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5 Niche Museums to Visit in Hong Kong

Sam the Local

Hong Kong’s hefty museum collection may come as a bit of a surprise – if you were to visit one museum per day, it would take a whopping seven and a half weeks to tick off all 53! Luckily for us, Sam the Local resident tour guide Danny has done all the legwork for us to create this roundup of the top five niche museums in our bustling city. And with the majority of them offering free admission, there’s no excuse not to visit!

Off the top of your head, how many of Hong Kong’s museums can you name? If you’re familiar with the city you might say Space, History, Science, Art, and Heritage. Okay, that’s just five museums, which is a long way off the grand total. Don’t panic though, I’ve rounded up the top five niche museums and suggested the type of person who may like them the most. Enjoy!


1. Bruce Lee : Kung Fu – Art – Life

Bruce Lee
My childhood hero! Credit: Hong Kong Heritage Museum

An exhibit at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Bruce Lee: Kung Fu – Art – Life is a comprehensive study of the life of the Legendary Dragon. Open until July 2018, the exhibit follows Lee’s footsteps from his days as a schoolboy in Hong Kong to his untimely death as a global superstar. Be prepared to spend hours poring over the amazing collection of over 800+ pieces of artifacts, from the handwritten poems of his university days to the famous yellow and black tracksuit worn in Game of Death. The jewel of the crown is a fascinating 75-minute documentary about Lee’s life, as told by his closest friends and loved ones (check the schedule on their website). The film also features rare footage of Lee’s performances as a child actor. This is a great way to spend two hours of your afternoon.

Where: 1 Man Lam Rd, Sha Tin
How much: Free
Who would enjoy this? Martial art buffs, Bruce Lee fans (that’s everyone), fans of biographies/well-made documentaries, cinematic history fans, and fans of cha cha (Bruce Lee was, after all, a cha cha champion)
How long will this take? 2 hours
Click here for more information


2. Hong Kong Railway Museum

Railway Museum
Tai Po Train Station as it stood in 1913. Credit: Flickr

Step inside the Hong Kong Railway Museum and you’ll instantly be transported back to 1910 to see the Tai Po train station as it once stood. Those interested in history will be keen to visit the restored ticketing station. Want to relax? Grab a date (or a good book) and spend the afternoon hopping between six vintage trains from five different time periods (10s, 20s, 50s, 60s, and 70s). Aside from the carriages, you can also appreciate the two gorgeous restored period locomotives on display. There’s something for everyone in the Hong Kong Railway Museum.

Where: 13 Shung Tak Street, Tai Po Market, Tai Po
How much:
Free
Who would enjoy this?
Train enthusiasts, history buffs, kids, parents, photographers, and budget-minded individuals on the hunt for a date venue
How long will this take? 1 hour
Click here for more information


3. Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibit

Fireboat
In all it’s heroic glory!

Firefighting is cool whether you’re eight years old or 80. Experience a day in the life of an actual firefighter at sea by stepping aboard the once flagship fireboat of Hong Kong: the Alexander Grantham. Decommissioned in 2002, Fireboat Alexander Grantham served and protected Hong Kong for 49 years before being converted into a public museum. The fireboat has a distinguished history, including battling the famous (and controversial) fire of Seawise University in 1972. Take an hour to tour the firefighter’s quarters, appreciate the ship’s bridge, and pose for pictures on the deck with the water cannons. Come say hello to an old Hong Kong icon as it stands hoisted, overlooking the water that it once protected.

Where: Quarry Bay Park
How much:
Free
Who would enjoy this?
 Kids, history buffs, boat enthusiasts & firefighting enthusiasts
How long will this take? 1 hour
Click here for more information


4. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority Museum

Monetary Museum
This photo doesn’t do the view justice!

Money is something everyone uses, but very few actually understand its role in society. The HKMA museum celebrates Hong Kong through the point of view of finance and currency. You’ll find everything from old currencies to a historical timeline detailing Hong Kong’s relationship with money. I recommend the 30-minute tour that runs twice a day at 10.30am and 2.30pm. For those who have a fear of heights, I strongly advise approaching the exhibits slowly. The museum is located on the 55th floor of the IFC Two, with large floor-to-ceiling windows offering the gorgeous panoramic view of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbor. Take an hour break from your shopping in Central and treat yourself to a breathtaking view and a valuable lesson about money’s role in society.

Where: Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central
How much:
Free
Who would enjoy this?
 History buffs, finance enthusiasts, fans of The Dark Knight (Batman jumps from this tower), and fans of a spectacular view
How long will this take? 1 hour
Click here for more information


5. Dialogue in the Dark

Dialogue in the Dark
This place really is a gem! Credit: Flickr

Dialogue in the Dark is a mind-opening experience which I just can’t recommend enough. Its flagship tour, which is also called Dialogue in the Dark, is approximately 75 minutes long and introduces you into the world of blindness. A guide will hand you a walking cane and take you into the dark to experience first-hand what it’s like to live as a blind person. You’ll be taught to use your hands and ears to paint a vivid mental picture of the world around you. As your senses sharpen, the feeling of helplessness will be replaced by a childlike sense of wonder. I will avoid going into detail so I don’t spoil the experience for you. What I can say is that you’ll conquer darkness while also developing a new profound sense of appreciation for humanity. For me, Dialogue in the Dark is the ultimate museum experience.

Where: Shop 215, 2/F, Nob Hill Square, 8 King Lai Path, Mei Foo, Kowloon
How much:
$80 (Tuesday to Friday), $90 (weekends and public holidays)
Who would enjoy this?
 
Everyone!
How long will this take? 2 hours
Click here for more information


Read more! Explore the rest of our Art & Culture section, and check out these 20 Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in Hong Kong.

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