Those who have visited Discovery Bay are often struck by how different it is from the rest of Hong Kong. Large numbers of foreign residents (with the highest expat percentage located in the whole of Hong Kong), western restaurants, as well as several international schools characterise the outlying island.
Located northeast of Lantau Island, Discovery Bay is a small town developed by private entities. In early 1979, Dr. Cha Chi-ming, chairman of the HKR International Ltd., took over the Discovery Bay Development Plans with the goal of building a town that could house 25,000 people. Over the years, Discovery Bay has evolved into a community boasting a high quality of life.
Being a “privately developed” town means that all infrastructure and projects in the area — from roads, running water and electricity, to government facilities such as a fire station, police station, subsidised schools and community meeting halls—are all built by private companies. As a result, Discovery Bay is home to Hong Kong’s first privately-owned reservoir, and the first toll tunnel constructed by private developer, the Discovery Bay Tunnel.
Away from the city bustle, developers were mindful of reserving the area’s natural beauty during construction. Discovery Bay offers residents a peaceful living environment and a variety of facilities; Discovery Bay Plaza and DB North Plaza have a string of retail shops as well as the largest indoor children’s playground in Hong Kong. There are hiking trails that link Discovery Bay to various parts of Lantau Island; the famous 400-metre-long Tai Pak Beach, a privately-managed man-made beach, can also be found in Discovery Bay.
With a well-developed maritime transport system, Discovery Bay includes a 24-hour ferry service that provides a pleasant 25-minute journey between Central Pier 3 and Discovery Bay Pier, and kai-to services to and from Peng Chau (transfer to Cheung Chau and Hei Ling Chau), Mui Wo, Our Lady of Joy Abbey and more. On land, the Discovery Bay Tunnel connects to the Lantau Link, linking Discovery Bay to all areas of Hong Kong. Shuttle buses to the airport, Sunny Bay MTR Station and Tung Chung MTR Station are available, as are helipads for emergencies. It’s worth noting that one end of the in-construction Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge is located near the Discovery Bay Tunnel Toll Plaza, which will make it quicker for residents to travel to Macao and Guangdong in the future.
Discovery Bay Residential Developments
Developed by HKR International Ltd., residential projects in Discovery Bay are mainly located around Tai Pak Beach, Yi Pak Wan and Nim Shue Wan. There are a total of 26 phases of developments (the first phase opened in 1982), offering a combined 8,330 units and ranging between 432 and 5,168 square feet with unit types from studio apartments to four-bedroom homes. Some of these housing estates were developed solely by HKR International, while some are joint-projects with New World Development. Boasting a variety of projects including villas, condominiums, mid-rise and high-rise towers, each featuring distinct designs, these developers cater to residents of all kinds.
Four independent clubs have been put in place by the developer, offering members an array of recreational facilities such as a golf course, a yacht club, tennis courts, squash courts, bowling alleys, table tennis rooms, gyms, pools, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, reading room, banquet halls and dining outlets. The Discovery Bay Services Management Ltd., also set up by HKR International, provides a number of services including property management, community relations, security, cleaning, road maintenance, street lighting, drinking water supply and sewage management.
According to Centadata, Discovery Bay’s average per-square-foot price is HK$10,816 this month. A low-level E unit in Phase 1 Parkridge Village – Mountain View, with a saleable area of 440 square feet, was recently leased out at a monthly rent of HK$12,500 or HK$28 per square foot.
Things to know before moving into Discovery Bay
To control air pollution, only vehicles exclusively used by Discovery Bay residents are allowed to drive on the development’s road network. Such vehicles include Discovery Bay taxis, Discovery Bay buses, government vehicles, cargo trucks and taxis approved by the Discovery Bay Services Management, as well as golf carts used by residents. Unless granted with a special permit, other vehicles (including private cars and non-Discovery Bay buses) are not allowed to enter Discovery Bay.
Discovery Bay’s primary school net is No. 99, which includes S.K.H. Wei Lun Primary School, and Holy Family School on Peng Chau. Its secondary school net belongs to the Central and Western District. Discovery Bay also has a number of international schools including Discovery Bay International School (with kindergarten, primary and secondary sections), Discovery College (with primary and secondary sections), Discovery Montessori School (kindergarten), Discovery Mind Kindergarten, Sunshine House Kindergarten and Sunshine House International Pre-school.