Born in Liverpool in the UK, artist and creative director MARTIN LEVER has lived in Hong Kong since he was nine. Here, he takes us for a spin around his Lantau village.
Where do you live? Pui O Village, South Lantau.
How long have you been here? Four years in Pui O; Hong Kong since 1979.
Why this suburb? Space. Trees. Beaches. And a real sense of community.
What transport is available in your suburb? Buses and ferries and taxis. Planes and trains are a short drive away.
When you walk out of your house, what’s the first thing you see? Quite often, a large and generally friendly buffalo.
What’s the closest store to your front door? If you’re in the market for cooking oil, instant noodles or sugary Filipino snacks, there’s a family-run village shop five minutes’ walk away. If your needs are more diverse, Mui Wo has all the usual suspects.
The unofficial uniform of your suburb is: Sartorial elegance is at a premium.
If a celebrity moves in, he or she would likely be: Ignored.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture you: Anyone for Chinese opera?
A mandatory stop for taking out of town guests is: Tai O fishing village. Sat literally in the sea and seemingly constructed from old sticks and cast-off corrugated iron, its longevity is nothing short of miraculous.
A common myth about your area is: It’s a long way away. (Ssshhh, don’t tell anyone!)
If you wake up at night it’s usually because of: A toad chorus.
A massive late-night rager in your suburb involves: Sitting in the pub. There are no bright lights and velvet ropes.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joint is: For watching the footy: JK Club. For talking nonsense: Tap Tap.
For watching the sun go down: Treasure Island. For craft ale: The Water Buffalo. For beef in black bean sauce with ho fan noodles: Mau Kee.
You won’t find better local food than: Home-made linguine vongole with clams plucked from the beach. Not always as sediment-free as you’d hope for!
The strangest thing you’ll ever see in your neighbourhood is: Campers with wheely-suitcases. What is that all about?
The best bargains in the neighbourhood are: The hills, the sea and the sky. It’s all free.
The guiltiest local pleasure is: Shouldn’t all pleasure be guilt-free?
One thing you’d never change is: The buffaloes.
If the city gave you HK$5M to soup up your area, what would you do? No upgrading required. Just removal of all abandoned cars, rusting shipping containers and illegally dumped construction waste. I’m happy to pocket any change.
Do you love your neighbourhood?
Share it with others – just email us at email@example.com with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.