Museums, architecture, sneaking into buildings- oh my! / by Jessica Lee

Today's goal was set high: Six museums in six hours.

Guess how many museums I ended up visiting in the end? Well, you'll have to read to find out...

But first! Brunch at Simply Life, which is a restaurant chain here in HK.

I had the Eggs Marine, which is an Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon.

To be honest, it wasn't that great. The wait for the food was long (half an hour), the food was barely warm by the time it got here and it just didn't taste as good as the Eggs Benedicts I've had back in Toronto.

The mocha was done right, however.

And this is from their bakery section, which I am hoping to try next time I go:

The first museum I went to was the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Museum. Getting there was quite an adventure. You have to take these escalators/movators (there were about four or five -maybe more- of them and they were really long) otherwise you'd have to walk up a huge hill.

See? Isn't this cool? You kind of have to imagine the rest of it because my camera lens is only so wide- but trust me, it was a huge escalator. I am quite amazed at how HK has been built/planned- I know this picture doesn't show it, but the escalators just kept going and going- and in different angles too. It reminded me of a ski lift.

This is the start of another escalator. Look how everything fits inside this narrow street!

It took a while, but I finally got to the street the museum was on.

Here is a picture looking downhill. I bet this would be a fun hill to toboggan down- if it ever snowed in HK.

The first museum was basically a biography of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's life. He is pretty important to China by the way because he brought democracy to the nation by helping overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Not only is his face featured in stamps and in currency in Asia, there is even a statue of him in our very own Toronto (Riverdale Park)!

Museum #2, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, was a huge disappointment. It took a walk across town to get to (half an hour) and up another hill through a forest- and the kicker: when I got there, the museum was under renovations so there was only one installation for me to see.

But not all was lost. It was a lovely walk through the forest/park. It was VERY well designed. In fact, the park won an award for integrating urban structures with nature way back when. There was an aviary (a huge bird cage), a children's park, a garden and a look-out point.

I had to add this in. These are middle school students on a field trip posing for a photo. I thought it was a cute pose.

I also visited the Bank of China building.

The tourism board of HK doesn't advertise it, but you can get a free view of HK on the 43rd floor. You just have to show your passport. Some views...

It goes from floor one to 43. (And yes, that is me in the background)

Also worth mentioning is that you can get into the building beside the Bank of China without any security clearance. I think it was the fact that I smiled at the guard and he thought I knew what I was doing- I didn't. I thought I was going into the Bank of China building but it turns out I was lost and I was in an all together different building.

Here is a photo I shot in the mysterious building. It is an office building obviously, and it is quite nice.

By the time I was done looking at the views and getting lost, it was already close to 4 pm and many of the museums closed at 6 pm.

I wasted no time and got a cab. And took a ferry across to the Kowloon side of HK.

Once on the other side, I went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art and learned about how Chinese painters imitated Western painters' techniques- called export paintings. Most of the exhibit was about how the Chinese painters were inadequate compared to the Western painters (according to the description beside it) - and there were always two paintings of similar scenes- one by a Chinese painter and one by a Western painter. It was kind of sad- except in today's art/design scene, I think HK is doing so much better in terms of architecture (will post pictures as proof in an upcoming blogpost) than any "Western" city I can think of.

Another cool thing in the HK Museum of Art was the origami section.

I used to be really into folding origami.

There were instructions and I ended up making this phoenix.

It was hilarious during the folding part because everyone was so confused and frustrated. I shared a laugh with the guy beside me.

This is the pile of discards:

And here are the instructions if you want to make a phoenix too!

Last but not least, I went to the Space Museum!

This was fun because it reminded me of when I went to summer camp at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. One summer, we got to do the Challenger program, which is a simulated space flight. Everyone was given a specific job and your job affected whether the mission was a fail or a success. I was the announcer and controlled the cameras. I was basically Big Brother. Muahahaha!

Anyway- at the Space Museum, I went on a rocket pack simulator, and it was discovered that I don't quite yet have the coordination to fly my own rocket pack. (I wasn't as bad as some of the people before me though, so that made me feel better.)

I also got to simulate being on the moon. After looking like a clown in front of an audience, I have since decided that I like Earth's gravitational pull quite a bit.

Here's a (blurry) photo of me in the simulator:

I'm not quite sure yet what I'm doing tomorrow. But I know what I am going to do now. It's been a long day. I'm pooped! Good night, I'll see you in the morning!