Before I left for Hong Kong, most of my friends gave me advice over where to go and what to do. I have really taken that advice to heart and am sometimes pleasantly surprised by what I encounter.
Barbara suggested that I check out the horse races. She's been to Hong Kong before (Barbara has been everywhere!) and told me that a huge part of the Hong Kong culture is the horse racing. She is right. And with the Olympics around the corner, Hong Kong is extremely proud to be hosting the equestrian events. Typically, I would not be caught dead at a horse track. Yes, I feel bad for the horses. However, I decided to just put my feelings aside and experience the culture. Besides, the Happy Valley Racecourse is an extremely short walk from both work and my apartment.
Wednesday night is race night. There are a heck of a lot of people who go to the races after work on Wednesday -- the serious gamblers have their own box seats, while the less serious and expats usually hang out on the ground in what is known as the Beer Garden. Hey -- if it says "beer" and "garden," how bad can it be? We got in to the track, purchased some really cheap (and good) draft beer, and waited for the race to begin. We had no idea how to even place a bet, so Lailany just shouted, "I'm for #7" and I said "I'm for #8" -- and they were off!
You can't see it here, but #8 is in the lead!
So, #8 came in 1st and #7 came in 2nd -- darn! We could have won some cash!
#8 making a victory lap
Part of the Beer Garden
We stayed for two races, about an hour or so, and then left -- I believe there are 5 or 6 races every Wednesday night. In all, I experienced some culture, had some fun, and still felt bad for the horses - but I am glad that Barbara had suggested it!