Dazzling Happy Valley Racecourse has long been Hong Kong’s premier horseracing track. It’s a great place to go and enjoy superb horseracing whilst also soaking up some genuine Hong Kong Chinese culture at the same time. The atmosphere in this Roman amphitheatre style stadium is adrenalin charged with betting stakes on a single night extortionately high. It’s rumoured that one season’s racing sees over HK$100 billion, with horse race gambling being one of Hong Kong’s most popular leisure pursuits.
Night races are definitely worth a look offering a spectacular glimpse into the spills and thrills of Hong Kong’s elite. Thousands of animated locals flock to the racecourse every week and catch the action live with gigantic video screens and computerised betting making the event a very modern affair. Horse racing is a thriving business in Hong Kong with the city encircling the vast green track from all sides; a visit to Happy Valley Racecourse is as much a glimpse of Chinese culture as an evening of entertainment.
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Happy Valley Racecourse Highlights
Happy Valley was originally built for the British to enjoy one of their own national pastimes with the first race taking place in December 1846. Horse racing was quickly adopted by local Chinese residents and is recognised as one of the most attended sporting events taking place in Hong Kong today. There is a public and private enclosure and private boxes available for rental with a choice of night or day racing. Visitors can also participate in a Come Horseracing Tour spending an evening at Happy Valley in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Member’s Enclosure and a visit to the Parade Ring where you can inspect the horses’ pre-race form.
There are restaurants and bars located at the racecourse including the Moon Koon Restaurant which offers a great place to watch the racing action whilst enjoying delicious Chinese Cuisine. The Stable Bend Terrace overlooks the entire race track and is home to a BBQ with buffet food and free flowing house wine, beer and soft drinks served as the horses whizz past. Fast food and beer are also available track side at the Beer Garden which is open late until 23:00 hours.
Good to Know about Happy Valley Racecourse
Happy Valley Racecourse is located in the heart of the Happy Valley area, a leafy residential suburb home to many upmarket homes. In addition to the track is the Hong Kong Jockey Club Archive and Museum situated on the second floor, housing four galleries. The first shows how the horses arrived on Hong Kong island from China, the second is dedicated to Hong Kong’s other horse track Sha Tin. There is also a gallery devoted to understanding horses and another exhibiting the history of Hong Kong’s Jockey Club. You’ll also find a cinema and souvenir shop within the museum.
Tickets for the race course are HK$10 which will get you access to all public areas including the stand, betting hall and restaurants. If you want to access the Public Enclosure or Champion Circles then you will need to pay extra. If you purchase a ticket from a tour operator you can usually buy a package which includes transport, entrance and a meal with wine. There are also special seats available in private boxes. Entrance is for those aged over 18 years and smart dress is required. There is also full disabled access and facilities including ramps and toilets.
Happy Valley Racecourse
- Opening Hours: Races take place from September to June on Wednesdays and weekends with the first race starting at 19:30
- Location: The race track is located in Happy Valley surrounded by Morrison Hill Road and Wong Nai Chung Road
- Address: 2 Sports Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island
- Tel: +852 2895 1523
- How to get there: To get to Happy Valley Racecourse, take the MTR and depart at Causeway Bay Station Exit A, walk down Wong Nai Chung Road for about 20 minutes following the signs to the racecourse