Exploring Hong Kong: HK Space Museum, Avenue of Stars, Mong Kok

After brunch and some 30 minutes of rest in the apartment, we made our way to the museums fronting the harbor. The original plan was to hit the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Space Museum (the Space Museum at my friend Eric’s recommendation). Unfortunately, I failed to note that the Museum of Art is closed on Thursdays >_<. We explored the Space Museum instead and scheduled the Museum of Art for Sunday morning.

The Space Museum is composed of the Stanley Ho Space Theater, two exhibition halls (the Hall of Space Science, and the Hall of Astronomy), a lecture hall, gift shop, and offices. Standard entrance fee for the exhibition halls is HK$10, with HK$5 concession fee (full-time students and senior citizens). Please note that the student’s concession fee also applies to graduate students (YAAAY!!!), just bring your valid ID 😀 If you plan on visiting other museums during your stay, get the HK$30 Museum Pass that gives you one week of unlimited access to the Hong Kong Space Museum (except the Stanley Ho Space Theater), Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum. Students can purchase the HK$25 half-year Museum Pass.

The Stanley Ho Space Theater has a hemispherical projection dome (23 meters diameter) with the first OMNIMAX film projector in the eastern hemisphere. Most of the shows are narrated in Cantonese but the Museum supplies headsets for English, Japanese, and Putonghua narration. We watched “Astromyths” – a film about the constellations and their ties to mythology. The film focused more on the fantastic astronomical objects – such as black holes, red giants, and white dwarfs – that make up the constellations rather than the myths themselves. As expected, they sanitized the myths for the kiddies. Case in point: they never mentioned why Cassiopeia is upside down or why Andromeda was set up as a sacrifice in the first place. Watching something like “Astromyths” in an OMNIMAX theater was surreal. As the “stars” were projected onto a hemispherical dome, it really felt like you were hurtling towards one star after another. The seats were pretty comfortable too. My only nitpick would be that the headsets weren’t soundproof. I had bump the headset’s volume to maximum just to drown out the Cantonese audio. Tickets for the Space Theater are HK$32 (standard) and HK$16 (concession).

After the museum, we walked along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade in search for the Avenue of Stars. The Avenue of Stars is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame and serves to pay tribute to Hong Kong’s film industry. Aids, being the director and artist that he is, is the film addict between the two of us. We both had a lot of fun taking photos and posing with the stars of people we like, including Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Yuen Wo Ping, Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh (<3), and Wong Kar-wai. It broke Aids’ heart to see Wong Kar-wai’s star virtually ignored while all the other tourists were having their photos taken with Bruce Lee’s statue. While walking along the promenade, we were lucky enough to see “Duk Ling”, a restored Chinese junk, make her way around Victoria Harbor. The contrast between the old and the new is Hong Kong in a nutshell.

From the Avenue of Stars, we walked up Chatham Road South before turning right to Cameron Road, then another turn to Cameron Lane: the (soon to be moved) home of the main branch of Tom Lee Music. This branch of Tom Lee is the biggest freaking music store in Southeast Asia: four glorious floors of nothing but music gear. And Aids being the passionate musician that he is, felt his head explode at the racks and racks and racks of guitars on display. Playing the supportive girlfriend, I just sat down on one of the stools and watched him run around like a kid in a candy store 😛 I did look for a Superman guitar strap after seeing displays of Avengers, Captain America, and Wolverine straps but no luck.

We walked back down to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR to take the MTR one stop north to Jordan. No, we couldn’t have walked it because our feet were hurting by this time. Wonder of wonders: we ended up having dinner in McDonald’s 😛 After dinner, it was on to Temple Street and its famous night market. This was when we realized we could have just waited a bit and had dinner in Temple Street instead. We walked through the market but didn’t find anything we particularly wanted. We walked up to the nearby Tin Hau temple before going to the Broadway Cinematheque arts cinema. Strangely enough, the Tin Hau temple made me feel like I was back in Manila. I credit this to the numerous stalls just outside the temple selling sex toys and stuffed briefs (?!), much like the faith healers hawking “herbal cures” outside the Quiapo church.  The Broadway Cinematheque is one of the three venues for the 8th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival running from October 18 to November 18. Unfortunately, the screening times didn’t match with our itinerary 🙁

Because we couldn’t take any more walking, we caught the MTR at Yau Ma Tei station to go to Mong Kok. The Ladies’ Market in Tung Choi Street is a must for any first-time visitor to Hong Kong. Aside from the obvious shopping to be done, it’s a great way see Hong Kong at night. Just be aware that the salesladies may get pushy to borderline harassing you. If that happens, just walk away. I ended up getting a gray cotton jacket-type thing (I have no idea what it’s official name is) and souvenir magnets. Did I mention the abundance of slutty outfits for Halloween? I daresay that every slutty stereotype was present, from the skanky schoolgirl to naughty nurse to dirty cop. There were some things for guys too: g-strings with various animal motifs where, for example, the guy stuffs his junk into an elephant’s trunk. I found them more hilarious than sexy 😛

We eventually made it back to Tsim Sha Tsui and climbed up the 6 flights of stairs to the apartment. Hooray for hot showers and soft beds! The next day’s agenda: Ocean Park! 😀


Hong Kong Space Museum

Opening hours:
Mon, Wed – Fri : 1pm – 9pm;
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays : 10am – 9pm
Closed Tue (except Public Holidays), first 2 days of Chinese New Year
Address: 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2721 0226 (General Inquiry)

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