A Night at Happy Valley Racecourse
Surrounded by apartment buildings and hills in the middle of the city on Hong Kong Island, Happy Valley Racecourse is a tribute to the local gambling addiction. If you are in Hong Kong with an evening free, visiting the racecourse is a great way to have fun, experience a fascinating side of Hong Kong and enjoy some world class horse racing.
Happy Valley racecourse was built back in 1845 on the only suitable flat area on Hong Kong Island. The track was rebuilt in 1995 and is now a world class race track and an essential fixture of the international racing scene.
Hong Kong’s second racetrack is at Sha Tin which is in the New Territories on the mainland. The Sha Tin racecourse is decent but no where near as much fun to visit as the Happy Valley racecourse.
An Evening at the Races
Race nights are normally on Wednesday nights starting around 7:30pm and running to around 11pm. You can have a meal at one of the many restaurants in Central or Wanchai, catch a classic street tram to the race course, pay your HK$10 entry fee and prepare for an evening at the races.
Races run every 30 minutes, there is a beer garden with cheap beer right next to the track and there is also live entertainment. If you are in the mood for a flutter, the betting halls are right next to the beer garden. The public area is full of expats and fellow tourists so a good place to socialize. If you skipped dinner or are feeling peckish, there are plenty of food kiosks around the beer garden and a number of classy (expensive) public restaurants at the racecourse.
Where to Watch – Forget the members stands. The best place on the whole racecourse to watch the races is in the public area at the track fence in between the starting gate and the finishing post.
HK$10 to the public areas that include the public stands, betting hall, beer garden and public restaurants
HK$100 normally and HK$150 on a race day for a tourist badge/entry that will give you access to the members enclosure. You can get the tourist badge by showing your passport at the members badge office. For most people, the tourist badge is not worth it.
Happy Valley racecourse is on the north shore of Hong Kong Island next to Wanchai and Causeway Bay.
Subway (MTR) – Catch the MTR to Causeway Bay and use exit A. The racecourse will then be a short walk to the south. Plenty of signs and you can follow the crowd so you can’t miss it.
Tram – Catch the Hong Kong tram runs along the north side of Hong Kong Island. There will be trams marked with “Happy Valley” that will take you next to the racecourse. Great views of the city and only cost HK$2.3
Buses & Minibuses – Hong Kong is teaming with buses and minibuses and these are the ones you can catch to the racecourse 1, 10, 8X, 117 and 19. Fares range from HK$3.40 to HK$9.30
Interesting Happy Valley Racecourse Facts
-The beer garden and surrounding area has Wi-Fi
-A fire in 1918 killed at least 590 people when a grandstand collapsed and caught fire
-Night racing started in 1973
-Has the world’s only multi storey horse stable