Let’s begin with a puzzle in keeping with the spirit of the Hong Kong Science Museum, where it is not about merely viewing the models enclosed in glass cases; the exhibits prompt your action and attention. The museum provides an awesome experience with each exhibit inviting some sort of action from your side – press this button, hook this up, move this, speak, touch the screen, solve this, guess, sing, hit …….. anything but stare and go !!
On the first floor, the first exhibit is the current pride of Hong Kong – the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge – the longest bridge cum tunnel sea crossing in the world. To put things in perspective, it is 25 times the length of the current Tsing Ma Bridge on the way to the airport.
There is also a souvenir shop on the first floor, from where we bought a 3D wooden puzzle for the kid. Why keep souvenir shopping to the last?
The second floor has a Telecommunications Gallery and an Automobile Technology Gallery, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, which has detailed exhibits showcasing the working of internal combustion engines to cross-section of a steering wheel. And here we met SOPHIE.
SOPHIE is a cool acronym and she is a solar powered car developed by the HK Institute of Vocational Engineering.
If automobiles were the inventions of today, the museum will not be complete without the inventions of the past – ships. There is only one on display – Zheng He’s Treasure Ship; the Maritime Museum in Central will probably have the full history and a magnificent display. But this is not a mere showpiece. It comes with a series of questions like – Examine the battens fixed on the sail. Do you know the functions?
First, what are battens; it’s the horizontal bars on the sails. They are distinctive to the Chinese boats or junks as they are called. The horizontal split-bamboo battens ensure an effective shape to the sail. The battened sail can also be hauled up and down like Venetian blinds, so simple that fewer sailors are required to control the sail and as many or as few battens can be exposed as wished. As I read in a book, closer to home, Admiral Zheng sailed to the port city of Calicut in Kerala in huge junk boats, several times to trade in pepper and other spices.
There are also puzzles and games to keep both kids and adults engaged. By the way, any luck with the initial Shifting Squares puzzle?
The third floor is completely devoted to the kids. The ground floor had the special exhibition – Above and Beyond, focussing on flying and space.
One of the attractions was a flying experience simulation with motion sensing image capture that gives you a sense of flying like a bird in a flock, while exploring the forces of flight. Four participants at a time, picture below.
At 1 pm, the Energy machine was switched on, its the largest exhibit spanning all the four levels of the museum. We were wondering what this was for? There are a number of balls lifted to the top of the machine and then let to travel down – potential energy converted to kinetic energy; there are few different courses for the balls to travel – spiral, steps etc and on their downward journey, they hit the drums, chimes etc to create sound effects.
It’s past 1 pm and we are starving for lunch. We head out to the K 11 art mall in Tsim Sha Tsui walking for 10 minutes. Lunch is an experiment to try a new dish – Peking Duck.
The plate of Peking Duck is in the picture below, covered in the crispy brown skin. It’s served with a garnish of Purple Radish, Honey Melon, Cucumber, Green Onion, BBQ Sauce, Sugar and Pancakes. You have to assemble the ingredients and the duck meat on the pancake, fold and eat. Once is an experience, but did not enjoy the flavours to want to try again. We also ordered Fried Rice with Shrimp, Meat and Chinese Ham, was good.
Oh yes…. and the solution to the puzzle is below 🙂