these are the posts tagged ‘in hong kong’:

wednesday night at the races

here they come!

Happy Valley Racecourse: It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. Before it was built, the area was a swampland, but also the only flat ground suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island. To make way for the racecourse, Hong Kong Government prohibited rice growing by villages in the surrounding area. The first race ran in December 1846. Over the years, horse racing became more and more popular among the Chinese residents. (from wikipedia)

one of the highlights of hong kong was the happy valley horse races (how come lonely planet doesn’t mention them?!). tons of dressed up expats in the ground near the track, cheerfully socializing with beers in hand, discussing horses and jockey performances, while the stadium balconies were brimming with chinese people, carefully watching the screens and checking their notebooks and newspapers for guidance. despite the contrast in attitude, everyone seemed really into it – her majesty would be really proud!

for us newbies to the sport, it was great! the atmosphere was really enthusiastic, exploding into cheers during the race itself, and then relaxing again during the betting time, with lots of drinking and smaller events going on. we didn’t place any bets (the system is a bit tricky) but still had fun just immersing ourselves in this environment. in don’t miss it if you get the chance to go there!

what do all the filipino girls in hong kong do on their day off?

well, as we found out in our recent stay there, they camp under the hsbc building and on parks and empty streets in central for the purpose of socializing. they’re literally everywhere you can look at!

we had a bit of a hard time “understanding” why so many people were there (especially hsbc’s plaza?), but as we discovered, they stay there all day, doing each others nails, having picnics, chatting, dancing and singing, exercising, knitting, doing business, playing cards… it’s really quite something and a big surprise to see that the government actually cuts some roads for them to “occupy” on that day!

we didn’t get any good pictures of the phenomena, but here are a few from flickr (by furiousgeorge and ljubisa):

impressive, isn’t it?

annoying extras


if we wanted to take pictures of this hindu temple we had to pay a fee (on top of the entrance fee). i dislike extra fees, so i tucked the camera in my bag and only shot this one from the outside.

same thing in the hotel we stayed in hong kong last week. if you want to use the internet, you have to pay an extra fee. compared to the price we were paying for the room, the internet fee was so insignificant, why not just include it in the price? if this was a hostel or cheap hotel, i would understand. there? not so much.