Stilt Houses

Top choice in Lantau

Tai O's remaining stilt houses stand over the waterway, scrunched up against each other for support. Some have ladders descending to boats, the vehicle of choice. These houses have a history of over two centuries. The earliest ones were made with pine bark, palm leaves and granite pillars quarried in Chek Lap Kok where the airport is. During typhoons, they had to be secured with rope or the rising water would wash them away. The ones in the '60s were sturdier and made with Borneo ironwood from retired fishing boats. Ironwood is a dense material that takes on a beautiful black sheen, as you can see, when exposed to water over long periods.

To reach the stilt houses and the Kwan Tai Temple, cross the bridge from the mainland to the island, walk up Tai O Market St and go right at the Fook Moon Lam restaurant. There are a couple of other temples here too, including an 18th-century one erected in honour of Hung Shing, patron of fisherfolk; it’s on Shek Tsai Po St, about 600m west of the Fook Moon Lam restaurant. The stilt houses are about 150m from the bridge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lantau attractions

1. Tai O Kwan Tai Temple

0.15 MILES

Tai O's oldest temple, raised in the 15th century (Ming dynasty), is dedicated to Kwan Tai, a deified general known as the God of War. It was renovated in…

2. Tai O Yeung Hau Temple

0.24 MILES

Yeung Hau, Tai O's patron deity and the resident god here is believed to be the maternal uncle of the last Song emperor. Marquis Yeung is said to have…

3. Tai O Hung Shing Temple

0.35 MILES

Located away from the main street, in a windy spot in Sha Lo Wan Village, this temple has an air of modest quietude. It was built in the 18th century to…

4. Tai O

0.36 MILES

On weekends, droves of visitors trek to the far-flung west coast of Lantau to see a fascinating way of life. Here in Tai O, historical home to the Tanka…

5. Tai O Tin Hau Temple

0.56 MILES

The main gods here are Tin Hau, Goddess of the Sea, and notably, Madam Kam Fa, the Goddess of Fertility and protector of infants and pregnant women. Every…

6. Yin Hing Monastery

1.59 MILES

There are good views of the mountains from this small Buddhist monastery, hidden away inside the South Lantau Country Park.

7. Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha


Po Lin is a huge Buddhist monastery and temple complex that was built in 1924. Today it seems more of a tourist honeypot than a religious retreat,…

8. Fan Lau

3.91 MILES

Only accessible on foot, Fan Lau (Divided Flow), a small peninsula on the southwestern tip of Lantau, has a couple of good beaches and the remains of Fan…