In this, our first insider’s guide to Pui O, we’re inviting you to enjoy the village and its many attractions as the locals do. We’ve sorted through everything Pui O has to offer to bring you the best of the best all in one handy compact guide. From pastimes to pets, and education to staycations, it’s all here.
One of South Lantau’s more remote neighbourhoods, Pui O is first and foremost a fabulous place to get away from it all. There’s the famous beach with its curious mixture of black and yellow sand that stretches from the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula all the way to Cheung Sha. Then, of course, there are the hikes to be had in the nearby country parks, and the protected mangroves and wetlands to explore. For non-residents, looking to overnight in the village, we recommend a stay at Treasure Island, where there are both tents and cabanas on offer, or at JK Club Caravan Park, which has its own organic farm and a ‘playground’ for goats.
A bustling community in its own right, Pui O is in fact made up of four main villages – Lo Wai, San Wai, Lo Uk and Ham Tin, and it’s brim-full of interesting businesses continuing to do what they do best, despite the pandemic. There’s Garden Plus, a hub for budding horticulturists; the Community Vet, where Dr Queeny takes care of our four-legged friends; and, for residents with young kids, there’s Lantau International School (upper primary campus) and Bui O Public School. Newcomers to Pui O should also know that the village really comes into its own after dark. COVID-19 allowing, there’s a thriving rock music scene out of Tap Tap Bar & Restaurant, and at The Water Buffalo, British owner Chris Riley brews up his own real ales (as well as serving up some great pub grub).
Of course, Pui O is also home to Lantau’s largest population of water buffalo. Nobody seems quite sure as to their origins – they are not native but were brought in from elsewhere in South East Asia. Many were used on the land as working animals and then left to go feral once farming fell out of fashion. Others appear to have been bred for meat, a venture which, given they’re still here, was ultimately unsuccessful. Recent degradation of the wetlands by landfilling and construction, some sanctioned by the government, some illegal, has thrown into stark focus the potential for the herds to be lost to the community. But for now, they are an integral part of the local landscape, and ours to protect.
Welcome to Pui O! If you’re a local reading this, we hope we’ve done your home justice, if you’re not, we hope we’ve encouraged you to pay the village another visit. You may never want to leave.
AT A GLANCE
Shaped by the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula and the lower slopes of Sunset Peak, Pui O lies 4.5 kilometres from Cheung Sha, 5.6 kilometres from Mui Wo and 10.9 kilometres from Tung Chung.
Pui O is a sleepy hamlet, home to a growing number of expat residents as well as locals. There are four main villages – Lo Wai, San Wai, Lo Uk and Ham Tin.
Homes in Pui O tend to be either village houses, villas or low-rise flats. Most villas come with amenities, such as pools, gardens and parking spaces. Village houses are typically three floors plus a roof, with many subdivided into more than one home. The maximum square footage per floor is 700 square feet. The ground food unit typically comes with a garden, the upper floor unit with a rooftop.
Pui O is well served by public transport, with buses and taxis accessing the village via South Lantau Road and Tung Chung Road. It takes around 10 minutes to get to Mui Wo, and 20 minutes to get to Tung Chung by bus.
Residents can obtain a driving permit to allow them to drive their own car. Parking in Pui O is at a premium, as it is throughout South Lantau.
Lantau International School’s upper primary campus is located in Pui O, as is Bui O Public School, a popular, local primary school offering both English and Chinese curriculums.
There are eight restaurants/ bars in Pui O, plus numerous other local businesses including a veterinary clinic and garden centre. The nearest Fusion or Wellcome is in Mui Wo. For fresh produce, residents head to the Lantau Grocer in Cheung Sha.
Pui O is best known for its beach, wetlands and mangroves. The Lantau Trail passes through the village, and there are many other hiking routes and mountain-biking tracks in the vicinity.
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