It will be open to tourists as long as there’s a race. Generally, the racecourse opens at 17:15 on Wednesday and the first race is at 19:15. If more than 10 races are held during the day or more than 8 races are held at night, the opening hours of the racecourse will be correspondingly advanced. For details, please refer to the racing calendar in the following website: https://bet.hkjc.com/football/schedule/schedule.aspx?lang=en.
Brief Introduction of Happy Valley
Happy Valley was called Wong Nai Chung (literally means yellow mud river because the stream flooded from Wong Nai Chung Gorge is mixed with yellow mud) in ancient times, also known as Wong Nai Chung Valley.
In the early 1840s, the British army set up some barracks in the Wong Nai Chung Valley. However, many soldiers died of a fever there and were buried in Wong Nai Chung. Later, the barracks were evacuated.
As more and more British soldiers died of illness, this place had also formed a cemetery area, which was also called “Happy Valley” by the British, a common euphemism for cemeteries. At that time, many cemetery areas in Britain were also titled in this way.
In 1846, some British people thought the valley was suitable for horse racing and set up Happy Valley Racecourse. In 1904, Hong Kong trams were connected to Happy Valley.
Located in the south-central part of Wan Chai District, Happy Valley is now one of the upper-income residential areas in Hong Kong, and many foreigners choose to live here.
Happy Valley is home to many high-end restaurants and hotels, which are often visited by Hong Kong celebrities. Therefore, paparazzi often appear here. Many television series are also filmed in Happy Valley.
Horse racing has become an indispensable part of Hong Kong people's daily life. During the night horse race in Happy Valley, the lights of the racecourse make the nearby buildings as bright as in daytime.
Brief Introduction of Racecourse and Jockey Club
The first racecourse of Hong Kong is located here (the other is located in Sha Tin, New Territories). The racecourse in Happy Valley was constructed on a swamp.
The origin of horse racing can be traced back to 4500 B.C., when horses began to be domesticated. Horse racing was introduced into Hong Kong from Europe in the 1840s. Through the continuous promotion and support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, it is deeply loved by Hong Kong people.
Collections in Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum
In 1841, the British brought horse racing to Hong Kong. And Hong Kong’s first racecourse, “Happy Valley Racecourse”, was officially completed in 1845, which unfolded a glorious history of horse racing in Hong Kong. At that time, watching horse racing was also regarded as a noble social activity.
The first race was held in 1846 and continued every year thereafter, while the first night race started in 1973. Since then, night horse racing became a formal race meet. With the construction of Sha Tin Racecourse in 1978, horse racing becomes the most popular gambling activity in Hong Kong. The racecourse is equipped with large screens and other various advanced facilities.
It is hard to describe the feeling when you are in the race court watching the galloping horses and applauding with the other ten thousand audience, you will have to experience by yourself! If you want to experience the tense and exciting atmosphere of horse racing, you should not miss the visit to the racecourse.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has spared no effort to develop horse racing with higher standards. Since the 1980s, the Jockey Club has successfully developed Hong Kong’s horse racing to a world-class level and gained international fame by raising the standards of the sport and attracting talents worldwide.
The History of the Happy Valley
In the early 1840s, the British army set up some barracks in Happy Valley. With more and more British soldiers died of illness, this place became a cemetery area.
The Happy Valley Racecourse was officially completed in 1845.
The first horse racing was held in 1846.
In 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club was formally established.
In 1971, the Hong Kong Jockey Club developed into a professional horse racing organization.
In 1973, the night horse racing was added into the schedule.
Most Amazing Sights You Should Not Miss
Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum
Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum
The Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum is located on the second floor of the Happy Valley Racecourse to give a detailed introduction to the history of horse racing in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum opened on October 18,1996 and covers an area of over 6,000 square feet. The Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum has eight exhibition halls and a small cinema.
There is a wonderful exhibition of Hong Kong’s horse racing history from 1840 to the present. It shows a lot of interesting information about horse racing, such as the modern and advanced racecourse track, the record-breaking amount of jackpot, the brilliant achievements of famous horse trainers and jockeys, and the process from reclamation to construction of Sha Tin Racecourse, so that visitors can have a deeper understanding to Hong Kong’s horse racing activities.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
The Hong Kong Jockey Club was formally established in 1884 to be responsible for the administration of local races.
