Header image courtesy of HKR International
Originally published by Ngai Yeung. Last updated by Alisa Chau.
A quaint and charming getaway, Discovery Bay can be likened to Hong Kong’s mini version of Naples. Its 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 DB.
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 neighbourhood’s international culinary scene and family-friendly activities. 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 for the little ones to run around and play.
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 indoor fun with the kids at EpicLand, where both adults and children can try out the VR arena, zipline, rainbow slides and more. EpicLand markets itself as Hong Kong’s tallest indoor family entertainment centre, which means that there is going to be wacky activities adrenaline junkies are sure to love.
Speed down their Drop Slide, walk on a tightrope, or—if you dare—climb up the Leap of Faith platform and literally leap off to grab a swinging sandbag for a thrilling experience!
EpicLand, Shop 31, G/F, Family Recreation Centre, 96 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay North Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2441 0098
Note: EpicLand may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Spanning 27 metres wide and a whopping 59 metres in length, this state-of-the-art ice rink offers an all-inclusive space for all sorts of ice sports. Providing the backdrop to expert-led lessons in figure skating and ice hockey, the venue also boasts a history of hosting many professional performances and international competitions.
DB Ice Rink, G/F, Block C, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island | (+852) 2234 0187
Note: DB Ice Rink may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Bringing a touch of fine dining to Discovery Bay, Peony is the first and only restaurant in the neighbourhood to specialise in elevated Chinese cuisine. Perfect for dim sum lunches, family meals, private celebrations, and banquets, Peony is a sophisticated vision in red, grey, and bronze, with expansive windows that look out across DB Plaza and beyond.
Acclaimed head chef Chu Ting-kwok and dim sum head chef Tony Chan present their Michelin-starred cooking skills and long experience with Chinese cooking in the form of a barbecued Ibérico pork fillet ($198), stir-fried lobster with purple onion, spring onion, and shallot ($498), and an array of classic dim sum dishes. Diners can also opt for a degustation set menu ($488) to sample the best of what Peony has to offer.
Peony Chinese Restaurant, Shop 153A, 1/F, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2215 0833
Despite its humble size, this coffee house has it all: gourmet coffee, friendly staff, and splendid views. You will 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, but Hemingway’s menu of plant-based comfort food is sure to change that mindset. If you are craving some BBQ pulled pork, try the BBQ pulled jackfruit sliders ($138) instead for a surprising take on the juicy burger. Hemingway’s does not only do Western cuisine but Asian as well, such as the fragrant and deceptive Malay “beef” rendang ($148).
Hemingway’s, Shop G09, G/F, D’Deck, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay | (+852) 2987 8804
As the largest restaurant on the waterfront, Zaks does not only offer pretty views of the beach with upper and lower deck seating. Its fun menu spans Asian and Western cuisines, from Korean fried chicken and nasi goreng to pasta and burgers. Try a platter of salt and pepper king prawns ($260) with lemon butter sauce and large portions guaranteed to satisfy. If you are 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 have passed by McSorley’s in SoHo before, or maybe you have 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; it even has its own brand of ales. Its branch in Discovery Bay is no different, featuring both British and Indian food if you are craving a classic beef and Guinness pie ($168) or are looking to fill up on some tenderly spiced rogan josh ($170).
Visit on a weekday to check out what special promotion or event they have at the moment, with frequent live sports broadcasts drawing in rowdy cheers all around.
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 have still not had enough, the cheesy decadence that is the empanada de queso ($75) 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 the tender BBQ baby back ribs ($258), prepared with a special barbeque sauce before being smoked over hickory chips and eventually barbequed. Kids are sure to love the queso fundido pot ($158), 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