History and Science Museums in Hong Kong

Exhibit of a wedding procession from the Hong Kong Museum of History

Want to get away from the touristy, gimicky stuff?  The Hong Kong Museum of History and its neighbour, the Hong Kong Science Museum are places for you to go to.  For those interested in history and culture (but not necessarily into more traditional cultural pieces), then the Hong Kong Museum of History will be the place to visit.  For those who like interactive displays and technology, then it’s the Hong Kong Science Museum.

The Hong Kong Museum of History takes visitors back with their permanent exhibit, Hong Kong Story.  It goes WAY BACK to prehistoric times, long before colonialism and modernization, ending with the handover to China in 1997.  Starting off with nature, it guides visitors through history, with displays of what homes might have looked like during the seventeenth century (there’s also a walk-in exhibit of an early-twentieth century upper class home), wedding processions and so forth.  The museum also touches on darker sides of Hong Kong history, such as the opium war in the 1840s, as well as pop culture of the post-World War Two period.  For education buffs, the museum includes an exhibit of a early to mid-twentieth century classroom, complete with period desks and books.  The Hong Kong Museum of History also offers temporary exhibits, which has, in the past included foreign-educated students from China, Hong Kong theatre and even some non-Hong Kong related exhibits on the French Revolutions.  The current temporary exhibit explores the last 100 years of China.

Of course, not everyone is interested in history.  Techys and those who prefer more interactive exhibits would like the Hong Kong Science Museum.  Similar to the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, the museum is very kid-friendly and offers many hands-on exhibits.  With 500 exhibits and 16 galleries spread over four floors, the museum’s displays range from nature to life sciences and brain teasers (some of the puzzles are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!).  Exhibits which may be of interest include The World of Mirrors (it’s like a fun house at an amusement park!) as well as the Optical Illusions – images that fool our eyes.  Like the Museum of History, the Science Museum also has temporary exhibits.  The current exhibit explores biodiversity in China.

Entry fees to both museums are very affordable – $10 (under $1.50 Canadian!)  Hong Kong for the Museum of History and $25 Hong Kong (under $3.50 Canadian) for the Science Museum.  This is a far cry from fees in Canada and the United States, which go upwards of $20.