Hong Kong, a metropolis of 7 million people is one of the most densely populated places in the world but it wasn’t always like this 400 million years ago when the lands were formed Hong Kong lay under a cover of shallow water. The earth’s crust rose when the volcanoes erupted forming the hilly, mountainous terrain that is now Hong Kong. In fact only 25% of the land is built on due to the terrain. As the land formed rocks and other small specimens fossilized, that were once covered by water Emerging from a narrow tunnel we moved into a forest with trees rising 18 metres high, the place was dark, birds chirping, the roar of a tiger could be heard, the growl of a bear. Did these animals really excist in Hong Kong? I thought putting people’s lives in Jeopardy from these dangerous animals.
Well of course they did but not now ,they have been killed or died hundreds of years ago. I just happen to be standing in the second gallery of Hong Kong’s Museum of History, established in 1975. A great museum that only gets better as you progress through its history from the formation of its land to the handover of Hong Kong back to China.
When you visit the museum make sure you give yourself plenty of time to cover the 17,500 sqm to take in Hong Kong’s broad and dynamic history. Culture plays a big part in the museum with a life size replica of a fishing junk, showing the lifestyle of the fisherman in Hong Kong. The wedding ceremony where the bride is carried around in a cart pulled by people to the huge opera masks and then the housings of Hakka peasants family dwelling, with its sparseness of furniture reflecting the Hakka people’s frugal lifestyle.
The next few galleries are the most important historically to Hong Kong covering the Opium wars where Hong Kong and England went to war ending with the signing of the lease to England. The Japanese occupation during the second world war with the gallery designed as an air raid shelter in order to conjure up the atmosphere of war. It took Japan only 18 days of fighting before Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day in 1941.
The last gallery covers the rapid advances in housing industry, finance and trade reconstruction of Hong Kong’s post war and bringing the story to a close with the handover ceremony marking the return of sovereignty to China. The museum is a must see worthy of at least 2 hours. You should visit early in your vacation to Hong Kong to get a better understanding of the country.
Opening hours Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday and holidays 10am-7pm
Admission HK $10 Adults HK $5 Children Free Admission Wednesday
Location The museum is opposite the Science Museum, a 10 minute walk from Tsim Tsui