Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Walled Village: The Sam Tung Uk Museum

On our final full day in Hong Kong we had to make a late start, since we wanted to check in online 24 hours before our 11:45 a.m. Thursday flight. Brian's upgrade still hasn't cleared so we'll have to wait and see what happens at the gate. In the meantime, the weather was much cooler and thought it was about time to visit the New Territories. Frommer's recommended a walled-village museum and off we went to the end of the MTR red line, a 30-minute or more ride.

We'd already learned something about the Hakka ("guest") people, who had settled in this area several hundred years ago, and we learned more during our visit to the museum, a reconstructed walled village. The Hakka people were farmers for many years. After the Chinese revolution (often referred to simply as "1949" in museum displays), there was a large influx of refugees as well as capitalists into this area just across the border from Mainland China.

The area was further developed into what we'd call a "bedroom community" and the Hakka people started working in factories instead of farming before being displaced into other housing as their land was required for high-rise apartments.

The museum is excellent and we spent more than an hour wandering through it. It's been a pleasant bonus for us that Hong Kong is almost as bilingual as Singapore, making museum displays, subway instructions, and street signs very useful.

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