Happy Valley Hong Kong whether or not you are a horse racing enthusiast is an experience not to be missed!
The beautiful horses, the skillful jockeys ,the crowds going wild, they all add up to an exciting, fun-filled, thrilling atmosphere in a world-class venue.
Horse racing in Hong Kong is serious stuff and a major part of the Hong Kong economy. The sport was introduced by the British when they first came to Hong Kong in 1841 and has become since then, a sport for the masses and a favourite pastime, which given Chinese love of gambling is not surprising.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club, one of the oldest Hong Kong institutions founded to promote and administer horse racing and other betting entertainment, is Hong Kong's biggest taxpayer as well as one of the city's largest charity donors.
The Horse Races at Happy Valley Hong Kong
Happy Valley is a world-class state-of-the-art racing course. It has certainly evolved through the years since its first recorded race in 1846.
Back then, the site of Happy Valley was not more than swamp land, but the only flat surface in Hong Kong Island, so that was the location of the racing course by default. Through the years, the city has built around the Happy Valley race course, and it is now practically surrounded by skyscrapers. That is indeed a sight in itself, specially at night when the city is illuminated.
Horse-Racing Season at Happy Valley is from September to June (sometimes early July). Happy Valley races are normally on Wednesday Nights, first race starts at 7:15 p.m. and the gates open at 5:15 p.m. The races are done by 11:00 p.m.
There are normally 7 or 8 races at each race meeting and there are about 30 minutes in-between races.
Ways to See and Experience The Races
There are quite a few ways visitors can experience the races at Happy Valley Hong Kong, here are some of the options:
The General Stand
The Horse Races at Happy Valley are another of Hong Kong's bargains. Entrance to the General Stand is only HK10 and can be paid at the entrance gates with your handy Octopus Card.
The General Stand is where the locals meet, you are at the track level and there's a great atmosphere and people watching opportunities here.
You can easily stand by the rails and take in all the action at the course as the horses blitz by in a frenzy to the finish line, or just hang out by the beer tents, get a bite to eat (anything fast-food from sausages to McDonald's is available) and enjoy the "party atmosphere".
Wednesday Night Horse Races Pub Crawl
And while you are in that party mood, why not combine a night of horse racing and pub crawling in Hong Kong?
Enjoy a welcome shot, discounted drinks, meet other crawlers then follow your experienced pub crawl guides to the Happy Valley Racecourse where you will be offered a free beer voucher plus a betting book and tutorial to get really involved in the racing atmosphere (from 8:30pm to 10:00pm).
After your fun time in Happy Valley, continue to exploring 3 subsequent off-the-beaten-track locations in this amazing city. Finally stop at the Wan Chai pub and bar district.
- Wednesday Horse Races Crawl: Hong Kong's ultimate night of Happy Valley races and bar hopping US$13 - Info and Booking ››
The Second Floor Terrace
The Second Floor Terrace has just recently been renovated. It has over 500 seats and admission to this area is HK 20 in addition to the general admission.
The Second Floor Terrace is open to the general public and has great views of the entire course as well as the finishing post.
There are comfortable seats with writing tables (for the more serious racer) and the betting area is just behind.
Although not much of the party atmosphere of the track levels, it's fun to watch the regulars contemplating their bets, sizing up the horses and the jockeys, scribbling notes and circling their programs, watching through the binoculars as the horses are being loaded into the gates... obviously horse racing is a serious matter here...
Tickets and entrance to the 2F Terrace is through the general public stands.
The Members' Enclosure with a Tourist Badge
Tourists can buy a Members Badge for HK 100 which will give you access to the Members' areas, including the Betting Halls in the upper floors, the Parade area at trackside and the finishing post area.
To get your Tourist Badge you will need to present your passport, and entrance is through the Members' area not the general admission entrance.
The "Come Horseracing Tour"
This is a very popular option, and is offered exclusively to tourists. Everything is taken care of, including the transport to/from the race track and a Chinese/Western buffet dinner and drinks.
You get to watch the races from the Members' Boxes, and you have access to the betting halls.
They will also bring you around in between races for a close look at the paddock and a tour of the winning post.
This is a very fun option where you join other fellow visitors and everyone learns together in a very lively atmosphere how the betting process works, to place a few bets (you get a HK 30 voucher to get you stated!) and whether you win or lose is a super fun and enjoyable evening out.
Dress for the Members' areas is smart casual. Although this isn't Ascot, please note that there is no denim, shorts, sneakers or flip-flops allowed.
- Pick-up from designated hotels in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island between 10:20 - 11:20 am
- General admission to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Members' Enclosures
- International Buffet
- Unlimited serving of house wine, beer, orange juice, standard pouring brand and soft drinks
- Guided tour to the parade ring and winning post
- Betting orientation
- Return transfer to designated hotel
- Minimum Age is 18 years
How Much?: US$205
›› More Info and Booking: Hong Kong Horse Racing Tour
This tour is also offered for the Sha Tin Races on weekends.
If you have a group of at least 10 people, it is possible for non-members to rent a Private Box at the Happy Valley Racecourse.
There are many catering options you can choose from and prices start at HK410 per person. Click here to find out more about holding a private function at one of Happy Valley's Private Boxes .
How to get to Happy Valley Hong Kong?
The closest and most convenient MTR station to the Happy Valley Race Course is Causeway Bay, Exit A. But from the station to the entrance gates you need to allow for an extra 20 minute walk.
Taxis are probably the easiest way to get there. Here are some sample taxi fares between Happy Valley and several area hotels.
Trams are the fun and "scenic" way to get there, and the most economical option at HK$2. Get off at the Happy Valley Tram Terminus.
More Info and this Season's Race Schedule: Hong Kong Jockey Club
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