Robbie enjoys writing about his experiences living in and exploring Tung Chung.
Why Tung Chung Is a Great Place to Live
Hong Kong is a wonderful and vibrant place to live. With its mix of Chinese and English influences and its position as a gateway to mainland China, it is a unique and exciting city. But deciding where to live is always a difficult and important decision. Among Westerners, Tung Chung (which is on Lantau Island) is a popular place to live.
- Tung Chung (東涌 in Chinese characters) has its own MTR (subway) station, hospital, library and public pool and is very conveniently located close to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport.
- It is also only 30 minutes away from Central Hong Kong by MTR.
- There is a wide array of housing available and rental prices are much more reasonable than Hong Kong Island.
- Compared with the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island, Tung Chung is quieter and less hectic and is more open with mountains and a beautiful bay.
- Tung Chung offers excellent shopping, hiking and sightseeing.
One of the top tourist attractions in Hong Kong is the Tian Tan or Big Buddha which can only be reached from Tung Chung by cable car, bus or taxi. This is by far one of my favourite places in Hong Kong.
History of Tung Chung
Tung Chung has a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty from 960 to 1279 AD. Tung Chung was a fishing village until it was earmarked as a new town and developed. There are still vestiges of the original fishing village near the Yat Tung Estate on the coast of Tung Chung Bay.
From Fishing Village to New Town
Tung Chung was developed in phases in the 1990s and early 2000s.
- Phase One was designed to provide a community to support the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. The target of Phase One was to accommodate a population of 18,000. It began with the town centre as well as residential and commercial developments. Infrastructure such as sewage treatment facilities, roads and drains were also completed.
- Phase Two started in 1996 and was completed in 2001 allowing for the accommodation of a population of 69,000.
- Phase Three began in 1999 and was completed in 2003. 26 hectares of land were reclaimed using public landfill. It accommodates an additional 22,000 residents.
Development of Tung Chung: 1992–2004
Finding an Apartment or Flat
There are a number of private residential estates in Tung Chung. The first to be built and the only one situated behind the Citygate mall is Tung Chung Crescent.
Private Housing Estates in Tung Chung
Tung Chung Crescent was the first to be completed in Tung Chung New Town, built in 1999. It was developed jointly by five local developers including Hang Lung Development Co. Ltd., Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd., New World Development Co. Ltd., Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., Swire Properties and the MTR Corporation.
- It is the only private residential estate on the south side of Citygate mall. The estate is also the closest to the MTR station.
- There are eight residential towers, each with between 29 and 43 floors.
- The towers include 2,158 units with the flats ranging in size from 712 square feet to 1,154 square feet. Penthouses range in size from 1,489 to 1,907 square feet.
- Tung Chung Crescent's clubhouse is 84,000 square feet and contains a gymnasium, aerobics room and a children’s and baby’s playground.
- There is also an outdoor swimming pool.
Seaview Crescent was developed by the same developers who built Tung Chung Crescent and was completed in 2002.
- There are four towers all built facing the airport and the sea. The towers are fifty floors high.
- The development is the closest estate to the Tung Chung New Development pier and the airport.
- The clubhouse contains a gymnasium, basketball court, badminton court and a swimming pool. Seaview Crescent contains 1,536 units ranging in size from 687 to 1,127 square feet.
This development consists of seven towers of between 45 to 50 stories as well as low rise apartments and garden houses (Le Bleu). It was jointly developed by HKR International Limited, Hong Leong Holdings Limited, Reco Tung Chung Pte Ltd. and MTR Corporation.
- The flat sizes vary from 500 square feet up to 1,800 square feet. The high rise towers were completed in 2002.
- The clubhouse includes tennis and squash courts a swimming pool, bowling and a spacious children’s playing area.
Caribbean Coast is the largest private residential estate in Tung Chung. It is divided into five phases, four containing 13 towers and the fifth phase comprising of 56 single floor units. The first four phases have between 49 and 52 floors containing 5,274 units in total. Phase One was completed in 2004.
- The clubhouse in Caribbean Coast is well appointed, with squash courts, ten pin bowling, a gym and two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools.
- Caribbean Coast is the furthest estate from the MTR; however this is mitigated by the presence of a regular free shuttle bus for residents to the Tung Chung MTR station.
- One important consideration with respect to Caribbean Coast is that the estate allows pets (unique amongst private estates in Tung Chung).
Choosing the Best Place to Live in Tung Chung
The choice of which estate is best for you comes down to which one offers what you require. Each has its pros and cons.
- Tung Chung Crescent is the oldest, but the closest to the MTR and won awards for its construction.
- Seaview Crescent is also older, is also close and has great views of the South China sea.
- Coastal Skyline is a much newer estate but is further away than the two older estates. It also boasts views of the sea and also Tung Chung bay.
- Caribbean Coast (which boasts a brilliant clubhouse as well as sea views) allows pets and is the furthest from the MTR station. It does, however, offer a shuttle bus to the MTR station which is free to residents which largely mitigates the distance to the MTR.
