Leave your big hat and ascot at home. It ain’t that kind of party.

    It’s Wednesday night and you’ve had your fill of non-stop nightlife, shopping and gluttony. What to do? It’s off to the races with you! Horse racing may not be the first thing that come to mind when planning your Hong Kong to-do list but thanks to its origins in British colonialism, it’s practically become Hong Kong’s national sport. But the Wednesday night revelry at Happy Valley Horse Racecourse each week between September and July bares very little resemblance to the stuffy funny hat parade of its European counterparts. Instead one finds a raucous, playful crowd that’s less Royal Ascot, and more NASCAR tailgate.

    In fact, the actual horse racing is only part of the draw. In between racing rounds, you can lessen the pain of betting on a losing horse with pitchers of beer or shake off the bad luck on the dance floor. Yes, there’s a dance floor at the horse races in Hong Kong. So put on some comfortable shoes, bring betting cash and join the rest of the city for a past-time that’s as uniquely Hong Kong as its skyline.