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Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens lemurs
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The best places to see animals in Hong Kong

Everything from close encounters in a pet café to spotting wildlife in a nature reserve

Written by
Olivia Lai
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Sure, it’s hard to argue that Hong Kong is an ever-expanding concrete jungle with more skyscrapers rising from the ground every day, but the wondrous thing about our city is its unique proximity to nature and many accessible ways to witness and appreciate wildlife. Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher or just feeling the need for a cuddle with a furry friend at a pet café, there are plenty of places to get up close and personal with animals.

Where to see animals in Hong Kong

Café Idea
  • Restaurants
  • Mong Kok

Though it’s difficult to beat the number of animal cafés in Japan, Hong Kong does have its fair share of cat cafés. One of the best is Café Idea, hidden five floors up in Mong Kok. Half a dozen friendly cats – fans of British Shorthairs will be especially delighted – await to be stroked and cuddled. The food here is also surprisingly good with dishes like truffle pasta and bacon samosas. With board and card games on offer, this is a great place for a casual night out with a furry feline of your choice.

Cat Store
  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

More an Island homebody? This cat café in Causeway Bay is another popular spot to chill surrounded by kitties. With 10 super approachable cats roaming around, tuck into a variety Western of fare and signature cat-themed dishes. Feel free to bring along your own furry friends to the restaurant but just remember, it’s recommended to do so with a leash of some sort. 

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The Cats Tearoom
  • Restaurants
  • Tsuen Wan

The largest cat café in Hong Kong, The Cats Tearoom houses around 30 kitties, 11 of which are strays. With 1,600 sq ft of space for the cats to prowl around, you can chow down on a range of Western dishes and delicious dessert as you play with your new feline pals. As well as adopting strays, The Cats Tearoom donates regularly to various animal shelters in Hong Kong. A guaranteed good time for cat lovers and a good cause, too!  

Go Green Organic Farm
  • Things to do
  • Yuen Long

Aside from animal cafés, Hong Kong is also home to several organic farms including Go Green Organic Farm, which doubles up as a family-friendly pineapple-themed park. Promoting the values of going organic and living a low carbon lifestyle, visitors can check out the extensive pineapple farm, attend workshops on how to make fresh jam and more importantly, pet and feed the farm’s adorable resident goats. If you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to cuddle some kids – baby goats, of course, not the human kind.

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  • Things to do
  • Tai Po

Despite dogs being one of the most popular of pets in Hong Kong, there’s still a ridiculous amount of strays and abandoned pups here. While not every dog lover is able to afford or has the room to adopt and give a pooch a good home, you can still bring a little happiness to the 600-plus dogs housed at Hong Kong Dog Rescue by taking them out for walkies and runs. No dog handling experience is required, though experienced volunteers can take a mutt out for a hike and get them closer to nature.

Hong Kong Park
  • Attractions
  • Admiralty

If you don’t necessarily have the patience for birdwatching in the wild or the time to catch bird migration, one solution is to head over to Hong Kong Park’s Edward Youde Aviary to appreciate the beautiful winged creatures up close. The aviary’s raised walkway through a tree canopy provides a brilliant vantage point to check out 550 birds of 70 different species. Set within an abundance of trees and shrubs, as well as a couple of pools and waterfalls, it’s a little like stepping into a tropical rainforest.

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Hong Kong Wetland Park
  • Things to do
  • Yuen Long

There’s no better place than the Wetland Park to encounter wildlife in Hong Kong. The 61-hectare Wetland Reserve and eco-tourism park is home to a whole host of animals, from rare birds and frogs to crabs and freshwater fish. Promoting the importance of nature conservation, the Wetland Park is also great for bird watchers to catch migrations and for families to experience an educational day out. 

  • Attractions
  • Central

Slap-bang in the middle of Central is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens and an actual oasis within Hong Kong’s urban jungle. Aside from the lush forestry and peacefulness ideal for a quiet stroll, the gardens are also home to about 200 birds, 70 mammals and 30 reptiles, including the Bornean orangutan, buff-cheeked gibbon, sloths, lemurs and even flamingos. That being said, the gardens have received criticism in recent years for inadequate facilities and animal care. Something to bear in mind.

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Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
  • Things to do
  • Tai Po

This seriously impressive 148-hectare farm and nature conservation centre is located on the northern slopes of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest mountain. With its mission to increase awareness of sustainable living and protect all life on Earth, there’s almost too much to see and learn here. The different animal sanctuaries alone are remarkable, ranging from leopard cats and reptiles to muntjacs to good ol’ pigs. If you’re lucky, you might spot the occasional porcupine and pangolin in the area surrounding the farm.

  • Things to do
  • Sha Tin

Monkey around at one of the city’s oldest country parks, infamous thanks to its 1,800 or so macaques residents. Also known as Monkey Hill, the place is crawling with families of our distant cousins. You can find them in the trees, at nearby beaches or simply hanging out by the road. Though beware, they’re not exactly of the Disney variety and can get quite aggressive should they spot any food or even plastic bags.

Get closer to nature

Hong Kong’s best country parks
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

We’re blessed in Hong Kong to have a plethora of stunning country parks within easy reach, so there’s really no excuse to not take some time to reconnect with nature. Here are the best country parks for just that.

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