After getting off the ferry and entering Discovery Bay, the first thing you’ll think is, “Ah yes, this is very pretty and pleasant!”, and a far, far cry from normal urban life in Hong Kong.

This beautiful residential area on Lantau Island is surrounded by towering mountains, with two beaches, a golf course, a marina, and a line of waterfront restaurants. It’s super clean, and quiet, and peaceful; and for many expats, an oasis of calm in a chaotic city.

Photo by Emily Dickson

Discovery Bay—shortened to ‘DB’—makes a pretty nice day trip when you want to escape the madness of downtown. Most get there by taking a relaxing 25-minute ferry ride from Central Ferry Pier 3. You can also get there by a 20-minute bus ride from Tung Chung or Sunny Bay, or by taxi. Though more expensive, the ferry is the more scenic and relaxing way to get there.

Photo by Daniel Case used under CC

DB has two different sections. The DB Main Plaza is by the ferry terminal, with a waterfront promenade and D’Deck, a strip of alfresco restaurants facing the bay. D’Deck offers a Dine ‘n Ride deal, whereby if you spend more than HK$120.00 at one of the restaurants, you get a free ferry ride back to Central. Within the plaza are a number of pubs and restaurants, a supermarket, and boutiques. Next to D’Deck is Tai Pak Beach.

Photo by Emily Dickson

The North Plaza has the Auberge Discovery Bay Hotel, restaurants, shopping, and Epicland, the biggest indoor playroom in Hong Kong.

Because of Discovery Bay’s size—it is practically a self-contained town unto itself—there are internal buses to take you around. Unless you happen to own one of the golf carts that, due to limited numbers, cost more than a luxury car (it’s true!).

Photo by Emily Dickson

DB is quite mountainous, offering some lovely hikes. If you can handle hundreds and hundreds of steps, there’s a look out point with incredible views of Lantau and beyond (on a clear day). Keep going and you’ll reach Lo Fu Tau, the craggy peak at the top of the hill. There are also trails to connect you with Mui Wo and Tung Chung.

Photo by Emily Dickson

On weekends, there is a smaller ferry service called the Kai To which putters over to neighboring bay Mui Wo, as well as to Peng Chau Island. One way to spend the day exploring Lantau is to take the ferry from Central to DB, then the Kai To over to Mui Wo or Peng Chau, followed by a ferry back to Central.

Other Lantau Island Attractions