One of the more popular hikes on Lantau Island goes from Discovery Bay (generally referred to as DB) to Mui Wo but, because I live in Mui Wo, I usually do it in the opposite direction.
Mui Wo is changing increasingly quickly now. It was originally a local Chinese fishing community and, before the Tsing Ma Bridge was completed in 1998, the only point at which you could access Lantau Island from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.
Today it is home to an increasing number of expats. The village remains pretty much the same: mostly low-rise blocks of flats (no more than 5 floors) with local shops, pubs and restaurants.
During the week it’s still reasonably quiet, but it becomes busy over the weekends with visitors from Hong Kong, Kowloon and DB. We have a nice beach and a reasonable BBQ area here, as well as a lot of seafood restaurants!
This was taken before the government decided to destroy that attractive, shaded walk way and replace it with a concrete monstrosity that has no trees at all (and which they very optimistically describe as a promenade).
The beach is still the same, though:
DB is home to a lot of expats – it’s quite different from the rest of Hong Kong!
There are lots of western-style restaurants and bars in the Plaza, right next to the DB ferry terminal, all of them pretty good. And they attract a lot of business, particularly over the weekends.
My favourite is Solero, a Spanish restaurant on the upper level in front of you as you exit the ferry terminal.
I heartily recommend their Patatas Bravas and a jug of Sangria!
The range of hills in this picture is what you cross from Mui Wo to get to Discovery Bay, and the arrow indicates the point up to which you climb:
So, setting off, you first make your way around Silvermine Bay:
The first 15 – 20 minutes around the bay make a reasonable warm up, but once you reach the end of the bay the serious walk begins.
You follow the pathway up the hill for about 2 or 3 minutes until you reach some steps that lead up to the left. They are signposted to Discovery Bay.
Those steps are the hardest part of the walk, going pretty much straight up the side of the hill.
But once you reach the first hill-top, which you can see in the picture below, the rest of the climb up to the crest is pretty straight-forward.
Here’s the view looking back over Silvermine Bay and down on that first hill-top I mentioned:
Those steps you can see lead down to a small dip before the the climb starts again, but much easier this time.
Looking to your left you can see Chi Ma Wan Bay and, in the distance, Cheung Chau Island (this and the previous picture were taken from the same spot):
From the point where this picture was taken you walk through some wooded areas – all pretty easy walking, with some gentle climbs and level stretches.
As you approach the last stretch, though, you start the final climb up to the top and, as you get there, you can look back to this view:
At the top of the climb there is a small pagoda where you can stop for a breather and a drink.
Even if you do this walk in July or August, there is always a cooling breeze at that point – which is extremely welcome..!
From this point on everything is down hill as you head down to Discovery Bay.
On the way you get views across the water to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, with Peng Chau Island in the foreground:
. . . and a bit of the Discovery Bay golf course:
As you leave the crest, though, you’re quickly into wooded areas again as you drop down towards DB.
You’ll go past the Trappist Monastery, heading towards Nim Shue Wan and find yourself walking along the trail near the water, with the DB Marina off to your right.
When you get to the road you need to turn left and head for the Plaza (about a 10-minute walk):
When I get to the Plaza, I generally go to the place I mentioned earlier (Solero), but there are plenty of other options – this is the group of restaurants facing the Bay. You can just see the ferry terminal (ferries to Central) in the background:
(That picture was taken quite early in the day – those restaurants get pretty busy later on!)
After a good lunch and a few beers, or the aforementioned jug of Sangria, I generally take the ferry back to Mui Wo.
The Mui Wo ferry goes from the Kai To pier. To get there you need to walk back to the point at which the trail from Mui Wo met the road but, instead of turning right to walk back to Mui Wo, look straight ahead. The ferry terminal is right ahead of you.
The Mui Wo ferry has some character:
The trip takes around 20 minutes and it goes around the headland from the top of which that picture earlier, of Hong Kong Island and Peng Chau, was taken.
Here’s the inside of the ferry:
As I said at the top, a lot of people do the walk from DB to Mui Wo and end up at the China Bear for lunch before catching the ferry back – the walk I’ve just described, but in reverse.
Whichever way you do it, the walk takes about an hour and a half and it’s a good work out without being excessive (as are some sections of the MacLehose Trail!).
A good option if you’re looking for a day out from Hong Kong Island is to take a ferry to DB, do the walk to Mui Wo and catch the ferry from Mui Wo back to Hong Kong.
And, of course, you could take the ferry to Mui Wo and do the walk to DB.
In each case, the ferry trip is about 30 minutes, so with two ferry trips, the walk and a lunch at either end, you’re looking at a pretty good day out.
The ferry from Hong Kong Island to Discovery Bay goes from (and returns to) Central, Pier 3.
The ferry from Hong Kong Island to Mui Wo goes from (and returns to) Central, Pier 6.
Have you done that walk? Let us know about it in the comments!
The Expat Traveller