You dont have to be a racing enthusiast to enjoy spending even a short time at the Happy Valley Racecource. With a public admission fee of only HK$10 you could just call in for a few minutes, a couple of races or make it an enjoyable social night out. Horse racing is an incredibly popular pastime for Hong Kong locals so it really is worth joining the crowds to soak up the casual but (compared to Australian race meetings) rather restrained atmosphere. No need to dress up, at least not in the general admission areas.
If you take your passport you can pay extra to purchase a tourist badge which entitles you to a seat in a glass fronted grandstand which probably affords a better view of the entire track. If you are after an even more stylish experience you can organise a ticket on a Come Racing Tour. This popular tourist night out is run by Splendid Tours and includes entry to the Members Enclosure and a buffet meal.
Racing is usually held between September and the end of June on Wednesday evenings and some weekends. Racing details can be found on the Hong Kong Jockey Club website. The first race normally starts at 7.30pm. Happy Valley Racecourse is a 20 minute walk from Causeway Bay MTR - use Exit A or you can also take a tram to the Happy Valley terminus and walk the reasonably short distance from there to the entrance. Taxi is also a good option especially if you are staying somewhere on Hong Kong Island. Crossing the harbour seems to be an issue for some taxis and I have had difficulty getting a driver to accept a fare from Mongkok to the track.
Happey Valley is one of 2 Racecourses in Hong Kong.
The Race course is in the area called Happy Valley, and its on the Island of Hong Kong.
If you dont have a keen interest in Horse Racing, I would not give this a miss, as its still a very good night out.
I had visited Hong Kong many times, on only on my 6th time over, I was urged to go, and absolutely loved it.
The atmosphere is great and you can get up-close to the race course.
Inbetween people either rush off to go and claim their winnings, go place a new bet, or you just get a new drinks and dance away to the vibes, as they have loud music, and a good Party Atmosphere between races!
I would definitely recommend this as a must do, when you are in Hong Kong.
Race days are usually on a Wednesday evening. But consult their website for specific dates.
Gray Line tours offers a guided tour for nightime horseraces at Happy Valley. It was a wonderful experience. Watch the races from air conditioned VIP room, dinner buffet, all you can drink beer, wine, and soft drinks. Shuttle to and from hotel. Dress code is smart casual, no jeans, shorts, or sneakers.
My hotel travel desk set everything up. At the time I was staying at the Royal Plaza Hotel.
It has been a while since my last trip to Hong Kong, but I remember an enjoyable day at Happy Valley Race Course. They raced year round except August. Another course was Sha-tin. But again, a long time ago and HKG is changing at such a rapid pace.
A visit to the racecourse area is interesting even if no racing is taking place. We visited on a raceday morning, the innertrack area is used for a varity of sports and there is a footpath to enjoy the quietness of the area. Also worth visiting the racing museum, a fairly low key history of the races and other activities in the area.
Horseracing visit to follow
Happy Valley is the main Horse Racing course in Hong Kong, situated in Causeway Bay (about a 15 minute walk from the MTR).
Night races are held on a regular basis, and are a great spectacle. Check out http://www.hkjc.com/english/index.asp to find out when the next race is at HV.
Entrance to the stadium costs you $10. Inside is food shops, a beer garden and plenty of seating areas for you to pick from. The races start from about 7 in the evening, and carry on till 11 or so.
Getting to Happy Valley is easy- either go from the MTR, or a nice way is to jump on the tram. Going from the main areas of Hong Kong Island, just jump on a tram clearly marked Happy Valley and it will cost you a massive $2 lol.
It’s a great place to be, with great views, even if your not a huge horse racing fan (like me!)
if you are there in HK on a wed night - then head to the Race course at Happy Valley. the atmosphere is grt - more so because the races are held under lights... the cheapest entry fee is $10HK... this gets you at the ground level... closer to the food and beer and ring-side view. the prices keep going up and that means you can sit in the stands or even have a dinner date at the races... buy your tickets from the many booths within the area... i had no clue about which horse was good or bad, so i got hold of a detailed race chart for the day, that gave the past 10 performances of each horse, the name of the owner, its rating... etc... i thought that would help... hahaha, but it was not to be... but its always great betting on some unknown entity and then keeping your fingers crossed hoping that the entity can perform a miracle... the ambience was so good... hot dogs, beer, lots of yelling and screaming, and happy valley looks beautiful on a race night... so this is a must thing to do when in HK... there are usually 10 races in one night if i got the info correctly... min bet is $10HK...
I would have loved to spend a night at a race meeting unfortunatley there wasnt a meeting while we were there.
Happy Valley opened over 150 years ago.
The racing calendar runs from September until June rotating meetings with the Sha Tin racecource in the New Territories, race meetings are usually on Saturday or a Wednesday.
Horse racing is the only legal gambling in Hong Kong therefore the track gets very busy with a capacity of over 50000 people, admission is 10 HKD although if you arrive after the first few races you can get in for free.
On alternate wednesday evenings at Happy Valley Racecourse off Causeway Bay, you'll get a flavour of the seriousness by which Hong Kong takes it's gambling. They say that more money is gambled on a single Wednesday night than throught the entire Grand National Weekend in the UK. And there was nothing I saw to convince me this was anything but the truth-old men and women who look like they've barely got two pennies to rub together, embarrased me regularly when I was laying down HK$50 on a race, and they're next to me, placing well over HK$1000 on a single race. As a venue, it's worth the entry fee to see this racetrack with enormous stand, slap bang in the middle of the Hong Kong high-rise. Beer flows aplenty on the concourse, there's food galore and the roar of the crowd as the runners come down the final straight is incredible. Even if you are not a gambler, this is a must-do.
Sha Tin and Happy Valley are the two horse race courses in Hong Kong.
It is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, or evening at Hong Kong's No.1 obsession.
You can either buy a tourist badge (about hk$50, remember to bring your passport) or you can mingle with the locals (about HK$10).
The tourist badge does allow you to access the members area, and the parade ring seating. You also can get closer to the finishing post but you need to be reasonable smartly dressed (hawain shirt, shorts and sandals are a no no).
The HK Tourist Board do a package trip but it is cheaper if you do it yourself. Happy Valley is a casual stroll from Causeway Bay (if you are not sure of where you are going follow the crowds). Sha Tin has its own MTR station which is open on race days.
if you have the time, a trip to happy valley race track is well worth a cheap night out (unless you plan to gamble). the horse racing takes place on wednesday nights and the atmosphere and scenery make it very exciting. happy valley can be reached quite easily from central by tram or bus but get there a little bit early as traffic gets busier on wednesday nights due to the races. a 10 hk dollar entrance fee is payable to get in. there are some old cemetaries in happy valley too near the aberdeen tunnel and the old parsey cemetary to the north of the race track. some of the graves date back a few hundred years there.
This tip could have gone under a sports tip or a local custom, but no matter how you slice it, going to a race is a must see activity. Hong Kong's track has been running horses for over 150 years and has the highest per capita stake in the world. The season takes place between September and June.