Guide to Hong Kong – Discovery Bay Edition
Although there is no escaping the man-made, purpose built feel to Discovery Bay, the peninsula’s natural beauty shines through. Transforming the aptly named bay into somewhere calm and peaceful – the perfect island respite for busy Hongkongers.
It was initially built as a holiday resort in the 1970s, but when Edward Wong went bankrupt and fled Hong Kong, Discovery Bay became a relaxed residential island instead. While the golf-buggies and resort-style houses nod to this holiday resort feel, Discovery Bay now accommodates over 18,000 residents and numerous more visitors.
With stunning hikes over the surrounding mountains, crystal clear rock pools, a chilled-out waterfront promenade and numerous clubhouses. Discovery Bay is a great place for a relaxed weekend of walking, golfing, swimming, drinking and eating.
To kick off your relaxed weekend, head to Zaks for a leisurely brunch in Discovery Bay. With a huge outdoor seating area overlooking the sea, mountains and beach (if you turn your head slightly and it’s a clear day you’ll see the Hong Kong skyline too), Zaks offers up an extensive brunch menu.
Start with a freshly squeezed orange juice, followed by my personal favourite, the Trim and Tasty – two poached eggs, on sourdough bread with asparagus, avocado and a zingy hollandaise sauce.
After breakfast, head to the small Italian deli Il Bel Paese to pick up something to eat for a lunchtime picnic.
From pasta salads, to antipasti and delicious ciabattas, you won’t be at a loss for things to choose from. It’s located right next to Park & Shop’s Fusion store in Discovery Bay’s main piazza.
Dsicovery Bay is surrounded by the 465-metre high Tiger Head Mountain, as well as the Tai Pak and Yi Pak Bays natural beaches, giving the peninsula beautiful treks in its scenic landscapes. The best thing to do after brunch, therefore, is to hike.
Walk along the beach until you reach the public showers, continuing past the showers and up the stairs to your right. When you reach the top, walk past another children’s climbing frame and up towards the school in front of you. Cross the road and on the left hand side you will see a small pathway leading up the mountain.
Follow this path all the way up for beautiful views over Hong Kong Island and the whole of Discovery Bay. You will reach a black and white post that marks the lookout point, which takes about 45 minutes to get to. From here, continue walking over the mountains until you get to the Discovery Bay Valley Road.
Along this road there are entry points to the rock pools. About half-way down there are some incredibly picturesque spots to enjoy your lunch.
Sit among the trees, crystal clear waters and waterfalls and eat your lunch on a shady rock. (Be really careful here, as if the weather has been rainy, water levels may rise and cause dangerous conditions.)
Once you have eaten your lunch and been for a swim, you have the option to either head back to the plaza for a fresh fruit juice and sit on the beach. Freshen up at the Siena Club and enjoy beautiful views over central from their swimming pool bar, taking a dip in their infinite pool as well.
Or you can head straight to D-Deck (the waterfront promenade) for something a little bit stronger – sitting in Hemingways for a Happy Hour cocktail for just $25. With its lounge seating, beach-bar music and views out to the beach, enjoy the barmy Hong Kong weather here.
Then head to Koh Tomyums for dinner – where you’ll forget you’re minutes away from bustling Hong Kong and think you’re on a Thai island instead. Situated on the second floor of the Plaza (just above Hemingways), Koh Tomyums serves up delicious and authentic Thai fare, while you can sit back and listen to the sound of waves against the beach below. Try their sour mango salad and papaya salad if you can handle the spice, their peppercorn chicken and green curry.
Have after dinner drinks at 22 North or sangria at iCaramba! To finish your evening in true DB style. (Also, if you are heading back to Central at the end of the evening, you can get a free ferry ride if you take your dinner receipt to a little booth in the Plaza.)
Emma Russell | Editor