Happy Valley Racecourse

We’ve been in Hong Kong for three years now and this is the first time we went to Happy Valley Racecourse! We went because of several reasons: one, we have nothing going on during our one-day holiday for Mid-Autumn Festival, two, Oktoberfest is going on, three, we got free entrance tickets (normally just $10HKD) and a free pint of beer and four, I’ve always wanted to go see the horse race! Seth was definitely not so excited about the horse race for ethical reasons.

FYI, there is still an opportunity to check out Oktoberfest at the racecourse for this month. If you’re interested, click here.

We took the MTR to Admiralty and then took the tram to Happy Valley. We don’t go to the island often and have rarely taken the tram, so it was a treat! I love the old feeling of the trams and we are glad that they are still around even though they are super slow.

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It wasn’t too hot of a day so we enjoyed hanging out outside. There were several booths selling different types of beer but we ended up getting Samuel Adams’ Rebel IPA. There are different games at each booth if you buy two beers like seeing who can hold up two large mugs of beer with your arms extended, punching machine, and beer pong. We couldn’t play any games with our Sam Adams though since it wasn’t included.

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               Shared a hotdog and loaded potato wedges with our friend Wil

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Lots of people

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If you want a free view of the live action, you basically have to stand the whole time. You can stand right in front of the track to view or there are also public areas on the 2nd and 6th floor. We didn’t go to the 2nd floor but on the 6th floor, there are some indoor seating in front of TVs showing the races.

It was my first time betting on horses so I had to have it explained to me by one of the workers. She was really nice and told me how to place the bet. The minimum bet for a ticket is $20. Basically, there are 8 races in the night and the horses just round around the track once. Each race, there are different distances, e.g., 1200m. You write a 1 for the race number that you want to bet on. Then, under “Pool”, you choose either “win” which means the horse you choose wins 1st place, “Place” which means the horse(s) you choose is/are either in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, “Quinella” which means the 2 horses you choose are in 1st and 2nd place in any order, and “Quinella place” which means the 2 horses that you choose are placed either in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in any order. Afterward, you write the “unit” which is how many times you want to make the bet and then make a how much you want to spend per horse number. For example, I would write 1 under the “unit” and 1 under the 20 which means I am betting $20 on the one horse. If I write 2 under the “unit” and 1 under the 20, that would mean I’m betting a total of $40 on the one horse. If I am betting on multiple horses, let’s say 2 horses and I wrote 1 for the “unit” and 10 for the ticket cost, then I am betting a total of $20 ($10 for each horse).

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Here, I placed a bet on horse 3 in race 2 for a total of $20. I didn’t win though.

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There is an English version of the guidebook that tells you the statistics of all the horses for each of the race. Some of the descriptions are just so sad like #5 Royal Chocolate. It reads “Not acclimatized. Form reads disappointing. Can ignore.” During warm-up, you can see what the book meant….the horse was basically prancing around.

I won on one of the horses during this race! To collect money, you just go to the teller and hand your ticket to him/her. Since I chose “place”, I didn’t win much though. I got $15.50 so I basically lost $4.50 during that race.

bibsAlthough I didn’t win overall, it was a fun experience!

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New Zealand

For our honeymoon, we went to New Zealand during Christmas vacation. It was amazing! Everywhere was so beautiful from the lush grass with sheep everywhere, mountains, to one of the most coastlines with turquoise blue water.  We flew to both the north and sound island and rented a car to drive around the islands. We started in Dunedin, then down the Caitlins, back up to Queenstown, Fox Glaciers, Hokitika, Arthur’s Pass and then to Christchurch. Afterward, we flew to Rotorua and then went up to Auckland. Some highlights of the trip were seeing Yellow Eyed Penguins come up from the beach, scenic flight from Queenstown to Milford Sounds and Glenorchy, Milford Sound cruise and Dart River jet boat tour, and visiting Hobbiton! Here are some of my favorite photos.

Pineapple Buns, Egg Tarts and Sausage Rolls!

For Christmas, Kim got Seth and I a baking class to make pineapple buns, egg tarts and sausage rolls! We just went today and had a great time.

The class was at The Mixing Bowl in Sheung Wan.  We had 8 people total in our class with one main instructor, Victor, and one more employee to help set up our materials and things. Victor was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We learned some techniques on how to properly knead dough and shape it into some nice balls for our bread.

One thing that I didn’t like about the class is that they measured all the ingredients for you in order to save time. He did tell us the ingredients for each recipe and said that we will get the recipes in an e-mail which is good. Everything turned out delicious although they baked the egg tarts a bit too long. We even had a little break in the middle where we had some scones and tea!