Hong Kong

Hong Kong has everything. I visited several Hong Kong museums on my last trip. However, these are my favorites.

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware-Being originally British, tea is really important to me and my culture and much of it going into England has probably come through Hong Kong. The Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware, therefore, was a must-see for me in Hong Kong. Flagstaff House used to be the house of the Commander of the British Forces. Today, it’s the oldest surviving colonial building in Hong Kong. The Tea Ware museum has some fascinating items-all related to tea-ceramics, tea cups, tea pots, and many other aspects related to the Chinese tea ceremony. It’s worth going too just in order to view the building, as it is in pristine condition and lovely architecture. The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware is open from 10 am to 5pm on Wednesday to Monday (closed on Tuesdays). It also has free admission. This is a nice bonus. It’s set on Hong Kong Island so easy to learn to by public transportation.

If you’re looking to spend an extremely concrete day and have absolutely no qualms about it being an intelligent way of passing time, go to the Hong Kong Museum of History. As unenterprising a ‘must do’ as it may sound to some, it is unquestionably the most effective way to spend hours of your day, and leaving you satisfied at the close of it. Whether it is archeology that you’re keen about, or even natural or local history, this museum will serve as your one stop shop for it all. For those of you who’ren’t too big on history, other museums worth a visit are, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Maritime Museum, amongst several others.

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence-Hong Kong’s museums always appear to have interesting names. This one is no different. The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is in a nineteenth Century fort. Before you even start checking out the exhibits, you must appreciate the building. The architecture is lovely as they have used the base 19th century fort building, and then added modern design to it to make it truly unusual. Inside too, do not forget to look up-the domes are amazing. As far as the exhibits go, I found this museum fascinating, especially the sections on the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Second World War and the British period. There’s likewise a large outdoor area with a historical trail that you can walk. It’s gorgeous here as the trail looks out over the water and you can view the boats and buildings across the bay. It’s open 10am to 5pm Friday to Wednesday (closed Thursdays) and is HK$10 for adults. It’s also located on Hong Kong Island and you can easily get to it by the underground-just ask at the information office for directions.

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Hong Kong Police Museum-Hong Kong is noted for its police force, so I really wanted to know this museum. It’s built on the website of an old police station on The Peak and it shows the story of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force (now just known as the Hong Kong Police Force since the British withdrawal in 1999). There are four different galleries of exhibits-Orientation, Narcotics, Triad and Current Exhibits-all of which are fascinating. I really loved the old uniforms, all the drug paraphernalia, the firearms, and the story of the Hong Kong Triads (Chinese gangs or mafia who control Hong Kong’s black market). The Hong Kong Police Museum is open from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesdays and 9am to 5pm Wednesday through Sunday. It’s also free admission.

Hong Kong Museum of Art-When in Hong Kong, you got to see Chinese art and the Hong Kong Museum of Art is the place to see it. There are exhibits of Chinese oil paintings, old photographs, ceramics, more, and Chinese antiquities. It also has some lovely displays of calligraphy, an art I’ve always been fascinated with. It’s one of Hong Kong’s largest museums so be prepared to be on your feet for a while. They also have a good museum bookshop with a great selection of art and design books. . It’s placed on Kowloon and is open from 10am to 6pm, Friday to Wednesday (closed on Thursdays). At HK$10, it’s a cheap price, particularly as it provides several hours of entertainment and education. Don’t forget too, you can follow the Star Ferry over to Kowloon-it’s cheap (about 25 cents) and picturesque way of seeing Hong Kong Bay.

Hong Kong Science Museum-If you are in the search for a place to entertain the kids for several hours, and one that has lots of interactive displays, the Hong Kong Science Museum is the place to go. Almost all their exhibits are interactive, with topics ranging from robots and transportation, to weather and telecommunications. They also have a very cool World of Mirrors exhibit that you can walk through and see yourself short, tall, fat thin or just distorted. The kids will love it. There’s also an interesting museum shop with dozens of little gadgets for the kids. It’s on Kowloon and is open every day except Thursday. It’s HK$25 for adults and HK$12.50 For kids, but it’s free on Wednesdays. Of course, this is also the most crowded day of the week (I did not go then!) But if you want to keep money, this is when to go.