Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Walking Tour: The Races at Happy Valley

This week's Hong Kong tour covers a popular event: the horse races at Happy Valley on Hong Kong Island. Every Wednesday night gamblers and tourists gather to place bets and cheer on their favorite horses. During the weekend there are also races at the Shatin Racecourse in the New Territories. This one of the few places in Hong Kong where gambling is legal, and last Wednesday I decided to check it out.

I took a taxi to Happy Valley and entered by the public entrance. Jockey Club members have their own entrances around the corner.

The space inside the entrance was full of promoters, beer tents and spectators.

The stadium seating stretches along one side of the racecourse, and there are private boxes and restaurants above it.

There were dance performances to help pass the time between the races.

The Happy Valley skyline provided an impressive backdrop for the event.

We explored the starting gate area...

...and checked out the horses that were warming up on the track.

This is the one I chose to bet on.

He wasn't the winner though... I was out 20 HKD (less than 3 USD).

Some people take the betting very seriously.

We were just there to enjoy the atmosphere.

We still followed our horses' results closely though.

And cheered them on as they raced.

We explored the stadium in between the races.

It got pretty crowded by the middle of the evening.

And there were some serious racing fans following the stats.

Even though I didn't win anything... was a lively way to spend the evening.

Thanks for joining me on another Hong Kong tour. You can visit the tab at the top of the page for more Hong Kong walking tours.


  1. Very cool. Are they racing on real turf here? It's so bright green, it almost looks fake. My mom works at a race track in Kentucky, and I love seeing racetracks in other parts of the world. It looks like their horse racing industry is doing very well, compared to some places here in the U.S. Are these thoroughbreds that are racing?

  2. It looks so exciting, Shannon. We've been lucky enough to get some members enclosure passes from a friend, so we will be going in the New Year.

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