There are a number of useful websites that can assist you with advice and answers to questions.
Tung Chung town is a forum site focused on living specifically in Tung Chung.
There are two estates consisting of public housing in Tung Chung. The Yu Tung Court and Fu Tung estate (both built in 1997) contain 2,640 home ownership and 1,664 rental units. Yat Tung Estate was finished in two phases, with phase one built in 2001 made up of 12 blocks with a total of 5,597 units. Phase Two was finished in 2004 and consists of 6,382 units.
Yat Tung estate has:
- Primary and secondary schools
- A shopping mall
- A bus interchange
The North Lantau Hospital
The North Lantau Hospital has recently been built in Tung Chung. The reasons for a new hospital in Tung Chung included:
- The Government’s intention to increase the population size of Tung Chung to 100,000
- The presence of the airport and the large number of tourists visiting the area, combined together the distance and travelling times to other nearby hospitals
The North Lantau Hospital is an eight-storey, 160-bed hospital which includes an Operating Suite, Emergency Department, Medical Imaging, Pharmacy and major Outpatient Services:
- Community Geriatric Assessment Service
- Psychiatric Outreach Service
- Occupational Therapy
- Dietetics and Catering
- Speech Therapy
- Diagnostic Radiology
Accident and Emergency services are available 24 hours a day. A full in-patient service is available with 20 day beds ready for patients who are having minor operations that will not require an overnight stay.
The swimming pool was completed in April 2011 and was designed by Ronald Lu and Partners. There are two pools built within the venue. The swimming pool is near the entrance to the Nong Ping cable car on Tat Tung road.
- The admission fee is $17 per person Monday to Friday and $20 per person on the weekend and on public holidays. Children (under 14) and the elderly (60 and over) pay $8 and $9 respectively. Toddlers under three are free.
- There is a 50 metre heated indoor pool with seating for 960 spectators and a 25 metre outdoor teaching pool.
The website contains daily opening times.
- From November to March only the indoor pool is open
- April to October both pools are open
- Weekly cleansing of the pools happens every Tuesday unless Tuesday is a public holiday in which case cleansing takes place on a Wednesday.
The library opened in 2010. It is located opposite Caribbean Coast on Man Tung road. Entrance is free although a library card has to be applied for before books can be borrowed.
- The library contains both Chinese and English books, although naturally the selection of books written in Chinese is more comprehensive.
- There are extensive facilities including an adult and children’s library, newspapers and periodicals, photocopying and a study room. It also offers Children's Internet and Multimedia Services, a Government Wi-Fi Service and an Internet Express Service.
- Opening hours are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and public holidays and noon to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays.
- All Hong Kong public libraries are closed on the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, The First, Second and Third Day of the Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Tung Chung to Zhuhai Bridge
This is a project to link Tung Chung in Hong Kong with Zhuhai in Macao (Macau) via a bridge. The bridge is being built to address the lack of direct land transport links between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. It will also significantly lower the cost and time it takes for people travelling between Hong Kong and Macau. Journey time will fall from three hours to 30 minutes.
The project has proved controversial, with environmental concerns raised regarding increased vehicular and noise pollution due to the proximity of the road to Tung Chung. There are also concerns regarding the effect that the bridge will have on the rare Hong Kong pink dolphin’s habitat.
The construction of the bridge began in 2012 and should be completed in 2017 (at the earliest). The project has run into problems with the 6.7 km long immersed tube tunnel section of the bridge and is likely to cost 5 HK$ billion more than expected and over run by around a year.
Chek Lap Kok Airport Expansion
Public consultation began in June 2011 to discuss a proposed third runway as well as new passenger terminals. There were two plans proposed:
- One is to enhance the existing runways which will enable a maximum number of flights per year of 420,000
- The second plan is to create a third runway will allow a maximum of 620,000 flights per year
The proposal for a third runway was conditionally approved in March 2012 by the Hong Government despite ongoing environmental issues similar to those regarding the Tung Chung to Macau Bridge (noise and traffic pollution and the effect to Hong Kong’s pink dolphin population).
Despite being proposed more than three years ago, the third runway has still not been started. Hong Kong is a major transport hub in the region and stands to lose this status to its competitors if the airport is not expanded.
Final approval for the third runway has now been granted by the government but no timetable has been set out for its completion. It is anticipated that it will cost HK$141.5 billion to complete.
Tung Chung: A Great Place to Live
Tung Chung is an ideal place to live. It offers:
- Wide range of estates for people to live, many with spectacular views of Tung Chung bay or the sea
- Close to the airport and only 30 minutes away from Central Hong Kong by MTR
- Surrounded by parks and mountains and offers an oasis of relative calm from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island
- With the building of a public pool and a library as well as a brand new hospital, it is well serviced with amenities
- Three shopping malls, a cinema and many varied restaurants
- There is plenty to do as well, there are excellent hiking trails, tourists spots nearby and Disneyland is only a stop away on the MTR