Sao Feng, one of the main villains of the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End movie, is based on myth and facts about Cheung Po Tsai.
Cheung was an infamous pirate, mostly known because of a legend about his hidden treasure in Cheung Po Tsai Cave in Cheung Chau Island.
Cheung Po Tsai was a 19th century Chinese pirate. Cheung Po Tsai (literally means "Cheung Po the Kid") was also known as Chang Pao Tsai, Cheung Po, Chang Pao and Zhang Bao.
Cheung lived a simple life as a poor fisherman's son, in southern China district, Xinhui of Jiangmen. At the age of 15, he was kidnapped by Cheng Yat, a pirate who operated along the Chinese coast during the 18th century.
Soon after Cheng Yat captured him, Cheung Po Tsai became his favorite subordinate. Cheung found himself in pirate life and enjoyed in his new duty. As the most charismatic and ambitious recruit, he quickly rose through ranks. Soon after, he was even adopted by his captain and his wife Ching Shih.
After Cheng Yat accidental death in storm, Ching Shih, now known as "Widow Ching” maneuvered her way into his leadership position of her husband’s fleet and Cheung became her right-hand man. They had a love affair and soon after they married. Cheung Po later completely took over the pirating business from his wife.
Cheung Po Tsai harassed Guangdong coastal area, during the Qing Dynasty. His pirates were well disciplined, shared booty equally and were not allowed to injure or kill women. At the height of his power, Cheung’s fleet counted an army of 20,000 men and several hundred ships.
In 1810, after a big downfall of his pirate army, Cheung Po surrendered to the Qing Government and became an official, a captain in the Qing imperial navy responsible for eradicating piracy. He spent the rest of his life enjoying comfortable administrative positions.
There were a lot of rumors about Cheung’s legendary treasurers. The most famous one is about a small cave in dumbbell - shaped Cheung Chau Island. The cave was latter named after Cheung Po Tsai. It is small and difficult to crawl into, however many tourists visit this island attraction every year. Many of them are modern treasure hunters with expensive equipment, trying to discover lost pirate treasure…