Welcome to this week's episode of China escape! We decided to explore more of Tai O after lunch, Peter suggested the residential neighborhood. After a most interesting stroll through the dried food market, and wandering about the downtown core, we were curious about Tai O's homes, but to get there we needed to head towards the market. On the way, 2 tourists posed for a picture outside a restaurant along a quiet street, there were some residences here but Peter said the ones by the water were quite different. Across the restaurant, an open courtyard surrounded with vacant benches and closed shops. Despite the colorful murals and pretty pastels on the wall all was silent, I wondered if the space was ever used, would there be tai chi in the early mornings and children playing in the evening?
We followed a couple of local tourists through the narrow path...
...which suddenly gave way to a much wider street, some shops were open but most others were closed that Sunday, few were walking through this part of town.
I could not help notice the narrow dark alleys we passed by, there was something fascinating about the messy framework of exterior pipes on the moldy wall, not to mention ferns were growing out of its numerous cracks.
Other back lanes were much wider and brighter, no cracks on these newly painted walls, pipes were neater and smaller, everything looked orderly but not as enticing as the one above.
We returned to the bridge where the scent of dried seafood lured us back towards the market.
Or was it this tray of dried fish we were smelling? They were in tidy rows, some were on their backs sunning their bellies. What kind of fish was this, were they salted first and were they good?
On the water, the tourist boats for hire continued to whiz up and down. In the background, another influx of tourists were marching on the bridge, boy were we glad to arrive earlier, it would have been much too uncomfortable exploring with such a crowd.
But we were hoping business would be good for the merchants, like this lady below, who was there just before us, her elderly hands handled the scale expertly.
Seconds later, we watched as the crowd gathered and later dispersed around her, much of the fish she was weighing was sold.
A souvenir shop on the edge of the neighborhood, a handsome display of straw hats for sale, I would like the one on top with the pointy tip please.
Pictured below a little boy in the bright orange shirt rode as fast as he could on the bike with training wheels, we began to notice there was no other tourists in sight.
Around the corner, blooms of fuchsia bougainvilleas adorned the white walls of a church.
Three trays of orange peel and fish stomach drying in the sun, all were placed on bikes and movable carts.
More bikes around the bend, like these ones parked outside a noodle shop, it seemed 2 wheelers were the only traffic around here.
The only other traffic was by foot, walking on we began to notice some of the building structures were of different age, some had exposed their underlying bricks.
Below an older corridor that seemed endless, I would very much like to know where this led to but David and Peter urged me along, there was lots more to see.
Would you look at this marvelous pile of old wood, doors, ladders and rusty railings, how long had they been there?
Onwards we go, somehow this shot reminded me of older communities in Singapore, could it be the grey walls and rattan furniture that were typical of Asian homes in tropical climate?
It never ceased to amaze me how often the external walls would be tiled, pale blue...
...and pale blue appeared to be the most popular color.
Only grey colored bricks and cement as the path narrowed suddenly, David and Peter disappeared around the bend, with them out of sight I panicked and hurried up. Our China adventure continues next week!
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