Are you flying to South East Asia with a stopover in Hong Kong and you have half a day to kill before your next flight? Or, you’ve been to Hong Kong already and seen the major sights, and want something different? Then read this, and keep an eye out for new blog posts on what to do in Hong Kong, and private day trips off the beaten track
Hong Kong Film Archive opened in 2001 and has a collection of several hundred thousand items. In addition to collecting and conserving film prints and artefacts, from an 1898 documentary to the present day, the archive promotes Hong Kong’s film culture. Highlights include “The Soul of China” (1948) found in the UK’s National Film and Television Archive and “The Orphan” (1960) discovered in the Rank Film Laboratories of the UK. There is a 127-seat cinema showing a wide variety of film programmes on both Hong Kong cinema and international cinema and a 200 square metre exhibition hall which shows various temporary exhibitions related to cinema.
LOCATION – 50 Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho
OPENING HOURS – 10am to 8pm (or 15 minutes after last screening) Sunday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve 10am to 5pm. Closed on Thursdays.
Resource Centre – Monday to Wednesday and Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday and public holidays 1pm to 5pm
Exhibition Hall – opens 10am to 8pm but is closed when no exhibition is taking place.
The Hong Kong Racing Museum is owned and operated by The Hong Kong Jockey Club and is dedicated to the history of horse racing in Hong Kong and the Jockey Club’s considerable charitable role in the development of Hong Kong. The museum opened in 1996 within the main stand at Happy Valley Racecourse and has panoramic views over the racecourse. The museum has a four galleries with permanent exhibitions on
1) “The Origin of Our Horses” detailing the origins of horses in northern China and their migration to Hong Kong,
3) “Shaping Sha Tin” illustrates the development of the Jockey Club’s splendid Sha Tin Racecourse which opened in 1978.
LOCATION – 2/F, Happy Valley Stand, Happy Valley.
OPENING HOURS – Tuesdays to Sundays (except the first two days of Lunar New Year) 10am to 5pm (to 7-30pm on Wednesday night meeting days). Closed on Mondays and some public holidays. Souvenir shop opens same hours as museum and until 9-30pm on Wednesdays when night race meetings take place at Happy Valley.
The University Museum and Art Gallery is the oldest in Hong Kong, and houses over one thousand items of Chinese antiquities, mainly ceramics, bronzes and paintings with examples dating from the Neolithic period to the Qing dynasty. The bronze collection includes works from the Shang to the Tang dynasties and the largest collection of Yuan dynasty Nestorian crosses in the world. The Museum also has a number of carvings in jade, wood and stone and a collection of Chinese oil paintings.
LOCATION – The University of Hong Kong, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam.
OPENING HOURS – Monday to Saturday 9-30am to 6pm, Sundays 1pm to 6pm. Tea Gallery open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 2pm to 5pm. Closed on public holidays and university holidays.
The museum is located in Flagstaff House which until 1978 was the former residence of the Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong. This historical building was converted to become the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in 1984. It is the first specialised museum in the world devoted to the collection, study and display of tea ware.
The museum has a Chinese Teahouse serving Chinese tea and tea snacks. The Teahouse also holds demonstrations and the museum has a gift shop selling all kinds of tea vessels, tea leaves, art books and exhibition catalogues.
LOCATION – 10, Cotton Tree Drive, Central (inside Hong Kong Park)
OPENING HOURS – 10am to 5pm Sunday, Monday and Wednesday to Saturday. Closed every Tuesday and Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the first three days of Chinese New Year.
The museum was converted from the 100-year-old Lei Yue Mun Fort and stands on a hill overlooking the eastern approaches to Victoria Harbour with panoramic views. There are two main areas, the Redoubt and the outdoor Historical Trail. The Redoubt was built in 1887 and was regarded as a large-scale fortification of the British Forces. The Historical Trail preserves various military structures including the Ditch, Torpedo Station, Caponiers, Artillery Barracks, Batteries and Underground Magazines.
The permanent exhibition in the Redoubt comprises eleven small galleries illustrating the history of coastal defence in Hong Kong from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), through the Qing Dynasty, Opium War, British Period (1841-1941), Battle for Hong Kong, Japanese Occupation, return to British control and up to the current day. The outdoor Historical Trail follows various historical military structures of the fort including the Central Battery, West Battery, Torpedo Station, Ruined Structure, Gunpowder Factory, Underground Magazine and ditch. From the trail visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Lei Yue Mun Channel and Victoria Harbour.
