In Tai O Village you have the wonderful opportunity to catch a rare sight of pink dolphins! I didn't even know that they existed, but the photos made them look so cute. There are two companies who run trips out very frequently. They are based on a bridge, one either side, but this is where you have to be careful.
I took two photos of their little stalls advertising the trips of one you SHOULD go to when you visit the village, and one you SHOULDN'T! So pay attention now as I begin to tell the tale!
We walked by both of the boat stalls and asked the price and it was only HK$20 per person which is about one pound fifty. We looked at which boat looked like it was going to leave first and hopped on it. As we were discussing the price, the woman running the 'bad' one said because there were only two of us, we would have to pay HK$100 in total instead of HK$40 to make up for the empty seats. We were having none of it, and so she agreed to the original price so we got on. We then had to wait for about five mins before the driver got on huffing and puffing. He wasnt happy to just drive us two out. Whilst this is all happening we notice the 'good' one has been in and out several times already! After nearly getting off out of frustration, the guy gets in and drives us out to sea. We were literally in and out in just under twenty mins instead of the half hour they promise. And about ten mins of that was getting in and out of the village. So even though we did actually see a few pink dolphins, it was nothing like what it should have been. He turned round after 8mins or so and took us back the same way we had come! He was supposed to take us all round Tai O, but said he wouldn't, because there would be no more dolphins round the other side, and that was the only reason for them to normally go round. And what can you say to that....especially when you don't speak Cantonese!!!
Unique Suggestions: If you HAVE to go on the tourist trap...at least kick up more of a fuss than we did about it if anything like this happens to you! We complained when we got off that we hadn't stayed out long enough to see the dolphins and that we had only been gone for twenty minutes instead of the promised half an hour. They remained adament that they hadn't done anything wrong and so we took the photo to remember who they were, and went on out way!
And hopefully with the help of me writing this and you reading it, this boat company will lose a lot of custom!
Fun Alternatives: The alternative of course is to go on the other boat trip. Just remember.....the photo with the finger pointing to the sign is the boat trip people to take ...and the sign with no finger in its way, are the people to avoid!!!!
During the ~Chinese New Year~ On 2006, I have been to Tai O for a trip visiting the Old Fisherman's Village. For some Reason the village is very busy and Crowned with locals and Tourists.
Before We decided to leave the village and continues on our trip, I decided to buy some Traditional DRY SEAFOOD Pruducts. So I have enter one of the Store in the Main Street, The store is very noticable, because It has a BIG DRY SHARK SHIN hanging outside the Store and one Hanging inside the Store. So I decide to do my shopping at that Store, As I was About to pay for my Goods, Our Group Leader rushing in the store, and trying to Drag me Out like there was an earth Quake. I asking him: What is Going on? He Said: You are about to Be cheated by Pay 5 times More than the Normal Price.
Then He took me to another Store, that the Locals is recommended and I Price the Type & class DRy Seafood Products, and the price was 5 times Cheaper than the First store I enter. I have to Thanks to My Group Leader to Pull me out of A TRAP.
JUST REMEBER DO NOT ENTER THAT DRY SEAFOOD STORE WITH THE LAGRE SHARK SKIN HANGING FROM THE ROOF! I have took some photo of the Shark skin, Just remember it, if you traveling to TAI O In future.
This is just the photo of the one NOT to go to. So please take note and avoid like the plague!