I remember learning a little about Hong Kong when I took up a History of China subject during my undergraduate days and also reading James Clavell’s Gai-jin and Tai-pan novels. In those instances I learned the beginnings of Hong Kong, from a backwater province to its transformation into a leading port area, drug haven, and international prestige. But those are only one part of Hong Kong’s rich history, being a part of China it also meant that Hong Kong would have even deeper layers of history. In fact those layers stretch out to over 400,000,000 and even beyond that.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located in Tsim Sha Tsui’s museum complex, it is right beside the Hong Kong Science Museum and for the whole month of January admission is free. Apart from those two interesting facts, from the outside the museum looks very big, inside the hugeness of the museum becomes more evident.
Grabbing a copy of the museum’s visitor guide it was very apparent why the museum needed to be so large. The museum is done in such a way that museum goers get the opportunity to visit distinct periods in Hong Kong’s history: prehistoric, under dynastic rule, colonization, occupation, and the post-war years.
Each section of the museum, from the pre-historic to the handover to China, the halls were stocked with material culture. Artifacts for visitors to see and sometimes touch. Besides artifacts, the museum went to great lengths in recreating life-sized buildings, tombs, boats, and cultural practices, each room would have more information detailing the story behind each event in Hong Kong’s history.
The museum was beautiful and made me envious that everything was well-kept and curated. Apart from the rich trove of information, certain parts of the exhibit was interactive and others had a lot of film and audio documentation. I was wishing that we would have the same experience back home.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located in Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (take either TST station exit B2 or Hung Hom Station). It is open Wednesday to Monday from 10am-6pm on weekdays and 10am-7pm on weekends.