Hong Kong museum lineup

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong has a vast array of museums memoralizing every facet of its history and arts.

A convenient -- and cost-effective -- way for visitors to take in Hong Kong's museum scene is to purchase a $10 Museum Pass that entitles users to unlimited rides aboard a museum shuttle and access to five museums along a circular route in Kowloon and the New Territories.

The shuttle ride includes taped commentary about the museums on the tour and about the sights along the route.

The pass is good for one month from the date of purchase.

The shuttle operates Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Riders can board the shuttle from the Kowloon Hotel or from any of the five participating museums -- the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum.

The following are brief descriptions of the participating museums:

  • The Hong Kong Heritage Museum, which opened last December at a cost of $108 million, features exhibits of Chinese art, antiquities and folk art.
  • Construction on the museum began in 1996, one year before the British handover. The facility houses its exhibits in a five-story building constructed according to traditional Chinese courtyard design, including a central open space, Chinese roofs and corridors linking all exhibition galleries.

    Among the permanent displays are: the New Territories Heritage Hall housing an exhibit on the 6,000-year-old history of the inland area that borders mainland China; the T.T. Tsui Gallery of fine and decorative Chinese arts, with dynastic pottery and ancient bronzes, and the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall, a shed theater setting with costumes, makeup and memorabilia depicting Cantonese Opera.

  • The Hong Kong Museum of Art, on Kowloon's Tsimshatsu waterfront, displays hundreds of oil paintings, drawings, etchings and lithographs of old Hong Kong.
  • Of the museum's seven exhibition galleries, four display Chinese antiquities, fine art, historical pictures and contemporary Hong Kong art.

    One of the galleries features the famous Xub-aizhai collection of Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

    The museum also hosts traveling exhibitions from around the world.

  • The Hong Kong Museum of History, in new quarters at 100 Chatham Road South in Kowloon, next to the Hong Kong Science Museum, will open a permanent exhibition hall outlining 6,000 years of Hong Kong history later this year.
  • The museum's 86,000 square feet of gallery space includes a lobby featuring exhibits on the Opium War.

  • The 292,000-square-foot Hong Kong Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui East is a "living" museum, with more than 500 science-related exhibits, 60% of which are interactive.
  • The exhibits cover major areas of science and technology, including robotics and transportation (there's an exhibit of an early Cathay Pacific DC-3).

  • The 15,000-square-foot Hong Kong Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui offers the Hall of Astronomy, the Hall of Space Science and the Space Theater.
  • The Space Theater features a star projector that displays as many as 9,000 stars on to a 75-foot dome screen as well as a 360-degree projection screen that plays documentaries on such natural wonders as the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon.

    For more information on Hong Kong and its cultural offerings, call (800) 282-4582 or visit www.hkta.org.

    JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI