Recently, I visited Hong Kong for my birthday trip. I had planned the trip since last year and I chose Hong Kong for some reason.
Since my birthday falls in February, I know that it is going to be in the winter in some places. And being a woman with a cold heart with a hot body myself (lol), I chose Hong Kong because living in a tropical place, I just wanted to take a break from the usual humidity in Jakarta and be in somewhere cold to celebrate my birthday.
After Hong Kong, I was off to Thailand to meet my siblings there so we could celebrate it together. I didn’t need visa to get to Thailand, but if you happen to be in Hong Kong and plan to reroute your journey and get to Thailand, just know you can get your Thai visa easily in Hong Kong.
At first I thought it would be my first snow experience, but due to lack of research, it seems that snow doesn’t fall in Hong Kong. At least not on my birthday, obviously. :p
But no worries, I forgive the snow for not falling in Hong Kong since at least with the winter season there, I could get a chance to go out with my winter style. You know, coat, boots and stuff!
I mean, you know wearing those stuff can be a cause of mockery in Jakarta right?
Even better, because I have another old friend who is now living in Hong Kong for his PhD. His name is John, a guy from Ghana who I also met in Turkey during the summer course in 2010.
I actually didn’t know this guy that well before, since I only got to know each other because we lived in the same dormitory and I met him the first time in the hallway when I was about to register my name for TOMER.
Long story short, after a quick introduction we added each other on facebook. So that was how I found out that he’s now in Hong Kong, which led me to contact him when I started planning out my trip there.
So I put a slot to meet up with him on the first night I was in Hong Kong. And the day before we scheduled to hang out, he told me that we could go to watch a horse race after dinner. I was up for almost everything, so I said yes!
I know nothing about equestrian, but it was fun feeling fancy from watching some horse race(s) in Happy Valley Clubhouse. FYI, you could use the octopus card for the entry, in which they would automatically deduct HKD 10 from your balance.
Here, you could also take a bet on the race as it is apparently the reason why people go there in the first place. Hmmm.
But poor John and me, because we both don’t know how to bet and being a broke traveler as I am, I could really use my money for something else. Although honestly, the idea of being a lucky beginner to earn twice (or even more!) of what I could bet was quite tempting at the time.
So to speak, neither John nor I took any bet that night, but we totally had some fun to watch the race. I mean, I’ve still got no clue about equestrian, but damn… When else could I feel fancy watching horses?
I mean, even the venue was really huge that entering the area would make you think that equestrian was such a common sport around there. And it was actually packed with people with a lot of food stalls that sell beer everywhere!
The venue was so full of beer that when I wanted to buy a bottle of water, I literally couldn’t find it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like beer and all but when I’m thirsty, I need water. So it was rather surprising that I couldn’t find any food stall that sold drinking water around the venue during the race. Honestly, the only stall that had something other than beer in the area was McDonald’s. Who would have thought that I could get so excited finding McDonald’s in Hong Kong just so I could order a cup of hot tea?
We watched at least 4 races at the time, and this is one of the champs that night. As we didn’t bet, who won which race didn’t affect us that much. But it was such an experience for me since I had never watched any horse race live before then.
After watching it live, I’m not sure that I am particularly interested in equestrian but John seems to be so excited with it that he decided to go again with his friends in the following week as he just found out that this clubhouse is so full of foreigners and expat.
It is rather understandable though, living as a stranger in a foreign land could be lonely sometimes.
Anyone of you interested in equestrian or want to get the experience of watching a horse race live for the first time as I did, you could visit Hong Kong Jockey Club in Happy Valley Clubhouse every Wednesday. You can also click this for the detail.
If I get a chance to Hong Kong again and budget is not a restraint, I’ll definitely try to take a bet!
The country definitely has a lot to offer, definitely. Happy Valley Clubhouse is just one of them, because you have a lot of options about what to do, even when you’ve only got 24 hours in Hongkong. 🙂
Do you have any equestrian experience that you want to share? Comment below, and cheerio!