Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence explains who Hong Kong has needed protection from, when it is needed it and the location of the museum itself explains the why. The museum, a historical fort located at the eastern approach to Victoria Harbour, helps visitors see the vulnerability of the city. It is also absolutely beautiful with views out of the harbour to the South China Sea. There are both indoor and outdoor displays to take advantage of the location. The Fort was built by the British in 1887 and many of the original structures have been maintained.
Children love to run in and out of the Battery’s and Magazine’s discovering all of the tanks and torpedoes on display. Although no climbing on the tanks or artillery is allowed, playing hide and seek is almost encouraged by design. Outside the landscape is so open it never seems to get crowded which makes children easy to track even when allowed to roam freely. My most recent visit there was a class trip there and I hardly noticed them once we got outside.
Inside there are exhibits on “600 years of Hog Kong’s Coastal Defence.” Each room has a different times period and explains in all different ways how and why Hong Kong was defending itself: uniforms, weaponry, leaders and treaty. On the upper level of the museum is a movie explaining Hong Kong’s Defence, “Defending the Seaboard.” To be honest my children have never been able to sit through the whole 12-minute movie but it is offered in three languages, Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
There is also a children’s book area and a place to draw and post your images of the museum, as well as some photo taking spaces. All of these spaces provide comfortable seating and a beautiful large windows looking at the views – so civilized!
Most of all, this museum is about playing outside among the weaponry. The inside exhibits set the stage perfectly for understanding the drama that occurred on the coastline. Then to be able to play in those structures makes all of the learning come alive.
Details: Museum Of Coastal Defnce, 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong. Closed on Thursdays, March – September 10am-6pm, October – February, 10am – 5pm. Admission: $10 adult, $5 concessionary. Http://hk.coastaldefence.museum