The British handed over sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, but cultural vestiges remain. One of the most prevalent is horse racing, and the best place to see it in Hong Kong is at the Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island. The sport has a history in the city dating back to 1841, a pastime of the city’s rich and elite. Today, it’s become somewhat of a local passion.
Racing season lasts from September through July, with races typically taking place on Wednesday nights. Horse racing is the only legal form of gambling in Hong Kong, and you’ll find thousands of spectators betting on the horses at the track, while thousands more place bets at Jockey Club offices around the city.
Before the races, head up to the second floor of the facility to learn about the history of the sport at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Archive and Museum. Exhibits trace the migration routes and origins of the racing horses used, display a skeleton of one of Hong Kong’s most winning horses and hosts rotating themes exhibits throughout the year.