Top Six Hong Kong Museums

Top Six Hong Kong Museums

Museums aren’t just for rainy days and school trips, and not all of them are stuffy and full of old objects (and curators) gathering dust.

The majority of Hong Kong’s museums are bilingual, easily accessible by train or ferry and offer cheap admission and an air-conditioned break from the outdoors as well as educational insights. They cover a surprising range of fields, from history and art to considerably more niche interests such as 3D art and correctional services.

We’ve picked out six of the best for you to explore.

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum

What: Formerly accommodation for married staff, the building now houses 10 galleries displaying the evolution of Hong Kong’s penal system over the last 160 years. Exhibits include prison records, two reconstructed cells and an array of gruesome equipment used for corporal punishment, including a mock gallows and rattan cane known as “the cat of nine tails”.

Where: 45 Tung Tau Wan Road, Stanley Contact: 2147 3199, www.csd.gov.hk/emuseum.
Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm; closed Mon and public holidays.

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

What: Permanent exhibitions include the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall, which showcases a reconstructed bamboo theatre as well as items once used by famous Cantonese opera artists. The Children’s Discovery Gallery features eight play-zones which transport little ones to the depths of the sea, the Mai Po Marshes, archaeological digs and a traditional New Territories village in search of wildlife, ancient artefacts and cultural heritage. A special exhibition on Hong Kong Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee runs until 2018.

Where: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin.

Contact: 2180 8188, www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk.
Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

What: Set in a British fort now over a century old with beautiful views of the Lei Yue Mun channel, this museum offers a fascinating insight into Hong Kong’s military past, from the Ming and Qing period, to the British colonial era and the Japanese occupation. Take the historical trail through the casemates and passageways to the sea, and explore the array of artefacts on display, including uniforms, maps, cannons, replica torpedos and guns.

Where: 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan Contact: 2569 1500, hk.coastaldefence.museum.

Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays.
Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm (until 6pm from March to September), closed Thu (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum

What: Discovered by workmen during a construction project 60 years ago, this 2,000-year-old tomb dates back to the Eastern Han dynasty. Peer inside the tomb and learn about the period from which it dates through videos, maps and photos. A gallery features the objects found during the excavation, including pottery and bronze wares. Interestingly, the site of the tomb once overlooked the seashore, but after a series of land reclamations, now lies almost 2km from the sea.

Where: 41 Tonkin Street, Sham Shui Po. Contact: 2386 2863, www.lcsd.gov.hk.
Admission: Free.
Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-6pm, closed Thu (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

What: Housed in the Old Pathological Institute, this was the battleground of the city’s fight against infectious diseases, including the plague, smallpox and malaria. Explore Hong Kong’s first clinical and public health laboratory, and see a reconstruction of students dissecting rats for plague surveillance. Visit the Herbalist Shop in the basement to find out about traditional Chinese medicine. Also keep an eye out for the x-ray of a bound foot.

Where: 2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels.
Contact: 2549 5123, www.hkmms.org.hk.
Admission: $20 adult; $10 concession.
Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun and public holidays: 1pm-5pm; closed Mon and the first three days of Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

Hong Kong Museum of History

What: The museum’s permanent exhibition, The Hong Kong Story, brings to life thousands of years of Hong Kong history, from the prehistoric era to the Opium War to the handover to China, through dioramas and life-size exhibits. Look out for a tram, a fishing junk and a street scene complete with barber, bank, post office and grocer. There is even a Chinese medicine shop which was relocated from its original location stone by stone. The special exhibition on the Han Dynasty runs until October 5 and features a number of exhibits on loan from the mainland, including a jade suit sewn with gold thread from the mausoleum of King Chu at Xuzhou.

Where: 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Contact: 2724 9042, hk.history.museum.
Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays, except for some special exhibitions.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

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