On 21 September 2022, we visited the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. As a leading cultural institution, the museum is committed to helping visitors explore Hong Kong’s unique maritime heritage. Through exhibitions, collections, and displays, the museum reveals the maritime history and culture of Hong Kong and China.
Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of Our City since 1945
The most memorable exhibition in the museum was the ‘Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of Our City since 1945’.
The exhibition was presented in five chronological periods with each period representing a significant development starting from post-war Hong Kong to the present. The exhibition described Hong Kong’s miraculous rise from the ashes of WWII and the maritime foundation that was vital in remaking the city. Historical exhibits, such as a real ‘Da Fei’, which is a WWII bomb, were shown.
Learning about the maritime development of Hong Kong through the exhibition taught me about the importance of shipping in our daily lives. I discovered that building the city into a global maritime centre from the rubble of war in such a short period of time was an extraordinary achievement. Hong Kong became the world’s largest container port in less than 20 years after the construction of the city’s first container terminal. These are achievements to be proud of and a legacy to be grateful for. I appreciate and respect the people who worked so hard and endured so many sacrifices to build the Hong Kong that is my home now. My sincerest thank you to them.
The Beauty of Chinese Maritime Heritage
Before visiting the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, it never occurred to me that the naval development of historical China could be so advanced. The museum showcased numerous models of ships from each dynasty in detail. These displays widened my horizons. From a simple wooden boat to a ship carrying hundreds of passengers across the seas, this evolution of ships amazed, intrigued, and fascinated me. It made wonder how the ships could become larger, and larger, and larger, without sinking!
Alongside the advancement of ships, the museum also displayed a number of historical records about naval battles and sea trade. The displays included oil paintings, written shipping records, and china porcelain to be traded around the world. These historical artifacts ignited a passion in me to learn more about Hong Kong’s maritime history. I followed up with some research of my own and learned how the British at that time spread their influence around the world, and as a result, were able to thrive at that era.
All in all, the visit to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum was a delight. Coming into contact with real historical artifacts gave me an appreciation and understanding that cannot be learned through the books at school. It is such a real-life and valuable lesson to truly experience history!
By Fred Lee and Chris Ho (5D)