In my latest installment of Museum Mondays, I take you inside the Hong Kong Museum of History. Museums are a great way to see and understand a culture or to learn about something specific. It’s also a great way to appreciate relics from the past that wouldn’t survive outside those walls. I like going to museums when I travel, but I generally don’t like spending hours in them. A quick visit to see the highlights or to get a basic understanding what’s on display which is why whenever I can get into them for free, that’s even better.
I did just that in Hong Kong when I visited the Hong Kong Museum of History. Hong Kong has had a long a varied history from Japanese occupation to being a British colony. The exhibits are displayed in chronological order which really allows you to see all the stages of the city as it went from a fishing village to a military port to its position today as a financial centre for the world.
It starts off with exhibits on the natural environment of Hong Kong before moving to prehistoric Hong Kong. Where it starts getting interesting is when we head into various dynasties from the Han (206 BC–220 AD) to the Qing (1644–1912).
Beyond history, the museums also takes a look into cultural traditions of the area from wedding ceremonies to a depiction of a bun festival.
They talked about Chinese opera and the traditional lion dance. Despite growing up exposed to a lot of these cultural aspects, I still found myself learning a lot from these displays (especially that bun festival – so cool!).
One of my favourite sections of the museum is when they turned an area into a historic street full of shops that would be typically of the period. It’s interactive and a lot of fun to explore.
Most of the exhibits look rather dated and much of the museum is dimly lit which adds to the dated look. However, the exhibits delve deeply into the history of the city in an illustrated way allowing visitors to still figuring out what they were looking at without reading all the signs and plaques.
The museum is much larger than you would think when you first come upon the building and once inside, there is a surprising amount to see. I’d recommend speed walking through much of the beginning displays. On Wednesdays admission into the museum is free which is perfect for those just looking for an escape from the heat of the city.
Hong Kong Museum of History
Science Museum Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong
Monday, Wednesday – Friday 10 AM – 6 PM; Saturday – Sunday 10 AM – 7 PM; Closed Tuesday
Do you like visiting museums in your travels?
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