Just me and my buffalo

As I mentioned in a previous post, our roof is falling in, and to fix it meant we had to get out for a few days. Luckily I heard that my company owns a little holiday flat in Pui O, a small coastal town on Lantau, the same island where I live. It’s pretty far out of the way, and it will take a while to commute to work for the one week we will stay there, but at least it’s free!

Pui O is mostly famous for its roaming water buffalo which are wild and free, and I have to say those things are huge, and stinky. But it also has beautiful mountains, a nice beach, and a few tasty restaurants. I figured it couldn’t be that bad of a place to stay.

Oh give me a home... where the buffalo roam...

I dragged my suitcase to the office on Thursday, and after work dragged it to the Mui Wo ferry where I ran into a friend who also lives in south Lantau, but in this sort of expat enclave mostly full of Cathay pilots and their families (and no roaming buffaloes). It was a good thing Natalie was there with her stylish red convertible, because she gave us a ride to the village and helped us find the place. It was quite out of the way, tucked away across a river, deep in the bush. To walk to the main road, you cross a tiny concrete path that winds its way past a river with some mangroves and through a wet field. Almost made me feel like I was walking through some jungles in Vietnam or something.

As always, I am amazed that in Hong Kong you can have such different worlds coexisting so closely together; that within an hour or so you can step back in time to quiet Chinese village life. There was a surprising amount of wildlife around Pui O other than the buffaloes — lots of fish, red crabs, brown beach crabs and birds I’ve never seen before in Hong Kong. Beach was quite nice although I certainly wouldn’t swim there, south Lantau being so close to the Pearl River Delta.

Crabs spitting out balls of sand


On our last night there the same friend with the convertible invited us to come over for dinner with a few other friends. Their place is beautiful, with a view of the sea, a hot tub on the wooden patio, and a nice rooftop. To have such space in Hong Kong is a true luxury, but considering the neighborhood is so remote, the only people who live there are airline crew, since the airport is nearby but little else. Anyway, everyone got drunk on Pimms and soda, polished off a number of bottles of red wine, talked a set of rubbish, and had a nice old time. The only catch is, if you want to live the village life in Hong Kong, you cannot work downtown, it is just too far away. Hard choice isn’t it? The lifestyle, or the big job??

Lifestyle vs Job... which one would you choose?


4 thoughts on “Just me and my buffalo

  1. Won’t swim in Lantau? Don’t be paranoid, lot’s of people swim at that beach in the summer to no ill effects. I swim there many times without any negative effects, don’t buy into all those sensationalized pollution news that scares you off.

  2. Sorry, I’m just a bit spoiled coming from the Caribbean and being accustomed to crystal clean waters!!!

  3. Well, just so you know, the pearl river and Lantau waters is home to the Chinese White Dolphins and porpoises, if the water is so polluted, they clearly would not survive, the fact that they have means pollution is not as bad as they say. Muddy waters does not automatically means polluted waters.

  4. Well that’s fine — lots of people were swimming in Pui O that day and I’m sure they went home fit as a fiddle. I’m not talking about getting sick from swimming in Lantau, but quite frankly, if I see a layer of brown scum all over the beach and on the water, I would rather not swim in it! Call it paranoid if you like…

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