The museum has a café and gift shop.
LOCATION – 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan
OPENING HOURS – 10am to 5pm Sunday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Lunar New Year.
The Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery is a small branch museum of the Hong Kong Museum of History and opened to the public in 2007. When commissioned in 1953 Hong Kong had previously had only small fireboats and fireboat Alexander Grantham was testimony to the ongoing advances in capabilities and size of the fireboat fleet. The fireboat was renovated on Stonecutters Island immediately after its decommissioning and moved to its present location in Quarry Bay Park to form part of the exhibition in 2006.
LOCATION – Quarry Bay Park, Quarry Bay
OPENING HOURS – 9am to 5pm Sunday, Monday and Wednesday to Saturday. Closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.
The Police Museum is at the renovated Wan Chai Gap Police Station on The Peak. This quiet museum aims to provide the public with a better understanding of the history of the Hong Kong Police Force and the various aspects of its work whilst preserving historic artefacts and facilitating historic research. There are four galleries on two floors. Orientation Gallery describes the general history of the Force through photographs, archives, uniforms, equipment, firearms and other artefacts. The head of the “Sheung Shui Tiger” which was shot in 1915 after killing a policeman is displayed in this gallery. The gallery also contains some rather gruesome photographs of a group of decapitated pirates following their execution after capture from having attacked the ship “Naome” in Mirs Bay. Triad Societies and Narcotics Gallery details the history of local Triad Societies and their activities and displays include ceremonial robes. This gallery also highlights the narcotic problem in Hong Kong through the display of replica drugs, drug smoking and trafficking paraphernalia and an example of a heroin manufacturing laboratory. Heroin Factory – this is a gallery displaying a heroin production site which was dismantled by the Police in 1980s. The seized raw materials, utensils, stoves and packaging tools are used to reconstruct the manufacturing of heroin and enable visitors to learn about the menace of drugs.
LOCATION – 27 Coombe Road, The Peak
OPENING HOURS – Sunday and Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, Tuesday 2pm to 5pm. Closed Monday and public holidays.
Located on the ground floor of the fine colonial building Murray House on Stanley waterfront this is a small but interesting museum divided into two galleries, Ancient and Modern. The Ancient Gallery shows how the fortunes of Chinese shipping rose and fell in ancient and dynastic times and also illustrates how China’s overseas neighbours and Western trading nations shaped the maritime history of Asia and beyond. The gallery has some impressive replica boats and pottery models. The Modern Gallery explores the evolution of Hong Kong as a major international port and the influence of Chinese entrepreneurship.
LOCATION – Ground Floor, Murray House, Stanley
OPENING HOURS – Sunday and Tuesday to Saturday and public holidays 10am to 6pm. Closed Mondays and the first two days of Lunar New Year.
Law Uk (the Law House) is a 200-year old Hakka village house named after the original owner, Law. Law Uk village was founded by in the early eighteenth century by migrant Hakkas from the San On County of Guangdong (today’s Shenzhen). It was one of six Hakka villages established in Chai Wan by the same group of migrants, the village being originally close to the sea with sampan as the main form of transport and the villagers mainly engaged in farming. The house is about 120 sq metres in area with a central main hall which opens to a light well and is flanked by lofted bedrooms, storeroom and kitchen. There is a display of traditional village furniture and farm tools.
LOCATION – 14 Kut Shing Street, Chai Wan
OPENING HOURS – Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm.
Sunday and public holidays 1pm to 6pm. On Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve the museum closes at 5pm. Closed on Thursdays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (26 December), New Year’s Day (1 January) and the first three days of Chinese New Year.
The museum is housed in a fine renovated three-storey Edwardian building which originally accommodated the Old Bacteriological Institute, founded in 1906, which later became the Pathological Institute. The museum displays the history of both Traditional Chinese and Western medicine and the development of medical and health sciences in Hong Kong through eleven exhibition galleries displaying equipment, instruments, objects, specimens, reconstructions and information boards.
The museum also has a lecture room named after Professor Gordon King, Head of Department of Obstetrical and Gynaecological Services in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1956 which has a small exhibition of photos and gynaelogical instruments and a herbal garden showing the medical properties of different herbs.
Visitors should note that some of the information displays in some of the galleries are in Chinese only.
LOCATION – 2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels.
OPENING HOURS – Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Sundays and public holidays 1pm to 5pm. Christmas Eve and Lunar New Year’s Eve open 10am to 3pm. Closed Mondays and Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the first three days of Lunar New Year.