If the hustle and bustle (and lack of personal space) in the city is starting to get to you or you’re just looking for a new destination to check out, then set your sights on Discovery Bay, Lantau Island!
Getting to Discovery Bay (or DB as most residents refer to it as) is easier and quicker than you think! From the Hong Kong Island area, head down to the Central Piers and you’ll find the DB Ferry at Pier 3. The ferry ride over costs $37 (one-way) and you can use your Octopus or purchase a token at the windows near the turnstiles. The ferry waiting area and the ferry itself are equipped with free WiFi so you can surf the web as you wait!
A couple ferry tips — if you have food or drinks you are welcome to eat them onboard (preferably upstairs, although this is not strictly enforced). Also, typically pets sit downstairs towards the front of the ferry so if you would prefer not to mingle with any four-legged friends, stick to the middle or back sections. Additional ferry information and schedules can be found here.
If you’re coming from other areas such as the New Territories, Kowloon or Sai Kung, you can take the MTR to Sunny Bay station where the 03R bus will take you directly to The Plaza (get off at the very last stop). I personally prefer the ferry, as it’s a bit more of an adventure (especially for the kids!), but the MTR is quick and convenient too.
If you’re coming from Tung Chung, you can grab the 01R bus directly to The Plaza (get off at the very last stop).
WHAT TO DO
When you get off the ferry you will find yourself in The Plaza, which is a short walk from the beach (head right along the D’Deck) as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
The beach is quite large and is a great place to bring the kids for running, swimming and playing (check out the playground at the far end!) It’s also a perfect picnic spot so either pack your own lunch or order takeaway from one of the many restaurant options (more about those below).
If you walk towards the left when you get off the ferry you will find yourself in the main area of The Plaza. The central area is a large open space filled with kids of all ages scootering, kicking balls, blowing bubbles, practicing walking and just generally having a great time. Picnic tables surround the middle of The Plaza (non-smoking ones can be found to the far right near the post office) and are the perfect place to watch the kids enjoy themselves. Be sure your kids bring along something to play with so they can join in the fun! For the parents, the fun is grabbing a bottle of wine from Watson’s or a coffee from Uncle Russ or Pacific Coffee and just watching the kids run and have fun without any worries!
The Plaza also has different activities from time-to-time such as the Handmade in Hong Kong Sunday Market, a Flea Market and various art and music programs, which are always a great time! Keep an eye on the D’Deck Events and Promotions page here for the latest happenings!
If you want to see a bit of DB you can also grab one of the buses (the C9, the C4, or the Free Shuttle) from The Plaza and head up to The North Plaza. The North Plaza is a bit quieter but does have some exciting happenings of its own such as the DBN Family Kingdom (the third weekend Feb-April) which fills The North Plaza with bouncy castles, jump and stick velcro walls and music booths. Admission is free but to participate in some activities you must purchase an item from participating North Plaza merchants. More info on the DBN Family Kingdom and participating merchants can be found here.
Another fun activity found at The North Plaza is the Short and Sweet Horse Carriage Rides. The rides take place daily and last for about 10 minutes. The carriage takes four people per ride at a cost of $200. To see where to purchase tickets and find out more, click here!
You’ll also find DB’s very own hotel, The Auberge, near the North Plaza. The Auberge has beautiful rooms with city views, the Bounty Bar (gorgeous views of the city on a clear day while you’re sipping some bubbles!), Spa Botanica and a wedding pavilion (you may even catch a glimpse of a beautiful bride on her wedding day while you’re visiting). You could turn your DB visit into a full weekend of fun; just click here for all the ins-and-outs of Auberge!
WHERE TO EAT
The DB Plaza and the DB North Plaza both have some delicious restaurants to choose from! Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Thai, German, Tapas — you name it! In the DB Plaza the restaurants along the D’Deck have fabulous outside seating overlooking the water (Zaks, Caramba, Sopranos, 22˚North and Hemingways). You will absolutely feel like you’re on holiday dining outside along the water sipping a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. If you plan your dining visit in the evening you can also watch the Disney fireworks right from your seat! Check here for the latest fireworks schedule. Other restaurants around the inside of the plaza are delicious too and make a great place to eat while the kids dash to-and-fro from the plaza happenings. For a full list and information on the DB Plaza restaurants click here (click here for DB North Plaza). All the restaurants are kid- and dog-friendly so bring the whole family for a day of great dining and fun!
Last but definitely not least — don’t forget if you eat at one of the thirteen participating restaurants you get a free ride back to Central! All the details for the Dine ‘N Ride promotion can be found here.
DBay is a great place to get away and unwind as if you’re on holiday (no passport necessary!) whether you’re with your family or your best group of girls. There’s something for everyone and you’re sure to leave relaxed and happy!
Originally from the States, Wendy moved with her husband and son to Hong Kong two years ago. This is her first experience with an overseas assignment and she is absolutely loving it, from the many wonderful places to see, people to meet and things to do! Having been a teacher and an editor, she is now focusing on her hardest, most rewarding job yet as a full-time mom! In her free time (when she has it), she enjoys reading, writing, exercising and traveling.