Back in 2012 when I visited Hong Kong I really wanted to visit Hong Kong Jockey Club (which is one of the oldest institutions in Hong Kong, dated back to 1884!), but since the weather in summer is very hot and humid, the horse racing does not take place during that period. That’s what I’ve been told so Sing better prays that no one informs me the other way in comments.
So when we went to Hong Kong in December there was no way I could skip it! Especially since Sing had never been to one before as well. To make it more funny Wah Wah, my father-in-law, was pretty frequent guest there when Sing was a little child. I guess Sing wasn’t his lucky charm.
But how to make that visit inexpensive? When you think of horse racing, how many of you think of the fancy dressed crowds and ladies wearing those huge and extraordinary hats? The VIP zone in Hong Kong Jockey Club requires money, that’s true – but there’s also an option for cheapa… good money managers like Sing and I.
HAPPY WEDNESDAYS. I’m pretty sure some of you will be as surprised as we were – I read it on one of the blogs and I immediately texted my husband that there’s no way we’re going to miss this. Why is it so great?
First of all, it’s cheap. The entrance fee is just 10HKD and there’s McDonald’s inside so if you’re on a really tight budget with your last 50HKD on your Octopus card, you can have a really nice evening.
Second of all, there’s variety of affordable food and snacks. Besides McDonald’s there are plenty of stands with beer, snacks, even whole meals. I don’t know if those food stands change, but at the time we were visiting HKJC there was a Japanese themed food court. Too bad I was already after a meal, because the takoyaki they were serving looked really delicious! When they don’t have any themed-party they offer hot-dogs and BBQ items in their food kiosks for a really good price!
Third of all, alcohol was pretty affordable too. And by alcohol I mean beer. From the pictures I can see that Belgium beer Hoegaarden cost 54HKD for a big cup, but I’m SURE there was much cheaper beer like San Miguel because I know Sing and he would not pay that much for beer. I can only guess it was between 35-40HKD. You would expect more from a jockey club, wouldn’t you?
Fourth of all, besides the horse racing, HKJC hosts other events at the same time. You pay 10 HKD to see running horses but in meantime you can enjoy live music, food, take some photos or look at pretty models. In December they hosted matsuri-like party. You could dress up in yukata and take pictures, there were some other small contests as well. I have to say that all the Asian girls went for yukata photos and most of foreigners went for beer and gambling. I wanted to take a yukata photo too but I was too shy! You don’t know how much I regret that!
The next party will be hosted in less than a week and it will be Easter themed!
If you’re curious about the current events during your trip just click here for the information!
Fifth of all, you can win money! But only if you know what you’re doing or at least you listen to your significant other. I told Sing to bet on horse X, but he was too busy eating his BigMac. Didn’t even share with me so I decided not to help him anymore. My horse won, I stuck out my tongue out to show my dominance and asked him to bet himself. Two horses he bet on were a disaster – one of them didn’t even start, the jockey just quit and the other one was one of the last one to finish. We lost 20HKD but it was fun anyway.
The betting was pretty easy, staff working at the betting centre was really helpful and willing to show you how to make a bet. You can get a newspaper with the results or bring one with you. We picked really random horses because all those tables were too difficult! But I wouldn’t ask ‘the serious locals’ for help because they play to win and trust me, they won’t want to share their win with you or might even trick you into picking the worst horse – Wah Wah used to be an ass.
With the affordable cost, variety of food and entertainment Hong Kong Jockey Club is my favorite pick for Wednesday entertainment. If you’re visiting Hong Kong and you never been to a horse race, you should definitely book the one afternoon! And the best thing is – even if you don’t know Cantonese, there’s English commentary and most of the staff around you speaks English. No more Canto-struggle! 😉
Have you ever been horse racing? Or maybe you’ve been Jockey yourself? Is horse racing popular in your country? Share your stories and experience! 🙂