In 1971, the Hong Kong Jockey Club developed into a professional horse racing organization with an aim of professionalizing horse racing. In order to cope with the increasing demand for horse racing meets, the Jockey Club built the second racecourse in Sha Tin in 1978.
Two racecourses were redeveloped and expanded successively, adding a number of advanced facilities for its long-term development. Hong Kong’s Racecourse is also reputed as one of the best racecourses in the world. At the same time, the Jockey Club also employs first-class management personnel and excellent waiters to organize and manage high-level races.
Strict enforcement of regulations, fair betting, and transparency have enabled Hong Kong’s horse racing to reach world-class standards. The Jockey Club also enjoys a leading position among international horse racing organizations.
Cheung Hing Coffee Shop
Cheung Hing Coffee Shop
Cheung Hing Coffee Shop, located in Yiyin Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, is a traditional Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng (tea restaurant) with a long history.
Cheung Hing Coffee has been in operation for more than 40 years and has attracted many high-ranking officials, celebrities, artists, and horse racing-circle people to patronize.
Before the 1980s, when the Happy Valley Racecourse still retained the activity of doing morning exercises, jockeys, horse trainers and staff often went to Cheung Hing for breakfast after morning exercises.
The restaurant supplies traditional tea restaurant food, including Xianyouduo (toast with condensed milk and raw milk), Naiyouduo (two piece of toasts with thick condensed butter as the filling), pineapple bun, pineapple oil, egg tart, fresh beef sandwich (fresh beef, not canned food), chicken pie (a kind of chicken patty), etc. Its Hong Kong-style milk tea (coffee, black tea, and milk) is famous for its fragrance, and definitely worth a try.
1. Every year from September to June is the horse racing season, there are usually two matches per week, one on Wednesday evening and the other on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
2. Traffic diversions will be implemented whenever races are held in Happy Valley for the congested road. Vehicles will have to enter Happy Valley and Racecourse clockwise via Wong Nai Chung Road.
3. Visitors to the racecourse must be at least 18 years old and hold valid travel documents of Hong Kong.
Suggested Travel Route
Start from the Craigengower Cricket Club→Sports Road Garden→Jockey Club Headquarters→Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum→Hong Kong Football Club→Rugby Court→Cheung Hing Coffee Shop
How to Reach Happy Valley
Bus lines with a stop at Happy Valley Racecourse: City Bus 8, 8S, 8X, 10, 19, 101R,102R,117. Take bus 113, 115, 431, 701, Night Line 34, Night Line 3, or Special Line 16 and get off at Happy Valley Station.
Take City Bus N10 from Hong Kong International Airport and get off at Connaught Garden, walk for about 200 meters to the Centre Street Station, take a transfer bus, City Bus N1, then get off at Happy Valley.
If you are in the Hung Hom Station, get on the bus at Cross Harbour Toll Gate Station. Take City Bus N121, N122 and get off at Nanyang Hotel Station. Take City Bus N170 and get off at Racecourse Station.
If you are in the Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station, getting on the bus at Austin Street. Take City Bus N11 and get off at Elizabeth House Station, then walk 1.2 kilometres and reach the Happy Valley.
Take MTR Island Line, get off at Causeway Bay Station, and get out from Exit A.
Leighton Road stop (near Entrances: A, B, C, D)
Happy Valley Tram Terminus (near Public Entrance G, Members Main Entrance E, Entrance F1, F2)
Chinese: 請帶我去跑馬地。English: Please take me to the Happy Valley.
Urban taxi (Red colour) drop-off points:
HK Racing Museum / Sports Road (near Entrances: A, B, C, D)
Member main entrance (near Members Main Entrance E, Entrance F1, F2)
Happy Valley Wong Nai Chung Road Taxi Stop (near Public Entrance G)
If you go to the Happy Valley from the Hong Kong International Airport, it takes about 38 minutes and may charge 240 HK$ (38 kilometres).
If you go to the Happy Valley from the Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station, it takes about 10 minutes and may charge 70 HK$ (6.6 kilometres).
If you go to the Happy Valley from the Hung Hom Station, it takes about 12 minutes and may charge 70 HK$ (6.6 kilometres).