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Hong Kong’s hefty museum collection may come as a bit of a surprise, even to those who regularly visit established landmarks like the Hong Kong Space Museum or the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Even if you were to visit one museum per day, it would take seven-and-a-half weeks to tick off all 53! If you have trawled through most of the major ones, you might be interested to know that Hong Kong has some pretty specialised exhibits as well. Here are five niche museums in Hong Kong to visit—and with the majority of them offering free admission, there’s no excuse!
Looking to dive into a little bit of Hong Kong anthropological history? Look no further than Sam Tung Uk, a 200-year-old Hakka walled village that was revitalised as the Sam Tung Uk Museum and opened to the public in 1987. Operating as a display and resource centre to tell stories of how Hakka villagers used to live in the past, the beautifully restored architectural structure features a symmetrical, chessboard-like layout, an ancestral hall, and individual houses. Have a nosey around the exhibition area and marvel at the everyday objects, furniture, and agricultural implements that the old residents of Sam Tung Uk would have used in their day.
Sam Tung Uk Museum, 2 Kwu Uk Lane, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 2411 2001
Step inside the Hong Kong Railway Museum and you will 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 across the twentieth century. 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.
Hong Kong Railway Museum, 13 Shung Tak Street, Tai Po Market, Tai Po | (+852) 2653 3455
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. It 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.
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery, Quarry Bay Park, Hoi Tai Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2367 7821
Money is something everyone uses, but very few actually understand its role in society. The HKMA Information Centre celebrates Hong Kong from 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. The HKMA Information Centre is located on a high floor of Two IFC, with large floor-to-ceiling windows offering the gorgeous panoramic view of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbor. Take an hour-long break from your shopping in Central and treat yourself to a breath-taking view and a valuable lesson about money’s role in society.
HKMA Information Centre, 55/F, Two IFC, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2878 1111
Dialogue in the Dark is a mind-opening experience that we cannot recommend enough. Its flagship tour is over an hour long and introduces you to 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 child-like sense of wonder. What we can say is that you’ll conquer darkness while also developing a new, profound sense of appreciation for humanity—it’s the ultimate museum experience.
Dialogue in the Dark, Unit B, 7/F, D2 Place One, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Cheung Sha Wan | (+852) 2310 0833