and a new village was established for the 50,000 people who work at the airport.

On Lantau Island, there is a Tanka village of fisherfolk. The young people have left to make their livings elsewhere because they did not want to work so hard. The village used to be home to ca. 6500 people, but now houses ca. 700. The government is trying very hard to move them into government-built housing, but the old people who are left do not want to go. It used to be that Tai-O villagers were involved in smuggling, but supposedly they have abandoned this to broker fish from Thailand, and dry their innards.

On the hillside are temporary burials. The dead are placed there until the flesh rots (lovely idea, huh?), then gathered up and reburied in urns (secondary burials).

The old village is built on stilts. These are somewhat newer than the main village houses. Sometime ago, around 30 houses burned, and the government will not allow them to be rebuilt (part of their plan to relocate the villagers).

There is electricity and telephones here. Many villagers have TV sets, and satellite dishes. The mudflats used to be where they would collect mussels. Unfortunately, the Pearl River is so polluted now, this is no longer possible. The villagers also used to make salt, but the bottom fell out of that market, too. Nowadays, the old fishermen sail 2 days to Thailand to buy fish and then re-sell in Hong Kong.

There's a wonderful old (1840's) temple in the village of Tai-O. It is Taoist, and very popular with the villagers. They come in to toss the bones for fortune-telling often.