Top 7 Quirky Museums to Check Out in Hong Kong
Think Hong Kong’s a cultural desert? Think again. Beyond those on the city’s history and science developments, we have some of the quirkiest and most unique museums around. Get your dose of Hong Kong’s unique culture and history here.
Museum of Coastal Defence
Courtesy of LCSD Hong Kong
The fact that the Museum of Coastal Defence is situated on the picturesque Lei Yue Mun channel is no coincidence: it takes up the site that was formerly used as a fort by the British military in the late 1880s. The museum tells the story of 600 years of coastal defence from the Ming Dynasty all the way through to the present day, with features like a fortress that comprises barracks, rooms for ammunition and artillery, as well as bunkers. Maritime geeks, assemble!
175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan, 2569 1500
Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
Find your inner Lara Croft at Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, which features an ancient tomb believed to have been built during the Eastern Han dynasty between AD 25-220. The site, located in Sham Shui Po, was discovered in 1955 when resettlement buildings accommodating housing needs were being constructed. Some 58 artifacts were found in the tomb, although strangely enough, no remains were actually in there, although that doesn’t make the experience any less eerie. The tomb itself isn’t actually open to the public, although you can glance at it in all its glory through a glass panel.
41 Tonkin Street, Sham Shui Po, 2386 2863
Located on the Peak, the Police Museum houses artifacts that date back to the force’s early days during the colonial period. Among the items on display, the Sheung Shui tiger is particularly worth checking out: the taxidermied animal was shot after it unfortunately mauled an officer to death in 1915. Love Hong Kong’s triad movies? The museum has a gallery dedicated to the history of triads in Hong Kong, with replicas of shrines used by members to conduct rituals.
27 Coombe Road, The Peak, 2849 7019
Museum of Medical Sciences
From the outlook of the Edwardian building just by the fashionable PoHo neighbourhood, you’d never guess this houses a fascinating collection of exhibits on medical developments in the city. Here you’ll find relics from yesteryear – like rat bins used during the bubonic plague and X-rays of bound feet – and even a model of cowpox vaccine being administered.
2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels, 2549 5123
Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware
Any avid tea drinkers in the house? Taking up a building constructed in 1846, Flagstaff House at Hong Kong Park used to be the residence of the Commander of the British forces. These days it’s home to the Museum of Teaware, boasting a collection of ceramics and china that includes the world’s oldest extant teapot.
10 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, 2869 0690
Correctional Services Museum
Near maximum security Stanley Prison, you’ll find the Correctional Services Museum. The museum comes complete with mock cells for those curious about what prison life is like. For those with a taste for things truly morbid, old equipments for corporal punishments and flogging are among the exhibits.
45 Tung Tau Wan Road, Stanley, 2147 3199
Alexander Grantham Fireboat
If you’ve ever been on a boat trip past the eastern shores of Hong Kong Island, you might notice a large vessel that’s on display at Quarry Bay Park. Named after a former governor of Hong Kong, the Alexander Grantham is a retired fireboat that served the Fire Services Department for almost 50 years, until 2002. It’s now an exhibition gallery that educates on the history of the firefighting in the city, as well as on the boat itself.
Quarry Bay Park, Quarry Bay, 2367 7821
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.