Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Day of Contentment at Mavericks in Lantau

One of my very good friends in Hong Kong is leaving soon.  She is my running/dog walking/and (probably most importantly) my spicy-food-addiction-hotpot-eating buddy.  I am really sad to see her go... but I also know that she will be back in Hong Kong to visit and I will be back in the US so we will keep in touch.

This weekend, as part of the celebrations around her departure, we hit up two bucket list items:  Mavericks in Lantau (as well as clamming but perhaps she did not know that that was a bucket list item) and eating at Sanxilou one more time.

Mavericks is a very very  laid back, popular spot to hang out on the south side of Lantau. The generous portions and ready supply of drinks (except for the fact that they were somehow out of lime soda and coffee - how is that possible??  Apparently they only stock up on alochol!) are also very lovely on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The restaurant is decorated with old skateboards and surfboards.  The menus come on recycled, cut up skateboards.  The bar and seating area is open directly to the beach.  You immediately feel as thought you've been transported to Australia or Bali.  (I've never been to Australia, but I have it on good authority (tv, books, magazines, etc.) that this is what Australia feels like.)

Entrace to Pui O Beach - the tag line is "Good mountain, good water, good beach"

 The restaurant and bar opens directly to the beach and the water:

 The day we were there, we noticed a ton of locals clambering in the thick, dark sand with buckets, stools and little shovels.  We quickly realized they were clamming!  It is just so quintessentially Hong Kong that so many people would endure the sun and wind exposure at the beach on an incredibly hot day to ensure that they get their fresh seafood.  Of course, I'm not one to talk because I did this once before!  But my friends hadn't clammed before so we bought a bucket and some shovels and went to town.

It is so much harder than it looks...this is our effort after nearly an hour!  Kind of defeating.  We should have bought a smaller bucket.
Lantau really is a different world from the hubbub of Central.  On the way to the beach we saw a bunch of buffalo roaming around in the field, chewing grass.  Doesn't this seem more like a scene out of Thailand or Vietnam than Hong Kong?  This place, I tell ya, it's full of surprises.

 After properly digging up bivalve mollusks for the good part of an hour, tanning and eating and drinking while just chilling out to the music at Maverick's, we called it a day and hopped on the bus back to the Mui Wo ferry.  There, we abashedly handed over our bucket with the pitiful amount of our day's wares and asked them to clean and stir fry the clams. 
 Can you tell which ones are ours and which ones are the restaurant's?
The view from Mui Wo cooked food market. 
After we got back to Central, we did one last hurrah for old times' sake at San Xi Lou, which ya'll have to know by know is one of my favorite hot pot places in Hong Kong (though I am not picky).  All in all, it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Getting there: take the ferry from Pier 6 in Central.  The fast ferry takes 25-30 minutes, the slow ferry takes 60-65 minutes.  Once you land at Mui Wo, head to bus number 3.  Get off at Pui O beach. 

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