If you’re in Hong Kong and feel like taking a break from the eat-shop-eat-shop-eat-eat-sleep pattern, the Hong Kong Museum of History [hk.history.museum] is a great way to escape – although the food at the cafeteria was still pretty darn good compared to what you get at most museums!
Located in the Tsim Sha Tsui part of town [maps.google.ca] it’s actually kind of difficult to get to by the MTR subway system. On a nice day it is walkable from Kowloon, or you can take the MTR to the Hung Hom station and wander through the Hong Kong Technical College.
If you follow the prescribed museum path you start with dioramas of prehistoric Hong Kong and then move on to Hong Kong from the Han to the Qin dynasties. These areas are fairly interesting but if your time is limited you should rush through these and move on to the 20th century exhibits which are much more rich and detailed. There is a large section dedicated to the opium wars and the Treaty of Nanking which ceded Kong Kong to Britain until 1997. There is also a section dedicated to war time Hong Kong that includes the desk on which the Japanses signed papers reverting control of Hong Kong back to the British after occupation.
Later, almost a whole floor is dedicated to recreations of general stores, pawn shops, clothing factories, and snack shops from the turn of the century through to the 60’s and 70’s. I wandered through these exhibits imagining my parents in each scene, such as these stools that were typically found outside stalls where kids could rent comic books and read on the street.
Finally, after showing the great strides made by Hng Kong under British rule, you are taken through the handover of Hong Kong back to China. The following photo shows the Colonial Flag of Hong Kong and a uniform worn by Hong Kong’s last British Governor, Chris Patten.
Anyone interested in learning a little more about how Hong Kong evolved could do a quick pass through the museum in half a day, but I would recommend the better part of a day for those who really want to soak everything in.
This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday, a weekly collection of travel photos by bloggers from around the world. Be sure to visit Budget Travelers Sandbox [budgettravelerssandbox.com] to check it out.
Nice one…never knew what the colonial flag of Hong Kong looked like…
Museums are my Plan B for any day it’s either too hot, too cold, or raining outside. Thanks for sharing this treasure.
I’m starting to think about putting small local museums at the start of any trip where I’m in a city for more than a few days. I think it would be good to get that sense of history and place.
Love visiting museums when I travel. Sounds like this one covers a lot of modern HK history.
Interesting. Hong Kong is one place I need to experience, having heard quite a bit about it.
Sorry for the delay – I had to pull this one out of the spam filter! Yes, Hong Kong is a great place to visit. As others have mentioned, you can see the old world and the new, urban and rural, and all within a few hours if you’d like!
Interesting place to visit…
Museums are always interesting. Hong Kong is always changing so good to see there is a museum hanging onto a wee bit of the past.
Actually it sounds like a very interesting spot.
And I love your description of eat-shop-eat -shop …just how I imagine Hong Kong to be like though I hear there is wonderful hiking too.
If you’re in Hong Kong and you haven’t eaten anything in the past 2 hours then you’re doing something wrong! 😉 The shopping is purely optional, but window shopping pretty much can’t be avoided in the city.
I’ve heard that about the hiking too. Getting out of the city is high on my list of todos for my next trip there – as long as it’s not the hot and humid summer!
Very interesting post. I was in Hong Kong years and years ago, when it was still a crown colony, but didn’t know about this museum. Putting it on the list for a future trip. (Would be fun to see present-day Hong Kong, too).
I’d call it a don’t miss if you like museums. I really like these smaller local ones.
Looks like a very interesting museum. I’d love to learn more about Hong Kong before and after the handover to China. I really like the top photo of the junks.
A fascinating post. It’s on my list for the future, now!