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Hong Kong’s newest museum, on the outskirts of Sha Tin in the New Territories, is by far its best (although the revamped History Museum in Kowloon is also worth a visit). Opened in 2000, the Heritage Museum covers the culture, arts and natural history of Hong Kong and the New Territories. Exciting audio-visual exhibits and a good interactive section for children make for a fun day out.

Architecture and Design

The Heritage Museum building is based on the traditional Chinese si he yuan style, built around a courtyard. The style is still visible in the walled villages of the New Territories

Orientation Theatre

For a brief overview of the museum, visit the Orientation Theatre on the ground floor opposite the ticket office. A short film in English and Cantonese explains the exhibits and the main aims of the museum.

Children’s Discovery Gallery

The brightly colored gallery is a vibrant, fun way to introduce children to local nature and archaeology, and the history of toys. Interactive exhibits and the child-size 3-D models are very popular with young children.

Cantonese Opera Hall

Cantonese opera is an obscure subject. However, the sumptuous costumes, intricate stage sets and snatches of song from the elaborate operas of Guangdong and Guanxi go some way to illustrating the attraction.

Thematic Exhibitions

Five halls on the first and second floors house temporary exhibitions focusing on subjects varying from popular culture, contemporary art and social issues in Hong Kong, to traditional Chinese art and history.

Chao Shaoan Gallery

The delicate ink on scroll paintings of artist and one-time Hong Kong resident Chao Shaoan are known far beyond China. There are dozens of fine examples in the gallery

Courtyard

For fresh air and interesting surroundings, head to the shaded courtyard in the centre of the complex.

New Territories Culture

Large mock-ups of old maritime and village scenes recreate the old days. The growth of the new towns, such as Sha Tin, are also covered.

New Territories History

The rich fauna and flora of the region are exhibited along with 6000-year-old artifacts from the early days of human habitation in Hong Kong.

TT Tsui Gallery

The works of art dating from Neolithic times to the 20th century include porcelain, bronze, jade and stone artifacts, furniture, laquerware and Tibetan religious statues.