The start of April marks the end of the annual Arts Month of Hong Kong. After all those featured exhibitions and festivals, does Hong Kong offer citizens any other means to appreciate arts? Visiting museums in the eyes of general Hong Kong people can be regarded as a mere educational activity but it is actually more than that.
In 2017, Hong Kong broke a record of 6.9 million in the number of visitors to Hong Kong’s museums. The number is more than double of that in 2016, indicating more than a doubled number of people are visiting Hong Kong’s museums in that year. Speaking of the most popular exhibition last year: “Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt”, there have been over 850,000 people visiting Science Museum during the exhibition period from June to October 2017
Behind such dramatic a rise of museum visitors lies the change in policies regarding the admission of museums in Hong Kong. Starting from Aug 2016, designated museums under the Leisure and Cultural Department has offered free admission to permanent exhibitions. They are the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence and the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. Some other museums such as Hong Kong Science Museums has also lowered their ticket price.
Ms Haskins, a retired Hong Kong residents who lives in Tsim Sha Tsui has a more than welcome response to such arrangement. “Even if I am not planning to visit a museum when I encounter it in the city, I am very much likely to enter it out of curiosity and the free admission,” said Haskins.
Apart from the few well-known museums run by the government, there are still some museums, with less public attention drawn, that are all very worthwhile for visiting in terms of their uniqueness.
1. Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
2. Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
3. Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre
4. City Gallery
Not only are these museums special, they are also free and open to the public. Even the National Geographic has suggested their readers to give free museums in Hong Kong a try. Let us all make very good use of these resources to learn with fun.