Header image courtesy of HKR International
A quaint and charming getaway, Discovery Bay can be likened to Hong Kong’s mini version of Naples. The villa-esque residential buildings, breezy promenade, swaying palm trees, and sunny beach all work together to make one feel like every day is a lazy Sunday afternoon at Discovery Bay. The picture of tranquillity it paints stands in stark contrast to the busy city that is Hong Kong, attracting many expats to live in the bay, which in turn cultivated the place’s international culinary scene. Head on in by bus from Tung Chung or by ferry from Central and discover all that Discovery Bay has to offer.
Of course, one has got to check out Discovery Bay’s signature landmark, Tai Pak Beach. Its fine sand is easy on the feet, being smoother than most public beaches in the city. Aside from the usual swimming and sundry beach games, Tai Pak Beach also boasts the largest beach playground in Hong Kong. Don’t feel like sunbathing at the moment? You can always visit later, as the beach’s central location means that it’s merely 15 minutes away tops from virtually any point in the bay.
Any scenic neighbourhood on the Lantau is bound to have some good hikes. Our favourite is the Tiger Head Mountain hike, a super easy to moderate hike depending on where you’re headed. If you merely want to soak in some nice views of the bay, simply hike 700 metres up to a lookout pavilion after you reach the foot of the hill on Discovery Bay Road. If you’re hankering to venture farther, hike on to the summit for a stunning 360-degree panoramic view, and continue on to Mui Wo in a three to four hour’s hike—check out our guide here!
The waterfront Discovery Bay Plaza is your first and closest stop after you alight from the ferry. You may consider picking up some groceries here, as the delis and supermarkets here import rare delicacies from around the world to cater to the area’s heavy expat population. Do check out their regular programme of cultural and festive events as well: if the time is right, you’d get to shop at a farmer’s market right at the plaza! If you’re feeling rather peckish, head on over to D’Deck next door, where you can choose from a cluster of fine restaurants with cuisines from around the world. When you’re finished, hit the promenade for a breezy stroll, or make a beeline for the beach outside.
Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2238 1123
Go for an afternoon stroll or a picnic at Discovery Bay’s biggest park. Feel free to play ball games here, or explore some of the many secret paths in the area. Laze about the emerald lake as you nod off to the sound of the waterfalls in the background, and remember to bring bits of bread if you want to feed the turtle and koi swimming about.
Get ready for an energetic day of fun indoors with the kids at EpicLand, where both adults and children can try out their VR arena, zipline, rainbow slides and more. EpicLand markets themselves as Hong Kong's tallest indoor family entertainment centre, which means there’s going to be wacky activities adrenaline junkies are sure to love. Speed down their Drop Slide, walk on a tightrope up in the air, or—if you dare—climb up their Leap of Faith platform and literally leap off of it to grab a swinging sandbag for a most memorable experience.
EpicLand, Shop 31, G/F, Family Recreation Centre, 96 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay North Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2441 0098
Despite its humble size, this coffee house has it all: gourmet coffee, friendly staff, and splendid views. You’d often see locals typing away on their laptops here, either in the shop or out on the terrace under the swaying palm trees. Drop by for a cup of their own brand of coffee—with blends sourced from around the world—and space out as you soak up the relaxing vibes of the place.
Uncle Russ Coffee, Shop LG19, DB North Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2520 2816
Many non-vegetarians tend to associate “healthy and bland” with vegetarian food—Hemingway’s menu of plant-based comfort food is sure to change that mindset. If you’re craving some BBQ pulled pork, try their BBQ pulled jackfruit burger ($138) instead for a surprising take on the juicy burger. Hemingway’s doesn’t only do Western cuisine but Asian as well, such as the fragrant and deceptive Malay “beef” rendang ($148). Alternatively, grab one of their few different flavours of the buddha bowl before you return to the city where they’d be a lot harder to find.
Hemingway’s, Shop G09, G/F, D’Deck, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2987 8804
The largest restaurant on the waterfront, Zaks doesn’t only offer pretty views of the beach with upper and lower deck seating. Their fun menu spans Asian, Western, and seafood, from Korean fried chicken and nasi goreng to pasta and burgers. Try a platter of their salt & pepper king prawns ($260), with lemon butter sauce on the side and all-round large portions guaranteed to satisfy. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live band performing in the restaurant!
Zaks, Shop G04, Block A, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 3018 1089
You might’ve passed by McSorley’s in SoHo before, or maybe you’ve even stayed for a pint or two. If you have, you’d know that the Irish pub is a solid place for some Guinness and pub grub; they even have their own brand ales. Their branch in Discovery Bay is no different, featuring both British and Indian food. If you’re visiting on a weekday, be sure to check out what special promotion or event they have at the moment, with Thursday’s quiz night and the Wednesday night’s bargain Indian buffet ($168) being especially popular!
McSorley’s Ale House, G11A–1, D’Deck, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2987 8280
Come to Solera for some top-notch Spanish food, which of course must include paella. Bring friends along to chow down on Solera’s signature seafood paella marinara ($362) as each order feeds three to four people! On the side, sample some crispy calamares ($96) with paprika aioli for its satisfying crunch. And if you’ve still not had enough, the cheesy decadence that is their empanada de queso ($66) should do the job.
Solera, Shop 101, Block A, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2555 0772
Mexican food can be hard to find in Hong Kong. Fortunately, Coyote Mexican Cantina has it all, from sizzling fajitas to tacos to nachos with dips. Our favourite is their tender BBQ baby back ribs ($248), prepared with a house special barbeque sauce before being smoked over hickory chips and eventually barbequed. Kids are sure to love the queso fundido pot ($150), where they can dip tortilla chips, chorizo, and more in a piping hot cheese dip served like a fondue.
Coyote Mexican Cantina, Shop G08A, G/F, D’Deck, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2987 2848