Hong Kong is a great place for sport. If you’re in a modern apartment complex, there’s a good chance you’ll have sporting facilities built in, with the caliber of these facilities improving as building quality goes up. A good gym and a swimming pool should be the bare minimum, but ideally there’ll be tennis and/or squash courts and the like. Even older buildings often have outdoor pools, though they’re usually closed during winter. If you’re spending some time being put up in a hotel or serviced apartment before sorting out permanent housing, you’ll find that high-end places also have excellent gyms, pools and other fitness options, open late to suit the hardworking business lifestyle.
The other main place to look for superior sporting and fitness facilities is the country club scene (see Members’ Clubs). These are family-friendly and have superb facilities of all kinds, including sailing, racket sports, golf, gyms and spas, with instruction for all ages and levels and a range of eating and socialising options to go along with them. If you have a family, these are a great weekend option and a way to spend some time out in the air away from traffic; even if you don’t, the environment will encourage you to make the effort to keep fit and the club will help you find people to compete against or work out with.
There are more affordable options, too. The city has a great network of public facilities that are very affordable and well-run – football, tennis, squash, basketball, badminton, table tennis and the like – with literally hundreds of courts and facilities around the territory that can be booked online or by phone, even using your Octopus card. To find out what’s available near you, go to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department website for full information in English on location, fees, times and how to book. For an experience combining fitness and culture, why not take some tai chi classes and then join the oldies in Victoria Park early in the morning? Be warned though – you won’t be able to keep up.
A long-established foreign community means there are plenty of clubs to choose from as well, from salsa dancing to running to martial arts to mountain biking. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find it here. They’re also great places to meet people when you first arrive – the atmosphere is friendly and new members are always welcome, given the fast turnover of expats here. Locally oriented clubs also welcome foreigners for the most part. And, of course, there are myriad private gyms, yoga facilities and the like to choose from, ranging from big chains to small boutique operations. The listings in our guide are just a taste of what’s available. We don’t include every branch of every gym or health spot, since there are far too many; and we often include the umbrella organization for a sport, since you can check out the right club for you via their website, and they’re the best people to contact for more information.
Finally, Hong Kong hosts some world-class sporting events. The most famous is the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. Horseracing is also huge here; head to Happy Valley or Sha Tin to have a flutter and an enjoyable day/evening.
For most Hong Kong sporting events, tickets are provided through Hong Kong Ticketing. You should try the event’s own website as well.
Hong Kong Sevens
Hong Kong’s biggest annual sporting event and biggest party; tickets are like gold dust for this weekend rugby tournament that draws teams and fans from all over the world.
Internationally popular two-day cricket tournament, with 12 teams competing at the Kowloon Cricket Club for the Hong Kong Sixes Trophy.
Dragon Boat Races
Make sure you see at least one of these during your time in Hong Kong, with 50-foot boats propelled by impressive coordination from crews. They’re free and fun – just turn up.
Hong Kong Marathon
Watch (or be one of) over 40,000 runners in an event that draws huge crowds each year to cheer people on and enjoy a day out.
Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong’s biggest golf tournament (a joint Asia and European Tour event) takes place at the Hong Kong Golf Club late each year.
Hong Kong Coliseum
9 Cheong Wan Rd, Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong Stadium
55 Eastern Hospital Rd, So Kon Po, Wan Chai
Queen Elizabeth Stadium
18 Oi Kwan Rd, Wan Chai
Happy Valley Racecourse
1 Sports Rd, Happy Valley
Sha Tin Racecourse
Sha Tin, New Territories