Happy Valley, Hong Kong

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For other uses, see Happy Valley (disambiguation).
Happy Valley
Happy Valley.jpg
Traditional Chinese 跑馬地
Literal meaning horse-racing ground
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 快活谷
Literal meaning happy valley

Happy Valley is an upper-income residential area in Hong Kong, located on Hong Kong Island. Administratively, it is part of Wan Chai District.

The area is sometimes known as Wong Nai Chung Kuk (黃泥涌谷) or Wong Nai Chung Valley because of the, Wong Nai Chung (黃泥涌, lit. yellow mud stream), that leads into the area.

The area is home to the Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong Racing Museum, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, and a number of cemeteries including the Hong Kong Cemetery.

History[edit]

Happy Valley in 1873

The area now known as Happy Valley was formerly known as Wong Nai Chung Valley, where the Wong Nai Chung referred to is a river collecting waters from the Wong Nai Chung Gap and surrounding area. The river nourished the rice paddies until the construction of Happy Valley Racecourse in 1846.

In early 1840, the British Army set a military camp in the area. However, the camp was later closed due to the increasing number of soldiers succumbing to malaria. The cause of malaria was unknown at the time and the soldiers apparently suffered a then-unknown fever. Early settlers had suggested the area to be used as a business centre, but the idea was shelved due to the valley's marshy environment, which was causing fatal diseases. The death rate in the area and Victoria City was high in the early colonial days, and the valley became a burial ground for the dead. As a result, the valley was renamed as Happy Valley, a common euphemism for cemeteries. In 1846, the British felt that the valley terrain was ideal for horse-racing, and thus cleared the paddy fields and developed the Happy Valley Racecourse. For this, the Wong Nai Chung river was redirected to the Bowrinton Canal, known as Ngo Keng Kan (鵝頸澗) locally, concurrent with reclamation of Wan Chai. The canal is now covered by Canal Road.

In 1922, the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital located in Happy Valley started operation.

Characteristics[edit]

Happy Valley in 2008

Happy Valley is made up of upper income residential areas, and its residents include of a mix of Hong Kong natives and foreigners. Two of the tallest residential buildings in Hong Kong, "Highcliff" and "The Summit" are located in Happy Valley facing Mount Nicholson.

Happy Valley is the location of six cemeteries. From south to north, they are the Jewish Cemetery, the Hindu Cemetery, the Parsee Cemetery, Hong Kong Cemetery, St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery, and the Muslim Cemetery.

The Hong Kong Racing Museum and the Happy Valley Racecourse, one of the two race tracks belonging to the Hong Kong Jockey Club headquarters, is in Happy Valley. Whenever a race runs, surrounding traffic patterns have to be changed: Cars will have to enter Happy Valley and the racecourse via Wong Nai Chung Road in a clockwise fashion, and the road may be heavily congested. The stadium lights in the racecourse illuminate nearby buildings even when the buildings themselves are unlit.

Happy Valley is also the home of Hong Kong First Division's Happy Valley Athletic Association.

Transport[edit]

Trams in Happy Valley
Happy Valley tram terminus

Hong Kong Tramways extended their network into Happy Valley in 1922,[1] and the community has been served by the trams ever since. The extension has one terminus.

Residents can access the Causeway Bay MTR station via minibuses.

Aberdeen Tunnel, Wong Nai Chung Road and Canal Road Flyover also serve Happy Valley.

Happy Valley has three bus terminals, two at the top of the hill and one at the bottom. The terminus furthest up the hill serves route 19 that goes to Siu Sai Wan. The upper terminus (also on the hill) serves one of Hong Kong's oldest bus routes (No. 1) which spans from Green Lane of Happy Valley to Central; it now terminates at Kennedy Town. The lower bus terminus serves route 8X, going to Siu Sai Wan, route 117, going to Sham Shui Po, and route 10S, going to Kennedy Town.

Residential developments[edit]

Housing estates
  • Beverly Hill
  • Beverly House
  • Blue Pool Lodge
  • Broad View Villa
  • Broadville
  • Broadwood Park
  • Celeste Court
  • Colonnade
  • Comfort Mansion
  • Friendship Court
  • Gracedale
  • Highcliff
  • Hooley Mansion
  • Horace Court
  • Leighton Hill
  • Panny Court billge pump
  • Race View Apartments
  • San Francisco Towers
  • Splendour Court
  • The Summit
  • Valley View Terrace
  • Ventris Court
  • Ventris Place
  • Victoria McKenna-Yao Holdings
  • Villa Lotto
  • Villa Rocha
  • Village Terrace
  • Winfield Building

Major roads and streets[edit]

Broadwood Road
Wong Nai Chung Road outside Amigo Restaurant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°16′N 114°11′E / 22.267°N 114.183°E / 22.267; 114.183