Unsolicited advice: Three museums in Asia you should not miss

Love to learn about your destination? These three museums make it really easy for you. Perfect on a rainy day or to escape the heat, and even kids will enjoy them.

Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Dedicated to the history of Tokyo, in particular during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868. What is now Tokyo gained its regional importance during this time. The signature exhibit is a life-size model of a bridge that once led into the city and there are many 3D models to demonstrate the city’s development over the course of time. An informative audio guide is included in the admission and multimedia exhibits keep even the very impatient entertained. Only caveat: the representation of Japan’s involvement in the wars of the last century may not be to everyone’s liking. But apart from that it is really an excellent museum. Find out more on their website.

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center (what a name!), Shanghai, China. The center has six levels and there is a lot to see. But it is really all about one exhibit here: a large model of Shanghai. We enjoy to discover many architecturally interesting buildings, and to track along which roads we walked the day before with our heavy backpacks, in a steaming heat and with no clue where we were. If your time is limited, head to the model directly. But if you have more time, check out also the rest of the center. There are historical exhibits on the intermediate floors and some funny propaganda in the section about modern and future Shanghai (including a picture entitled “Blue sky and white clouds in Shanghai”). Here is their website in English.

Model of Shanghai

Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong. The best of the three. A full day is not even enough for this one. It starts right at the beginning with how the landscape was formed and takes you up to when Hong Kong was returned to China. You’ll learn about geography, history, high culture and everyday live. There are walk-in models of old shops, traditional houses and boats. There are rooms dedicated to popular culture and movies. There is something for everyone, really. Admission is free on Wednesdays. You can plan your visit here.

Junk in HK Museum of History

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