Monday, February 24, 2014

Hong Kong Part 3: History Museum and The Peak

Before going to Hong Kong I asked a Hong Kong friend of mine where I should visit to learn a little bit more about Hong Kong's past, she recommended the Hong Kong History museum. I went there thinking that it'd only be a short trip because I was expecting the museum to be boring! But I was totally blown away by this museum! Yes, the part about the dinosaurs and rocks and geological discovery almost had me turning back and running out the door, but that was but a small part, and I skipped it. 

Hong Kong has a rich history. It was fun to see what Hong Kong was like before the British came, during the British colonization, during the Japanese cruel take over in WWII, and different periods after that. I enjoyed learning about the lifestyle of Hong Kong people in the 80s and 90s, like seeing what movies they watched and which celebrities were famous then (I learned everything about Hong Kong through Hong Kong movies and dramas!). In the end, we spent about 3 hours in the museum! 

I've always imagined what it was like to be one of my ancestors, and in this museum, I get a glimpse of their lives. I feel connected to them by learning about how they lived, what their houses looked like, what they did for entertainment, and so on. I've never felt this way in other museums before, even the ones about Malaysia's past. I took a ton of pictures of the exhibits in this museum, but there are too many to share, so I only picked a few for this post. But I highly recommend this museum if you ever visit Hong Kong. 

To see the view of Hong Kong at night time, skip ahead to next section about Victoria Peak. 

traditional chinese dresses

Mr. L boarding a Chinese junk

some people in Hong Kong lived on the junk (a boat) in the past 
drying the salted fish
rich people's house back then, where a few generations of one family live under the same roof.

dinner table

Chinese wedding procession

wishing tree where people write their wishes, tie it to an orange, and throw onto the tree branches. this was a fake one. 

chinese gods they worshipped

Cantonese opera 

lion dance

a festival in Cheung Chau. people have to climb these bun pillars to the very top.

buns on the bun pillars

a common farmer's house

a humble kitchen where they make tofu

a bedroom with a bassinet hanging from the ceiling

Ling Ze Xu, an important figure during the Opium war in China

grocery stores back then

wine and medicine bottles


Victoria Peak, another tourist spot, another crowded place. We went there at night because we wanted to get the night view of the city. It was pretty smooth-sailing getting there. You have to take a tram up to the observation deck, and it was expensive in my opinion. Oh well, what to do? The tram ride up to the observation deck was on an incline, so it was fun seeing all the big buildings next to us at a 45 degree angle. After we got off the tram, we had to go up to the observation deck which was at the top floor of a shopping mall. The view was spectacular. I loved it. The concrete jungle has its beauty after all. 

Going back to Hong Kong was a different story, however. It was horrible! We waited for probably over an hour just to get on the bus going down to Hong Kong. The crowd was crazy and there weren't many taxis at that time (we tried waving a few down but they were all full of people). Fortunately, Liam fell asleep in his stroller while we were waiting for the bus. Each time a double decker bus came, it was immediately packed with people. There were even people standing right next to the door. 

On the way back to the hotel, we were a little unsure of where to get off! I was praying that we'd be able to get off at the right stop because I seriously did not want to wander around on some strange neighborhood not knowing if there'd be a taxi passing by! We totally got off the bus on a hunch and it was the right one!! Yay! Praise the Lord! ...and never again, no more going to Hong Kong during CNY!!! 

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