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By The Way
Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.
Happy Valley neighborhood in Hong Kong.
Happy Valley neighborhood in Hong Kong.

A guide to local favorites in Happy Valley

Happy Valley neighborhood in Hong Kong.
Happy Valley neighborhood in Hong Kong.
  • By Mary Hui
  • Photos by Lam Yik Fei
Happy Valley
Hong Kong
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Originally known as Wong Nai Chung — or “yellow mud stream” Valley — Happy Valley was once a swampy marshland that even British troops found uninhabitable. Now a quiet residential area tucked away from the city, the neighborhood is steeped in history and has a warm, close-knit feel. It has been the home of horse racing since the mid-19th century, and Wednesday night races continue to be a defining feature of the neighborhood. Take the Happy Valley-bound tram and admire beautiful old Chinese banyans as it trundles down Wong Nai Chung Road.

Meet Mary Hui

Mary Hui is a Hong Kong-based writer. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, The New York Times, the South China Morning Post, and CityLab.

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Happy Valley

F11 Foto Museum
The city’s first and only private photography museum and gallery in a beautiful 1930s-era Art Deco townhouse.
F11 Foto Museum, 11 Yuk Sau St., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Happy Valley Racecourse
Wednesday night races under the lights are like a giant beer garden with horses speeding by. By day, and the other nights of the week, it’s a great park and sports ground popular with runners.
Hong Kong Jockey Club Happy Valley Racecourse, Amigo Mansion, Wong Nai Chung Rd., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Cheung Hing coffee shop
This retro-looking, classic cha chaan teng, or diner, dating to 1951 serves up excellent breakfasts, full-day options and delicious bakery items.
Cheung Hing Coffee Shop, 9 Yik Yam St., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Cemetery
Walk through this green hillside oasis, the city’s oldest and perhaps most important cemetery, and explore the variety of graves, monuments, and flora and fauna.
1J Wong Nai Chung Rd., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Wong Nai Chung Market and cooked-food center
This food court above a wet market offers sizzling-hot seafood, Sichuanese, and various rice and noodle dishes.
Wong Nai Chung Market and Cooked Food Center, 2 Yuk Sau St., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
King’s Bakery
Come for your pick of fresh baked bread, Hong Kong-style buns, tarts and cakes.
King’s Bakery Happy Valley, 2 Min Fat St., Happy Valley, Hong Kong
There's more to see
Mary Hui
Mary is a Hong Kong native, having lived there her entire life except for a few years away for college and work. She loves to walk the city’s streets and run its trails. She’s so obsessed with the place that she hung a giant topographic map of Hong Kong in her house.
Lam Yik Fei
Lam is a contributing photographer for The Washington Post born and raised in Hong Kong, a dynamic and sleepless city that allows him to travel the globe via direct flights. He loves bringing his cameras to the various hidden gems and documenting the daily life of the people.