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Happy Valley
Photograph: Apple Lee

Happy Valley: Ultimate Guide

Go beyond the famous racecourse and venture out onto the vibrant streets of this leafy residential neighbourhood.

Tatum Ancheta
Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by Apple Lee

Located at the end of the tram line, Happy Valley is a welcoming neighbourhood with a slew of high-end restaurants, local cha chaan teng, and cosy cafés. Follow our guide to explore the lesser-known corners of this hillside enclave.

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What is Happy Valley known for?
Happy Valley is home to one of Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks. For decades, locals and tourists flocked to the Happy Valley Racecourse for trackside parties that offered front row views of the horse races.

Why do the locals love it?
The area is an upscale residential neighbourhood that many celebrities and affluent families call home. Despite its leafy suburban appeal, Happy Valley is located conveniently within a 15-minute walk away from Causeway Bay.

How do I get to Happy Valley?
There is no MTR station that takes you straight to Happy Valley. Get off at Causeway Bay station and switch to minibus 30 on Lan Fong Road. Or take the tram and get off at the terminus located opposite the racecourse.

Explore the city with Uber Taxi and take control of how you travel. Uber uses an auto-matching technology that brings the closest taxi driver to you. Your trips are in your hands as Uber gets an estimate of your arrival time, route, and fare prior to your trip. From now until July 15, 2022, Uber is treating Time Out Hong Kong readers to an exclusive 20 percent off on your next Uber Taxi ride.

Enter the TIMEOUTHK22 promo code on the 'Wallet' section of your Uber app before booking your ride to enjoy the discount! Terms and conditions apply. 

Map of Happy Valley

If you only do one thing
Take a stroll around the Happy Valley Racecourse at night and take in the views of surrounding skyscrapers.

Where to eat
Photograph: Apple Lee

Where to eat

From local cha chaan teng to family-friendly staples and fine dining favourites, there is something for every taste bud in this corner of town.

Those with a penchant for the finer things in life are in for a treat. A classic Hong Kong institution, Amigo, has been a stomping ground for the city’s glitterati for over four decades. To this day, the lavish French restaurant retains its old-fashioned charm with white-gloved waiters pushing around silver trolleys and guitarists serenading diners with ballads. 

Tucked away on a sleepy sidestreet, Locanda dell’Angelo is an under-the-radar hidden gem serving up excellent Italian cuisine. Despite its humble size, the homey restaurant delivers through-the-roof flavours with a tasting menu featuring handmade pasta, full-blood M7 Wagyu, and Te Mana lamb rack.

Cheung Hing Coffee Shop I Photograph: Apple Lee

Then there’s the throng of local eateries. Our favourites include Pang’s Kitchen, a revered one Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, and Cheung Hing Coffee Shop, offering all the classic cha chaan teng staples.  

Another must-visit is the Wong Nai Chung Market Cooked Food Centre, where a number of nostalgic food stalls and dai pai dong reside. During the day, head to Cheong Kee for its no-frills all-day breakfast and lunch dishes, including the egg sandwich with fish cakes, satay beef noodles, and signature thick toast that goes up to 5cm in height. At night, indulge in authentic Cantonese dishes at Gi Kee, where you’ll find an array of fresh seafood and typhoon shelter-style recipes being cooked over giant woks.

While there’s no shortage of bakeries in Happy Valley, Proof has proven itself to be a notch above the rest. This specialty bakery uses unbleached flour and no preservatives or additives in everything they make. Keep an eye out for the small chalkboard outside the store detailing the daily specials, and head there early because things get sold out throughout the day.

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Where to drink
Coffeelin I Photograph: Apple Lee

Where to drink

Not so long ago, Starbucks and Pacific Coffee were the only two options for getting your coffee fix in the Valley. But in the past few years, the neighbourhood has seen a new wave of coffee shops quietly cropping up. 

Reaction Coffee Roasters has almost 10 years of experience in coffee roasting. Looking to introduce its specialty roasts to more people, the brand expanded its coffee operations and opened up a cafe on Sing Woo Road in 2018. Complementing its range of house-roasted coffee, Reaction offers an Aussie-style brunch menu with plenty of healthy plant-based options. 

Reaction Coffee Roasters I Photograph: Apple Lee

Another firm favourite amongst locals, Coffeelin is a retro-inspired coffee and cocktail bar with a vibrant atmosphere. The Milanese-style cafe sources its beans from Italian roasting company Torrefazione Griso and offers signature drinks such as Misty Forest (espresso with cocoa husk tea).

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Things to do and places to see
Happy Valley Racecourse I Photograph: Apple Lee

Things to do and places to see

Your visit to Happy Valley isn’t complete without a stop at the racecourse. The racing season usually runs from September to July, and the track is always filled with eager spectators and party-goers when the races take place on Wednesday nights. When there aren’t races going on, many locals enjoy running or walking around the track to admire the stunning views of the surrounding skyline.

Tung Lin Kok Yuen I Photograph: Shutterstock

For history buffs, you can visit Tung Lin Kok Yuen, a historic Buddhist monastery and nunnery founded in 1935 by Lady Clara Ho Tung. Situated near the top of Shan Kwong Road, the landmark is declared a monument in 2017. The building structures feature a unique mix of traditional Chinese designs, such as flying eaves and glazed tile roofs, and European influences like stained-glass windows.  

Shh Massage & Spa miI Photograph: Apple Lee

There are a surprising large number of spas and massage spots located around the Valley. Ten Feet Tall offers a relaxing reflexology experience in an escapist tropical-inspired setting, while the new kid on the block, Shh Massage & Spa, is perfect for when you’re in need of some serious pampering, offering everything from acupressure and hot stone massage to lymphatic drainage and meridian therapy.

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Where to stay 
Photograph: Courtesy Dorsett Wanchai

Where to stay 

There are a lot of hotels located in the Causeway Bay and Wan Chai area that is perfect for business travellers or tourists, but the closest one is *Dorsett Wanchai, Hong Kong, a four-star hotel located adjacent to the horse riding ground. Its convenient location allows visitors easy access to shopping and dining destinations in the area. 

*Dorsett Wanchai, Hong Kong is currently serving as a quarantine hotel and only accepting travellers entering the city from now until October 31, 2022.  

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