Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghouls in action

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Mui Wo invaders II









The little ghouls were out in full force in Mui Wo today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mui Wo invaders

Woken up in the morning by some loud exercise instructions being shouted out like a mass drill. Then they lopped off to the mountains. I think they're on a hike. video

Shap Long

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Isn't it such a beautiful view? To get here, you can hike, bike, drive or grab a cab. But it's really worth it because it's such a peaceful scene.

Yummy teppanyaki



I love Japanese food and have been bemoaning the fact that we don't have a Japanese restaurant in Mui Wo. I know, I know, I'm totally spoilt... seeing as we already have an Indian, an Italian and a Turkish in addition to the local food. But hey, I'm a happy bunny now that Pui O Delicious (Tel: 2984-2298) has opened.

We first saw it emerging from our usual walk to Pui O (it's just across the road from the water buffalo viewing gallery). But it opens only for lunch (noon to 3pm) and dinner (6pm to 11pm) and we usually hike after lunch. So we didn't try out the place.

Then I saw its flyer in the Thai massage place and it strengthened my resolve to try it out. So, the next hike we took, I sneakily delayed it by so long that we finally arrived in time for dinner.

I'm glad we did. The chef, who is local, trained in Japan so the food tasted authentic. They have a teppan so you can watch your food being cooked – as in a traditional teppanyaki joint. And the grill gave a lovely smoky flavour to all the dishes.

The prices, while not dirt cheap, was reasonable. The dinner set is about HK$350 for two people. We had lamb, golden mushrooms, pumpkin and sweet potato tempura and rice and it came to HK$211. Everything we cooked to a T.

We will definitely be back. Maybe this time, I won't need to drag out the hike to persuade Buffalo Wilbur to dine in Pui O.

Pui O Delicious: G/F, 15, Lo Wai Village, Pui O




Monday, October 25, 2010

After-lunch walks

I love that I can walk out of the flat and the sea is just by my block. But I also love that our after-lunch walks to digest our food can take us to such picturesque places as the Silvermine Bay waterfall. We went there on Saturday, when everyone was obviously staying put because of Typhoon Megi, and found we were the only ones there. Such bliss just lying on the rocks and listening to the water!
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Fright Night



The spiders are up, body parts are crashing through windows and zombies have taken over. It's Halloween again and my favourite watering hole, the China Bear (Tel: 2984-9720), is holding its usual bash for boys and ghouls on the 30th. There's a HK$1,000 prize for the best costume on that night. Wonder what I should go as? Maybe as a scary cleaning Ah Por with a traditional hat? They can be quite fierce and frightening, especially when you ask them to get rid of that cardboard box your fridge came in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tai O day trip





I've always seen people queuing up for the No 1 bus to Tai O during the weekend. It looked like a fun place to go for a day trip. We finally made it there yesterday.

The 45-minute bus ride had lovely views but I got terribly car sick. Must remember not to sit on the side of the slopes again because it can get quite claustrophobic.

But it was worth it. The fishing village on stilts was unbelievably filmic, with fish laid out to dry, live seafood splashing round in tubs and pretty houses the size of a garden shed everywhere.

There's lots of eat along the streets: grilled scallops (with extra garlic for serving), maltose syrup candy sandwiched between two crackers, glutinous rice cakes, pressed squid... you could fill your stomach just walking through the village.

But when it came to nice sit-down restaurants, there didn't seem to have many. Most were simple cha chan tengs decorated with an abundance of mosaic. Finally, we found a lovely spot along Kat Hing Street.

Shop-cum-restaurant The Balcony is a fairly new place, overlooking the river and a nice renovated stilt house. It serves espresso coffee (very important for Buffalo Wilbur), a selection of snacks and some local dishes. Go for the egg-yolk prawn. They peel the prawns for you so you can just pop them into your mouth like bar snacks.

How to find it: Cross the swing bridge, walk to the end of the road to Fook Moon Lam restaurant, turn right then continue on till you get to No 86 Kat Hing Street. (Tel: 9153-7453).

Heritage tree



I got hold of some beautification plans for Mui Wo from way back in 2004. There, among the acres of concrete that the government seems to think is necessary for any countryside upgrading, was the lone heritage tree.

When my parents came over to visit, I left them to wander the town while I went grocery shopping. My mum later texted: "Come and meet us at the tree." Which tree? There are so many around. So I called her. "THE tree," she replied, exasperatedly. Finally, I got it. Of course, there may be many trees around but there is only one that can be called THE tree -- the spreading tree just outside McDonald's, the only green spot amidst all that concrete.

A few days ago, the tree started shedding leaves for autumn and it felt like I was on some country path as I walked through the piles of leaves. Today, I saw children having a fun time among the branches.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stream

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Trying out the video function of my camera phone. Next time must remember to hold it horizontal so the stream doesn't run out of the screen.

Anyone know if I can rotate this on blogger?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Silvermine Bay waterfall

It was a long weekend and it was hot. Those two factors combined to make the Silvermine Bay waterfall a tempting option for a family day out.

Plus, the waterfall was an easy five minute hike from the beach (unlike Bride's Pool, which I have heard about but am too lazy to hike to).

Luckily, there had been a downpour a few days ago so the waterfall was, well, falling. We have been there a couple of times where the water was trickling down slower than a drain pipe.

There is something soothing about just sitting and listening to the white noise of falling water and soaking your feet in the ice cold stream. Maybe next time we should take a picnic with us.

Mui Wo to Pui O walk





Buffaloes!




Walk to Pui O. The buffaloes are everywhere and are especially plentiful around Shap Long, where there are wide open plains for them to graze.

They look quite intimidating to city dwellers like us (those horns look lethal) but they're harmless. We walked past this bullock and it didn't even blink.

I was wondering why you see them mainly around Pui O and Shap Long. Then I found out from Hong Kong Outdoors (www.hkoutdoors.com) that they used to be very popular in Pui O as four-legged tractors for rice cultivation.

They're really restful to watch as they graze on the grass and most Lantau folks have a soft spot for them. Each spring, you see a few cute brown calves following their mothers on shaky legs and trying to suckle. They definitely give the place character.

Sadly, the government doesn't seem to like them very much and the buffaloes get killed ("culled" in political legalese) every so often to keep the population down. Some get into accidents crossing the South Lantau Road, which is very close to their favourite stomping ground.

Then there are the townies (the ones who scream if a chihuahua so much as sniffs their toes) who call up to complain about the buffaloes munching on precious plants. As if buffaloes can tell the difference between common grass and some exotic carpet variety.

Poor water buffaloes. There are so many obstacles they need to overcome just to survive. No wonder there are only 60-odd left now.

Long weekend




This year, National Day falls on a Friday. So, although Hong Kong may not have a Golden Week like China, we still had a long weekend.

People arrived in droves from the ferry to take advantage of the sunny weather to go hiking or just laze on the beach. The Mui Wo rural committee decorated the waterfront with flags.

It's almost enough to make you turn patriotic... nah!