Hong Kong
Happy Valley Racecourse

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19 travelers at this place

  • Day19

    The prodigals return

    November 8, 2017 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Hong Kong is rather like an old shoe; comfortable, slightly scruffy round the edges and thoroughly welcome at the end of a long day. It has lost nothing in the four years that have passed since our last visit, still resembling New York on speed! We arrived at our hotel in Kowloon mid afternoon and were checked in by a diminutive young lady called 'Pinky'. An enquiry as to Perky's whereabouts would have course fallen on deaf ears and probably just as well, in these politically correct times.
    The weather is warm, (mid seventies) and misty and it is a pleasant change to wander about in short sleeves. Having said that the Chinese are in unrelieved black and autumn sweaters. The queues outside Hermes, Chanel and the like are undiminished from ten in the morning till ten at night, closing time. The appetite for designer labels is seemingly as strong as ever. Interestingly there are markedly more mainland Chinese here than when we were here before, only confirming the looming presence of the Chinese tiger just round the corner, with wallets stuffed full of yen.
    We found an old friend in the shape a restaurant close by, retired early to bed and proceeded to sleep the clock round, much to our surprise.
    Our major plan for this short visit was to visit Happy Valley, the racecourse shoe-horned into the centre of Hong Kong Island. Along with our fellow Racing Tour companions, we were guests of the Hong Kong Jockey Club for supper and the racing, together with an unlimited supply of whatever tipple took your fancy. The only request from 'Joanna' our guide was that we were able to stagger back to the bus at the end of the night, as she would not be able to carry anyone! The racing was competitive and we had an excellent view from the balcony outside. All bets are taken at the equivalent of the tote counter in the room and apart from the odd wander down to the paddock and winners enclosure, you are relieved of your money with the least possible inconvenience. It is all very civilised. A small starter voucher of 30 HKD is provided and after that you are on your own, or, as in my case retired to the stables! The company was good and a very convivial evening flew by. The setting of the extremely palatial course is unusual, in that you are surrounded by towering skyscrapers with their twinkling lights, quite unlike anywhere else in the world and it was an occasion to savour.
    Another tick on Peter's bucket list.
    We are moving on today to Australia and I am tapping away to you in the lounge at the airport awaiting our flight to Adelaide, from whence I pen you the next instalment.
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  • Day1

    Day 1 - Happy Valley

    February 8, 2017 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We're here! Day one sees us in Hong Kong. My 2nd city (though that still doesn't mean I have a sense of direction around here). After a smooth flight we taxi'd to our AirBNB. We're staying in Tsim Sha Tsui and for central HK it's a pretty standard size studio apartment and it did bring me my first comedy sign of the trip (see photos, no casual pissing please).

    When you're the partner of a horse racing nut you get used to being 'dragged' to any track in a 20 mile radius of a romantic trip even when you've been travelling for the best part of 24 hours and as Wednesday night is 'Happy Wednesday' race night it was a quick change and off to Happy Valley.

    The atmosphere at HV is amazing and I can't imagine there's many other tracks with sky scrapers as the backdrop so even as a non-better it's a fun place to check out. They also wear far jazzier silks - or as I prefer to call them, aprons. After some charades and pointing Matt managed to find the race card vending machine and after almost buying the version in Chinese was set to study form to decide (*cough* guess *cough*) who he should bet on. My preferred method is to watch the horses parade and look for the feisty ones. Sadly we had no winners and for the sake of our holiday fund called it betting quits after a couple of races and spent money on beer and dirty hot dogs instead. The hot dog at least had some greenery hidden under the suspicious cheese sauce. I'm hoping the food gets better/slightly more authentic from here...
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Happy Valley Racecourse

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