Hong Kong is only a two and a half hour flight from Bangkok, so I’ve been there several times. Each time I go, I find something different to do. The last time, I decided I should visit some of Hong Kong’s famous museums. If you’re looking for Chinese art, Chinese culture, history or science, Hong Kong has everything. I visited several Hong Kong museums on my last trip, but these are my favorites.
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware – Being originally British, tea is very important to me and my culture and most 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 home 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 pots, tea cups, and many other things related to the Chinese tea ceremony. It’s worth going too just to see the building, as it’s in pristine condition and has lovely architecture.
The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware is open from 10am to 5pm on Wednesday to Monday (closed on Tuesdays). It also has free admission, which is a nice bonus. It’s located on Hong Kong Island so easy to get to by public transportation.
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence – Hong Kong’s museums always seem to have interesting names, and this one is no different.
The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is in a 19th Century fort. Before you even start checking out the exhibits, you must appreciate the building. The architecture is lovely as they’ve used the base 19th century fort building, and then added modern design to it to make it truly unusual. Inside too, don’t 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 also 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 see the boats and buildings across the bay.
The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is open from 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.
Hong Kong Police Museum – Hong Kong is famous for its police force, so I really wanted to see this museum. It’s built on the site of an old police station on The Peak and it shows the history 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, the firearms, all the drug paraphernalia, and the history 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 – (temporarily closed in January 2016 for renovations) When in Hong Kong, you have to see Chinese art and the Hong Kong Museum of Art is the place to see it. There are exhibits of Chinese oil paintings, Chinese antiquities, old photographs, ceramics and more. 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 nice museum bookshop with a great selection of art and design books.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art is located on Kowloon and is open from 10am to 6pm, Friday to Wednesday (closed on Thursdays). At HK$10, it’s a cheap price, especially as it provides several hours of entertainment and education.
Don’t forget too, you can take 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’re looking for a place to entertain the kids for a few hours, and one that has tons 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 tons 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 didn’t go then!) but if you want to save money, this is when to go.
Hong Kong actually has more than 25 large museums and lots of smaller ones, so don’t just check out the ones I mentioned. You can also buy a HK$30 museum pass, which will allow you unlimited access to six Hong Kong museums for a week.
The museums are the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, The Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
You can buy it at all the participating museums or at one of the Hong Kong Tourist offices.