Năm and his Buffalo — Hoi An
Năm and his Buffalo — Hoi An, Vietnam
Năm lays atop his buffalo on the side of the road in Hoi An, Vietnam. He makes a living letting tourists pose on his buffalo or take photos of him. He accepts donations but never demands payment.
We stopped to talk to him about his life and buffalo. It turns out the buffalo in the photo has since been retired to a life of ease. He lets him rest and eat grass all day in the shade near the water. “The buffalo is worth 50 Mil VND now ($2,200 USD), but I don’t want to sell it. I feel sorry if they take their meat. That’s why I don’t sell them. I raise them until they die and then I will bury them.”
Năm now has a younger buffalo he has trained to be friendly with people. Water buffalo are typically quite timid but he has trained his to allow strangers near and even climb on its back.
Năm makes most of his income letting tourists pose with his buffalo. He has become a bit of a popular figure in Hoi An.
“I can train the buffalo. Just let them practice. I ask my daughter to sit on the back of the buffalo and I will lead the buffalo around. Day by day, the buffalo will get used to that. Then I ask my daughter to hug and kiss it. Now everybody can hug and kiss it.”
Năm is quite friendly with the tourists and when we ask him about it, with a big grin he says “Everybody loves me!”
Năm, 65 years old
Hoi An, Vietnam