Updated: Apr 21
It's heating up, and we all want to hit the beaches with our pups. Only problem is that dogs are not allowed on the gazetted beaches here in Hong Kong but lucky for you, we've got you covered! There are around 49 non-gazetted beaches in Hong Kong - that's effectively 49 "dog-friendly" beaches! The only thing is a non-gazetted beaches means no lifeguards, no shark net and (usually) no facilities. BUT! We've mapped a majority of these beaches out for you and highlighted our favourites below for your beach-going pleasure. Enjoy!
Cheung Sha Wan (Lower or Upper)
Aside from the gazetted part at Lower Cheung Sha Wan, the entire stretch from Lower to Upper Cheung Sha Wan is connected and allows dogs. Lower Cheung Sha Wan has become a popular location for a day out with its seaside restaurants, and sports centre, Long Coast Seasports, where you can hire surfboards, kayaks and stand up paddle boards for the day. Order Fish & Chips to take away and enjoy on the beach as the sun sets, and if you're lucky enough you'll catch a glimpse of the passing heard of buffalo. Upper Cheung Sha is also a great spot to camp overnight and catch the sunrise.
Ham Tin Wan
Ham Tin Wan has always been a popular spot for beachgoers and campers, with its iconic wooden plank bridge to the outdoor, seaside restaurants run by the villagers. However, it can also get a bit rowdy, so if you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet, head next door to Tai Long Wan; a surfer's haven, and a little slice of paradise.
Kau Sai Wan
You wouldn't expect that Kau Sai Chau, home to the Jockey Club's golfing range would have much else to offer, but the small beach of Kau Sai Wan is a great little spot for its neighbouring waterfall rock pools, which provides a fresh stream of water for you and the pups to cool off in. Just don't attempt to go too far up, as about 25 metres up you'll hit a near vertical climb with nothing but a flimsy rope to support your way - never mind passing this with the dogs, its questionable even for humans.
Sai Kung Beaches
If you're not afraid to charter a speedboat and visit a remote beach without any facilities, Millionaire's Bay (also known as Nam Fung Wan, 南風灣), Cricket Bay (蠄蟧灣) and Whiskey Beach (白環) are all highly recommended for their crystal clear waters and powdery white sands. It is an idyllic way to escape the city without needing a passport. If you're lucky and the season is right, you may even catch a glimpse of bioluminescent algae at night. For the more adventurous - or brave - ask the crew to stop off at the neighbouring Tai She Wan Village, on the way to Cricket Bay, where remnants of an abandoned holiday camp still stand! Spooky!
Pak Lap Wan
Pak Lap Wan is a camping favourite amongst explorers as there is a kiosk right on the beach where you can hire kayaks, camping equipment AND buy food. You could quite literally rock up with nothing but cash and have a great day out, with all your needs met - just be sure the kiosk is open before you go! Take a short hike over the hill to Mok Min Cave for stunning views of the arch and the beautiful landscape unique to Sai Kung. Just be prepared to scramble up and down the rocks to get to this beautiful spot!
Sha Ha Beach
Sha Ha Beach is just a short walk away from Sai Kung Town Centre, and has two eateries right by the beach - a barbecue venue and Thai restaurant, Thai Dao. It's location is also idyllic for those looking to explore neighbouring Sai Kung islands, and a car park is also available for those renting paddle boards or kayaks from the water sports facility, Blue Sky Sports, with facilities for you to wash off once you're done. If its a quiet day on the beach you're after, beach chairs and brollies are also available to rent.
Sham Wan (Turtle Beach)
Lamma is home to several dog-friendly beaches - any of which would make for a fun day out with the pups, though we need to address the significance of Sham Wan, which plays an important role in the conservation of sea turtles. If you must visit this beach, only do so between November - March. This beach is strictly off limits to all visitors between 1st April to 31st October, as turtles comes here to nest during this time. Any entry during this time is illegal and liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 HKD. You have been warned!
Sharp Island is known for its tombolo, which is a 200 metre sand levee connecting a small isle to the island, and is only passable at low tide. The beach nearby is not gazetted and welcomes dogs, however, the other two beaches on the island; Hap Mun Bay and Kiu Tsui Beach are gazetted, and are strictly off limits to dogs. To get to this island, find a Kaito at Sai Kung Pier to ferry you over and get off at the first pier, closest to the tombolo. For the more advanced and adventurous explorers, catch the kaito to Hap Mun Bay and coasteer your way along to the left of the pier when you disembark, till you get to a beautiful rock pool only known by snorkelers and coasteerers. Only go this route if you have coasteered with your dog before, as this route involves getting into the ocean at parts and climbing up and down vertical walls in some areas. Coasteer your way back and either catch the ferry from this pier, or follow the trail over to the second beach from Hap Mun Bay, to get to the tombolo. Just be sure to keep your dogs on leash as you head towards Hap Mun Bay Beach, as the lifeguards usually blast "no dog" announcements over the speakers at the sight of approaching dog owners and their dogs to deter you from going further.
Stanley Main Beach - or rather next it.
We love this one because it's on the island, easy to access, and home to our friends HiWindlover, where you can hire Kayaks and Stand Up Paddelboards by the hour to take your explorations to water. And of course, dogs are welcome. Once you're done, you can head to neighbouring Stanley Market for some scoff at one of their dog-friendly restaurants, and end things on a sweet note with an ice-cream at Gino's Gelato for you and the pup!
Tap Mun (Grass Island)
Tap Mun is mostly known for camping and it's abundant cow population. Although there are several beach spots on the island, our favourite spot is the man-made rock pool by the dimsum restaurant. The spot provides a safe harbour for tropical fish and coral, and is a great spot to snorkel the crystal clear waters and marvel at the marine life. It really is such a unique spot, we can't wrap our heads around why there aren't more people taking pictures of this spot on Instagram! To get to Tap Mun, catch a ferry or charter a speedboat from Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung.
Ung Kong Wan, Bluff Island
This beach is reminiscent to a tropical beach you might find in Thailand, and is an Exploring Dogs' favourite for their powdery white sands and crystal clear waters. Of course, there's no Exploring Dogs without a little exploration! If you take a short bush-whacking hike over the hill to the left of the beach, you'll get a vantage point of the beach and surrounding islands, before uncovering the interesting rock formation, said to look like clasped hands. To get here you'll need to charter a speedboat or junk!