Header image courtesy of Quinton Coetzee (via Unsplash)
Originally published by Amanda Sheppard. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
Sun’s out, pups out! Now is the perfect time to hit the beach with your four-legged friend. While many beaches in Hong Kong prohibit dogs to join their humans in their sandy adventures, there are several that welcome them with open arms and, if you’re lucky, a nice bowl of water to keep them cool. Here are some of the best dog-friendly beaches around Hong Kong.
Rocky Bay, or Shek O Back Beach, as it’s more commonly referred to, is a smaller, more secluded beach behind the popular weekend destination. There’s little by way of supplies and facilities, but if you’re looking to make a day of it, Ben’s Back Beach Bar sells food and drinks and is a great place to watch the sunset—with a sundowner in hand, of course.
Just a few minutes from Stanley Main Beach lies a small, pebbled beach. Though the beach was previously gazetted, swimming is no longer permitted, owing to the strong currents in the area. If you have a good command of your dog and live in the area, this makes for a great area to throw a ball around.
From the ferry pier, it’s a short stroll along the newly-opened promenade to Silvermine Beach. Dogs are permitted by the far end of the beach, away from the netted swimming area. With a number of dog-friendly restaurants and cafés in the area, South Lantau is a great place for a doggy’s day out—just make sure you time your trip wisely, as you can only travel on the slow ferries (marked with an asterisk on the timetables).
Don’t be put off by its name. The beach, situated next to Hong Kong Electric’s coal and gas-fired power station, is a short walk from Yung Shue Wan Main Street and is a popular haunt among Lamma residents thanks to its clean waters, quiet setting, and availability of drinks, snacks, and umbrellas for rent. This is one of few beaches on the island where dogs are welcome, so the chances are your four-legged friend could befriend a few of their own while you're there.
Statistically speaking, this is one of the cleanest beaches in Hong Kong, making it the perfect place for you and your canine companion to cool down. There’s an array of water sports on offer, too—after all, this is where Hong Kong’s only Olympian, Lee Lai-shan, or “San San,” mastered her skills.
Located on the eastern edge of the Sai Kung Peninsula, Tai Long Wan is a picturesque stretch of coastline and the perfect place to have an outdoor adventure. It's accessible via an hour-long hike from Sai Kung East Country Park (which can be reached by taxi from Sai Kung), or if your dog is sea-savvy, a speedboat ride home which cuts your return commute in half.
There are two ways to reach Long Ke Wan—either by hiking Stage Two of the Maclehose Trail, or (for the less fit folk among us), taking a 20-minute walk from the High Island Reservoir East Dam. You will need to take a taxi to reach the dam. Located next to the UNESCO Global Geopark, the beach also boasts a campsite which is perfect for a weekend away from the city.
Known as Grass Island, Tap Mun plays host to several beaches. At just under two kilometres in length, the area has become a popular destination for weekend warriors. Ferries run from Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung every hour or two, though there are on-demand sampans for hire, if you’re willing to (pun intended) push the boat out.
Pro tip: If you’re unsure whether your preferred beach is dog-friendly or not, the general rule of thumb is that if there are no lifeguard towers or netted areas, it’s not a gazetted beach, and you’ve got the all-clear.