Hong Kong Museums
Just in case you’re one of those people who is interested in learning something when you travel, I try to make sure my Hong Kong travel guide can accomodate you!
To be honest, this city has a tradition of being sort of fast-paced and materialistic, with little time for inward reflection and cultural pursuits. But lately the rulers have started to make more efforts to establish Hong Kong museums, preserve historical buildings and try to promote local culture in general.
Relative to the substantial population size of this city, many of the museums are small and the attendance limited, but there are a couple of interesting places around. Several of the biggest museums in town are located close to each other in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Tsim Sha Tsui
- The Museum of History is a very large museum devoted to Hong Kong’s history from prehistoric times up until today. This big museum is great for learning more about Hong Kong!
- Right next door is the Science Museum, with a wide range of exhibits on science and technology. And this museum has many interactive elements for the visitors to play with!
- The Museum of Art is one of the largest museums, with ancient Chinese art from the Han to the Qing dynasty. It is located on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront next to the Avenue of Stars.
- The Space Museum can be found right next to the Art Museum and, unsurprisingly, has exhibits on astronomy and space science.
Other major museums
- Arguably one of the best in town, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum presents Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, partially replicating the displays of the Museum of History. But it also rotates modern displays, some of which don’t really have anything to do with Hong Kong. For example, when I visited in the summer of 2011, it had an interesting exhibit on advertising. But what really made the queues swell was the showcase collection of figures and drawings from Pixar movies.
- The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, is located in a well-preserved fort in Shau Kei Wan. Not as boring as the name sounds, it tells the interesting story of Hong Kong’s military history.
- The Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum may not be the most fun of the lot, but it gives you the chance to learn more about one of the most pivotal figures in Chinese history. As a leader of the revolution against the Chinese Emperor, Sun Yat Sen is known as the “Father of the Nation” and is as beloved in the Communist Party as he is among their antagonists on Taiwan. And Hong Kong is proud that he once studied here.
- The Maritime Museum is a smaller museum in Stanley. Hong Kong has played a major role in international naval history, but so far has not had a museum that reflects it. But now the maritime museum is preparing for a move into much larger downtown premises in Central.
- The Museum of Teaware is a teeny tiny museum in the historic Flagstaff House in Hong Kong Park. The exhibit consists mostly of a collection of oddly shaped tea pots. Among the Hong Kong museums that I’ve been to, I would have to say this was the least impressive, but at least the entry is free.
- The Railway Museum can be found in an abandoned old train station in Tai Po, nearby the “Tai Po Market” stop on the MTR. This small museum boasts an old station building, two locomotives and six railway coaches.