Monday 11 August 2008

Time for a bit of culture

After lunch we fought our way through the touts offering "copy bag, copy watch" or "gentlemen tailor sir?" and headed to a tailor who had been recommended on Batgung, our favourite site about daily life here. Danny's Fashion Shoppe is pretty well hidden, but I think he gets a lot of business on recommendation. I'll let you know how the shirts turn out, watch this space.

Hong Kong Museum of History was our chosen cultural destination this weekend. As we walked in we spotted the Hong Kong Observatory's temporary exhibition - 'Weathering the Storms for 125 Years' which was all about how the observatory was set up, how their techniques have improved and how invaluable their observations have been to both the shipping and aviation communities. It was very interesting actually, and had some details about Typhoons Mary and Alice, as well as the old-school typhoon warnings, big metal jobbies that were hoisted by jolly brave people in terrible conditions.Here's an idea of how devastating Mary was, in particular. You might have to zoom in...the columns are no. of deaths, no. of injuries, and no. of missing.

The museum also has a very large section on the history of Hong Kong (no big surprises there) - I'd recommend skipping through the geological bits and moving straight on to the later parts which tell the story of Hong Kong developing from a handful of fishing villages into an entrepot for global trade in a remarkably short time. There are also some interesting exhibits on folk culture, as well as the Japanese occupation and of course the Handover.

We ran out of time to see everything, but I think it's well worth revisiting.

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