Horse racing first arrived in Hong Kong in the 1840s, within just a few years of the British arriving in Hong Kong. In those days the sport was enjoyed only by the city’s elite. Today, horse racing is very much a part of mainstream life in Hong Kong, and a visit to Happy Valley is a fun, cheap and exciting way to soak up the local culture.
Join the cheering crowds at the side of the track to experience the atmosphere and observe world-class racing. As you’re swept along with thousands of fans rushing to place their bets, you’ll find the atmosphere at Happy Valley is markedly different from the relatively sober settings of American or British racecourses.
Most races are held at night and walls of well-lit skyscrapers form a dazzling backdrop to the racetrack. Trackside beer tents and food stalls, and live music in between races make for a real party atmosphere.
Roughly 6 million bets are placed at each meet, and Happy Valley welcomes gambling pros and amateurs alike. Check the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s website to learn about the many different bets you can place.
The racing season features several large events including the Hong Kong Derby, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup or the prestigious Hong Kong International Races at which you can experience the sport at its most glamorous and competitive.
Racing season is between September and July. If you visit during the day when there’s no race being held, it’s possible to walk around inside the grounds for no charge, enjoy the view and see locals playing various sports.
Happy Valley is located on northern Hong Kong Island. The closest MTR station to Happy Valley Racecourse is Causeway Bay. If you’re coming from the north side of Hong Kong Island, take the scenic route to the racecourse by hopping on any tram marked "Happy Valley." Trams are not the fastest mode of transportation, but they are the cheapest.