Monkeys, turtles, pigs, oh my! If your kids are looking for a truly wild adventure, Hong Kong has plenty of options for viewing, petting, and feeding animals. From mini zoos in the New Territories to turtle feeding in Central to a cultural visit to the Goldfish Market, this guide has rounded up the top spots to see cool and cuddly creatures with the kids.
Looking for a dose of wildlife? Head to Kam Shan Country Park, also known as Monkey Hill and you may have guessed it, you will encounter wild monkeys on this family trail. This country park is home to large populations of the Rhesus Macaques Monkeys – giving you a taste of the wildlife in our very own backyard!
Kam Shan Country Park (Monkey Hill), Take the KMB Bus 81 and disembark at Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. Click here for more information
Hong Kong Dolphinwatch was founded in 1995 and was the first eco-tour operator running trips to see Hong Kong’s Indo-Pacific humpback, or pink, dolphins. Today it continues to be the only company recognized by the Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong Tourism Board as a true eco-tour operator. Join one of the tours to head out to the seas around Lantau and seek out the elusive but beautiful pink dolphins. Check out the Little Steps Video spotting the pink dolphins!
Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park is a protected area in Sai Kung Park and offers visitors a treat for the senses with over 60 types of hard coral and over 120 species of coral fish. There are loads of opportunities to meet marine life. From the gorgeous corals to the starfish (literally everywhere!), the kids can snoop around. From snorkeling and playing in shallow waters to hunting for treasures, this beach is easy to access and promises loads of smiles.
Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hoi Ha Wan, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, https://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_mar/cou_vis_mar_des/
How to get there: Take a taxi to Sai Kung bus terminal and jump on bus number 7 minibus. Get off at Hoi Ha Tsuen Village and follow the sounds of the beach (it's right there!). No parking is available here without a permit. If driving, you can either park in Sai Kung and take the minibus or park at Pak Tam Chung parking lot at the entrance of the park and taxi in.
Those who reside in Tuen Mun know of this hidden gem hiding in the New Territories. Opened in 1999, the Reptile House is the first of its kind in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. At present, it has over 52 different live exhibits with 29 different species of reptiles from around the globe. Kids can roam around in the indoor and outdoor courtyard displays and see an array of cool reptiles like Carpet Python, Frill-necked Lizard, Boa Constrictor, Veiled Chameleon, Western Painted Turtle, and many more!
Reptile House @ Tuen Mun Park, Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2451 1144, https://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/parks/tmp/speciality.html
Take your wild ones on a wetland adventure! The Hong Kong Wetland Park is located in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories. Take a walk along the marsh to view mudskippers, fiddler crabs, dragonflies, wild flowers, and more! Kids can view endangered and exotic birds in the bird hide equipped with telescopes. Make sure to say hello to the famous Pui Pui crocodile and head to the butterfly garden. The park not only demonstrates the diversity of Hong Kong’s wetland ecosystem but also highlights the need to conserve it.
Don’t let the name deceive you – there’s more to Kadoorie than simply a farm, though the pigsty is well worth a visit. There are also animals native to Hong Kong, such as leopard cats, monkeys, reptiles, and wild boars. You can spend the whole day wandering around different pavilions and sanctuaries, as well as the enchanting greenhouses and landscaped gardens – we love the cactus greenhouse!
Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2483 7220, www.kfbg.org
Formerly known as “Lychee Valley,” Tai Tong Organic Valley is situated a 10minute drive away from Yuen Long MTR station. There’s a petting zoo as well as a riding club, where there are classes year-round for all ages. It's easy to spend an entire fun-filled day here with orchards and gardens to pick organic fruits and vegetables! And it’s currently strawberry season, so get your baskets ready!
Tai Tong Organic Ecopark, 11 Tai Tong Shan Road, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2470 2201, www.ttlv.hk
For a truly personalized animal adventure, contact Jurassic Garage – founded by herpetologist and conservationist Goatee Toni in 2004, who regularly leads school presentations, corporate events, and parties in the company of a few of his 1,830 animals from around the world. See iguanas, python snakes, giant tortoises, parrots, ferrets, and a whole menagerie of creatures!
Jurassic Garage, +852 9743 2011, www.jurassicgarage.hk
As the saying goes: “Birds of a feather stick together” and it’s certainly the case at Hong Kong Botanic Gardens, in which 700 birds and animals from around the world are housed outdoors in the shaded park. Your kids can get a glimpse of the animals up-close, watching the flock of bright pink flamingos interact in their large pen, as well as seeing the rambunctious orangutans and lemurs in action, to name a few.
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Albany Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 0154, www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/parks/hkzbg/
Hop over to Mong Kok and take a tour of the lively Yuen Po Bird Market. Not only is it two of the oldest markets in Kowloon, but it’s extremely lively on weekends when bird owners take their feathered friends out for a stroll around the classical Chinese gardens. The Goldfish Market is just a short walk away in Mong Kok and once there, you’ll see shops hawking all manner of fish, turtle, and aquarium goods.
Yuen Po Bird Market, Yuen Po Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong
The Goldfish Market, Tung Choi Street North, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.discoverhongkong.com
Lush, green, and unspoiled, the Mai Po Nature Reserve is a picturesque place for any bird lover. Managed by the WWF, the wetlands are a year-round attraction, including the annual bird migration in autumn. For a small fee that goes towards park conservation, the park organizes English-guided tours for visitors over the age of 4 on weekends and public holidays. There are also free rental binoculars to fully appreciate the experience of birds in flight.
Mai Po Nature Reserve, Mai Po, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2526 1011, www.wwf.org.hk/en/getinvolved/gomaipo, www.wwf.org.hk
There’s another place to see horses besides The Races on Wednesdays! Bring your budding equestrians to the Clearwater Bay Equestrian Centre to see these majestic beasts in all their beauty. There are stables for horse owners and also holiday classes for kids.
Clearwater Bay Equestrian Centre, Lobster Bay, Lung Ha Wan Road, Clearwater Bay, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 6398 6241, www.ceec.hk
Want a quick breather from city life or simply a place to take your munchkins to have a quick picnic on a bench in between errands? Look no further than Hong Kong Park – it’s conveniently located up a flight of escalators from Pacific Place and pleasant enough for a little stroll around the pond inhabited by koi and turtles year-round. There’s also an aviary housing 80 different species of birds and free guided bird-watching tours from 8am-10am every Wednesday.
Hong Kong Park, 19 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2521 5041, www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/parks/hkp/
This one is clearly a no-brainer if you want to spend the day ooh-ing and aww-ing at underwater life and, of course, the pandas! There’s also the Get Closer with Animals program that gives families a chance to swim with dolphins, pet a penguin, feed sharks and stingrays and more! Plus, it’s a good treat for any birthday girl or boy, because entrance is free with I.D. proof.
Ocean Park, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, +852 3923 2323, www.oceanpark.com.hk
A weird and whacky park that’s filled with plastic life-sized animals is about as far from nature as you can get. But, it’s pretty hilarious and your tykes will love it! There are 67 pairs of sculpture animals to see in total amidst tumbling waterfalls and tropical foliage, plus there’s a Nature Garden, Windmill Station, and another odd, yet potentially enlightening, Solar Cooking workshop to name a few more draws of this bizarre theme park.
Noah’s Ark, 33 Pak Yan Road, Ma Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 3411 8888, www.noahsark.com.hk