I was lucky enough to live in Hong Kong for two years. Beautiful warm weather throughout most of the year. It gets a little hot in the summer so I had to be careful of my paws and make sure I stayed cool and not over-heat during the summer months. It did cool down to about 10 Celsius in the winter, but besides that, it was pretty much perfect.
Now I know what you’re thinking…a beagle loving Hong Kong? Isn’t Hong Kong overwhelming? Crowded, teeming, tightly packed sidewalks and you’re met at every turn with neon signage, steam-filled canteens, skyscrapers, crazy traffic, noisy, and full of chaos you say? Well, your right in a sense, however, Hong Kong has many places for a dog to enjoy itself, and I am not talking about a nasty old dog park.
Not only is Hong Kong island about three-quarters countryside. Scenically beautiful the landscape is made up of sandy beaches and rocky foreshores to heights of almost 1,000 meters, woodlands and mountain range covered by open grasslands and a variety of scenic vistas. There are tons of walking trails all throughout the island where a dog can frolic in a stream, dance around a waterfall or dive into the China Sea.
There is also the New Territories with wild monkeys and boar, Kowloon and the outer islands of Lamma and Peng Chau easily reached by the dog-friendly inter-island ferries. All with great trails to walk and beaches to explore.
I’ve been told that Hong Kong is becoming dog crazier year by year. You can see dogs dressed in the latest fashion, being carried around in designer bags and even being pushed in prams. However, some of the locals can still be a little nervous when they see dogs.
Airport: Hong Kong International Airport
Dog Walking Highlights
The Peak – the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It offers fantastic views of the city and its harbours. There is a great limited car access walking trail that goes around the top and is perfect for a walk with a stunning view for us dogs.
The Peak is also accessible by taxi and private car via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.
Victoria Peak Garden is located on the site of Mountain Lodge, the Governor’s old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit. It can be reached from Victoria Gap by walking up Mount Austin Road, a climb of about 150 meters (490 ft.) and has open spaces for tossing a ball around. . The Peak Lookout Restaurant is super dog-friendly; boasting a dog menu, water service, personalized bowls and an exclusive seating area on the terrace. It’s housed in an older and more traditional building which was originally a spacious house for engineers working on the Peak Tramway. It was rebuilt in 1901 as a stop area for sedan chairs.
Shek-O– One of my favorite places in Hong Kong. An old fishing village with a small population, a number of restaurants and two great beaches. One that is just perfect for us dogs and their owners who would like a cool beer while you play with the local bar owners dog on the beach, this is the spot for everyone. The name “Shek O” literally means the “rocky bay”. The entire area is a peninsula on the southern coast of the Hong Kong Island, facing the South China Sea. Shek O is surrounded by Shek O Country Park, Big Wave Bay, and Cape D’Aguilar.
Lantau Island– Isn’t just for Mickey Mouse fans, there is the Lantau North country park with over 70 Km of trails; some very challenging so make sure your pup is up to it. Throughout the park, the beautiful scenery and famous historical sites are truly fascinating. There is a chain of mountains that stretches from the higher elevations in the west to the
lower ridges in the east.Lamma Island– A well-trodden weekend excursion and an excellent walk from one coast of Lamma Island to the other. Both are served by ferries and possess a wealth of restaurants that are dog-friendly. The best part of this walk is that there is no traffic and you stroll along the spine of the island with wonderful views of the sea.
Stanley– Stanley, a common fishing village located on the southernmost part of the Island has developed to be a famous scenic spot. As well as being a beautiful seaside city, Stanley has numerous places of historic interest and scenic beauty. There is a little beach area where dogs and their owners come to cool their feet. Wonderful outdoor cafes to enjoy a drink and meal and laze around the boardwalk.
Tai-Tam Country Park– One of my favorite walks is in the Tai Tam country park, walking the trail through the reservoirs. A perfect place to enjoy a picnic on this gentle walk, easy to access via taxi. Most of the area is paved but free of traffic, there is also off-shoot trails left and right to explore. The area is well forested on either side and the views from the wedding-cake dam are stunning.
These are just a few places to explore and highlights of what I enjoyed. However, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories offer days and day of exploring. Two must-have books for your owner to have are The Serious Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong and The Leisurely Hiker’s guide to Hong Kong by Pete Spurrier.
Just remember as a dog, beware of ticks that are very active in the spring. Also, the islands do have a few snakes in their parks so be careful about where you roam. The monkeys in the trees are quite harmless, noisy but harmless, however, if you start chasing a boar, it can turn around and chase you and that could end badly. Lastly, it can get very hot during the summer, make sure you drink plenty of water and stay in shaded areas.
More information for your owners in my Wagging Hong Kong reviews in my next blog bark. I’ll talk about where to stay, where to eat, and where to shop.