Năm and his Buffalo — Hoi An

Nam, Man with 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

Nam, Man with Buffalo, Hoi An

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