Hong Kong Museum of History

In continuing with the free museum days on Wednesdays in Hong Kong, my sister and I made our way to the Hong Kong Museum of History in Kowloon on Chatham Road. In terms of rail transport, the museum is within easy walking distance of the Hung Hom Railway Station. However, most tourists may actually find themselves walking due east from the busier Nathan Road.

This is the second time I’ve been to this museum. There aren’t many temporary exhibits here. The one temporary exhibit I wanted to see was an extra cost on top of the usual admission.  So much of what I saw was the same as before. However, it is still worth walking through this very extensive museum.

Diorama models of Qing Dynasty Hong Kong

The permanent exhibit starts in the basement and talks about what prehistoric Hong Kong may have been like. Then the exhibit quickly shifts into the possible early settlers in Hong Kong and their rudimentary tools and lives. Then the exhibit runs through much of Chinese history and artifacts that were found in the area from those different dynasties. There’s a re-creation of the Lei Cheng Uk Han Dynasty tomb (The actual tomb is in Shum Shui Po district of Kowloon).

Ancient Chinese pottery

My favourite section of the museum is the Folk Culture of Hong Kong. It highlights a lot of what the daily life of late 19th Century and early 20th Century in Hong Kong. One can learn and see some of the local traditions, rituals, and daily life. To me, it’s the most colourful part of the whole museum exhibit.

Chinese lanterns
traditional marriage procession
Chinese paper gods
Folk Culture of Hong Kong

My next favourite section in the museum is the Birth and Early Growth of the City. There is a complete replica of many typical shops and storefronts. There are a tea house, the post office, medicine shops, tailor shop, and more. If the museum wasn’t about to close, I would have spent more time exploring this rabbit’s whorl of replica stores.

Old Hong Kong mailboxes
replica Chinese wine shop
replica Chinese medicine shop storefront

And my last favourite section is what I call “Hong Kong Kitsch.” It’s a collection of pop culture and media from Hong Kong’s mid-20th Century. I love the “Liang Cha” (herbal tea) shop circa 1950’s. Just look at that classic tile! There’s even a retro radio to boot!

circa 1950’s herbal tea shop
Kitschy Hong Kong memorabilia
Flats For Sale posters from the 1950’s and 60’s

Those are my highlights from the Hong Kong History of Museum. If you’ve visited this museum, what are some of your highlights?

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