Monday, June 8, 2015

Hong Kong Museum of History

One of the best ways to spend a summer's afternoon is trekking over to Tsim Sha Tsui's (TST's) many museums.  Down in TST, you can find:

1.  The Hong Kong Space Museum

3.  The Hong Kong Science Museum

It's been awhile since I've been here…maybe a year has passed.  Currently, there wasn't any major exhibit on show, but I thought it would be nice to snap a few photos of the permanent exhibit.

The first exhibit is called "Prehistoric Hong Kong."  This area displays artifacts of pottery, stone tools, and even beads of ornamentation.  This section is quite dated (no pun intended).  I do wish that they museum would update it to be more techie.  I think it might grab people's attention more. 

"Prehistoric Hong Kong" lead into "The Natural Environment" area, which opens up to this big forest area.  Along the tree line and also hidden in the brush at the ground were hidden animals and plants that were indigenous to Hong Kong.  It's a nice little set up, but I do wish it was a bit more updated, too!

In the same area, is a little room that houses a variety of shells, rocks, and butterflies, which are fascinating to scrutinize over.  I actually don't remember seeing this in my previous visits, but I really am digging the glass cases and all the specimen that the museum has collected.

The next area is entitled "The Dynasties:  From the Han to the Qing."  This gallery is beautiful, to say the least.  The museum recreated the Lei Cheung Uk Han Tomb, which you can view first hand in Sham Shui Po, as a backdrop for this exhibit.

The next gallery is "Folk Culture in Hong Kong."  It's actually quite fun to walk through because it is like bringing the outdoors indoors.  In the beginning section of this exhibit, the museum recreated a river, where house boats were docked.  It's a beautiful little scene that was really popular with amateur photographers and their families.

This area is one of my favorites in the permanent collection because there are temples, village houses, and even the Cheung Chau bun towers that were recreated, where you can walk in, around and through.  The museum also recreated a Cantonese Opera stage…it's just beautifully done.

The Cantonese Opera stage actually gave me the heebie jeebies because there is a part of the backstage where I found a mannequin staring at me from her mirror.  Eerie…  The display shows a woman getting ready in the back, with her make up, hair and clothes done.  Sooo eerie…  It freaked me out and made me a bit terrified of all the figures after that moment.  You have to see it to know what I'm talking about!

The other round of figures that gave me the heebie jeebies were these guys who were participating in a wedding march.  I think it was the fact that we were alone in this exhibit and could hear their faint voices (like ghosts) through the sound system.

The next exhibits were upstairs.

The first gallery is called "The Opium Wars and the Cession of Hong Kong."  The title of the gallery says it all.  It's a compilation of the history of Hong Kong ceding to the British.  The work done on this exhibit is stunning, especially the colonial style facade on the left.

The "Birth and Early Growth of the City" and the "Modern Metropolis and Return to China" galleries kind of meld together.  These sections are, by far, the most beautiful sections of the Museum of History.  Again, it is like the museum recreated the old Hong Kong streets and buildings for the viewing pleasure of the patrons.

Recreation of a post office

Recreation of a tea company

Recreation of a grocery store

Recreation of a tailor shop

A view of the "Birth and Early Growth of the City" gallery

I love all things Old Hong Kong!  I just love how the museum recreated these beautiful times and capsulated it.  It really is an awesome way to be introduced to Hong Kong history and culture.

In every gallery, as well, there are running videos that give a brief history and timeline of each of the galleries.  It's a great place to recover from the walking, wandering, and stimulation.

That was my afternoon spent at the Hong Kong Museum of History.  Though the permanent exhibit is quite dated, there are some amazing things to view within the galleries!