Discovery bay is a residential development located on Lantau Island, and yes back in the 90s, I called this place home, so have many memories of life there, some good, some bad and some just interesting.
So, it was a no brainer to go back to Discovery Bay, as part of this HK trip.
Heading out this morning, the sky was looking ominous, but me being me, I decided to risk it, and went anyway, thinking with the heat and humidity I will be wet anyway, so bring on the rain.
Back when I lived in the bay, you had a choice of ferry, ferry, or ferry to get there, that’s no longer the case, but given the good memories I have of commuting from the bay into the city, it was another no brainer, its ferry time.
So, the first thing to do, after getting breakfast, was to get from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island where the ferry departs from.
For this, I decided to take the Star Ferry, which is a Hong Kong icon having been running between Kowloon and the Island for over 100 years.
Yes, these ferries are old, with the current fourth generation dating from the 1950s, but do not let this put you off, any visitor to Hong Kong needs to take this trip at least once.
And yes, there is even an airconditioned area on the upper deck, so it’s possible to hide from the heat.
As for me, I will always take the ferry, no matter the weather.
Given the amount of things that have changed since my last visit, I had expected the cost of the ferry to be one of them, and yes it had gone up, but at HK$5 (about AUD$1) its basically free to use.
And yes, the rain started while I was in the middle of the harbor, but for once I was on the correct side of the ferry, so the rain was not an issue.
Getting into the central ferry wharf, the rain decided to get heavier, but again no need to get any wetter, as its all under cover from here to the Discovery Bay ferry.
Heading to get my ticket, the first thing is they “Still do not take credit cards”, WHY?????
Anyhow, no more ranting, the trip from central to the bay is about half an hour with some stunning views, from the fast ferries.
While on the subject of the ferries, these are the same ones I used to use daily 30 years ago, and yes, they are still as comfortable.
Just checkout that sky, and yes, the rain actually held off for the duration of the trip, so there was me standing outside at the back of the ferry, just ignoring the “crazy tourist” looks from the other passengers, while taking photos and some video.
Getting closer to Discovery Bay, the ferry wharf came into view, and yes this being HK, with construction just about everywhere, the wharf is going through renovations. Just checkout the bamboo scaffolding.
The docking was just as I remember smooth and quick, no change is a good thing in this case.
Getting off the ferry, I was shocked as it was totally different to what I remembered. Back when this was home, there was next to nothing there, just a supermarket, and a few smaller shops. Basically, all you really needed to live.
Now there is just about everything you could think of, there is even an ice rink.
Before exploring, I decided to head up to where I used to live, so after figuring out how to get out of the shopping area, I headed up the long and very fermilier hill towards my old home.
And yes I have many memories of walking this hill back when I was much younger and fitter, and others of the ancient buses that used to be the only public transport in the bay. Oh, those where the days....
Taling of public transport, this time I did not use it, but thankfully there was no sign of those ancient buses, just the usual HK air conditioned high end buses. Now thats a welcome change, those old buses had no aircon, where far from comfortable and must have dated from the 70s.
I took the above photo back in the early 90s, right out side of the building I called home. Back then, the whole development was fairly new, just checkout the trees on the left, back then they where planted fairly recently, and now they are mature.
Now, we are talking of mature trees, and no more hoardings.
The bad news is the rain started again, so already wet, and in need of food, I decided to give up on the day, and come back when the weather gods where not out to get me.
Heading back to the ferry, I decided to take the waterfront walk, and see whats changed over the years.
The answer to whats changed, well in this case, other than the more mature trees, not much. On nice sunny days this walk is well worth the time, good water views of the ferries coming in, plenty of trees for shade.
Anyhow wandering along this waterfront walk, the rain started again, so remembering my previous decision to give up on the day, I headed for the ferry warf.
As for the daily stats, 22,435 steps, which is around 14km, not bad, but still not even close to the highest for this trip. Oh well the weather gods got me good this time.