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Why Do I Live In Tung Chung?

If you speak to anyone who isn't a Tung Chung resident, these are the responses you tend to get: "You're miles away from anything", "there is nothing going on there", "at least it's convenient for flights ha. ha. ha...."

Tung Chung wasn't my first choice as a place to move to when we decided we were moving to Hong Kong. I remember vividly Googling Hong Kong in my lunch breaks and discovering Lamma Island, Cheung Chau and other wild and wonderful places that seemed so exciting compared to my grey life in North London, where I was working for the Metropolitan Police Service as a graphic designer.

Lamma seemed like a blue Nirvana, but it wasn't to be as my wife and I found out we were having out first child just TWO weeks before getting on the plane. The wife didn't fancy being airlifted to hospital whilst in active labour (?!) so we moved to Tung Chung, where my father-in-law has a place. It's been 7 years and we're still here.

Why not DB?

Jokes aside about DB - The tennis coach lovers and swinging - and if you can disregard the horrible management who evicted all the marina residents with 3 months' notice so they could bring in super yachts, and that they charge the emergency services to pass through the tunnel, even on a call-out - it's a brilliant place to live. I love the sense of community there. I love the central circle plaza where everyone hangs out. I love the super safe nature and lycra-clad activewear so important for a school run. The residents of DB must be the most gung ho group of people in Hong Kong. Not a weekend that goes by where there isn't a fun-run, sponsored egg eating, go-kart race or some other well organised group activity to attend.

But I just couldn't live there. It is a cross between The Truman Show and niche 90's UK TV show Eldorado.

If I were in my early 20's I'd love to live in mid-levels. I wouldn't care that my studio apartment with shower cum toilet cum kitchen was $38k a month as I'd be in amongst the action. But I'm not in my 20's. That ship has sailed. Now I have 2 kids, a marriage, a slight hunch and a little too much weight around my waist. For those reasons Tung Chung is perfect for me.

The nightlife has improved 10 fold since I moved here. There used to just be Zentro's which I really liked. It had fairy lights and a little fountain. Then, like the Cambrian explosion 485 million years ago where life suddenly bloomed, Tung Chung's night scene took off like a rocket. A Tavola appeared with its live music. The Tavern opened with the most wonderful staff of any bar anywhere. Then Mint and Basil; The Sheraton complex with its own little night scene in the form of TBay. Tung Chung now has all the nightlife I could hope for. And the best bit is I can walk home, just as if I were living in mid-levels in my 20s.

Kids roller skating in Tung Chung
Lovely, safe and mostly well maintained paths

All roads in Tung Chung have a little barrier between them and us. Not immediately obvious until you have a 1 year old child who demands to walk everywhere. This is seriously important as a parent. What pavements (sideways for the yanks among us) we have are wide and flat - perfect for a stroller. There are escalators everywhere. And lifts. You don't get that luxury in Mid-levels.

One thing Tung Chung is missing are fun events. I aim to rectify that, both through Rotten Head Festival and personally. We need fund raisers for local charities. We need sponsored walks, nice events for the kids on a weekend. Tung Chung needs more community.

If you have any thoughts or ideas how to make this happen, or have any contacts at MTR who I could hit up to open up some of the local spaces, let me know by Whatsapp 95476438 or in the comments.


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