Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Arts and culture guest blogger hkCultureGeek, Gillian Chu, is a Hong Kong raised Canadian who enjoys exploring the secret cultural spots around town. You can contact her at

The Hong Kong Museum of History is one of those often seen but never entered buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui, so a few weeks back, I decided to take my friend Audrey to show her that it is worth checking out. While I was waiting for her, I walked through the free special exhibitions - the Archaeological finds of Chen Kung-che. Rather amusingly, there were quite a few uncles and aunties sitting in front of the documentary chilling out. The reason? Because this part was free!

When we got into the permanent exhibition - the Hong Kong Story, she thought we would be spending half an hour going through the entire place, but it wasn't until three hours later did we manage to get out of the museum.

The first part was on Natural and Prehistoric Hong Kong, then moved towards Hong Kong during the Dynasties. I saw this sampan that the Museum already had when they were still situated in the Kowloon Park. I remember this bit particularly well because the mannequin inside would suddenly start singing, and it really spooked me out. They probably received complaints about that, so there isn't any singing going on anymore.

Then we moved onto the Folk Culture, which covered marriage, theatre, and traditional festivities. The replica of the Bun Festival reminded me that the carnival should be coming up real soon.

The next that came up was the Opium Wars and the Colonial years. We both liked the colonial decor, as it contains a little bit of the ancient Chinese world with a glimpse of the Western modernisation. Finally we were at the Modern Day Hong Kong. They had replicas of hair salons, corner shops, public housings and cinemas, which explained the history of the sixties. And after several hours, the entire story of Hong Kong ended with the Handover.
Like the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of History is also featuring 100 years anniversary of Dr. Sun's revolution till May 2011. Following the special exhibition on the Chinese Revolution, they will be featuring the history of Hong Kong village schools in July 2011. One ticket gives you access to all the exhibitions in house, so be sure to drop by when you are in the neighbourhood.

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