Audio File length: 2.36
English / USA Language: English / USA

In the galleries on this floor and the next, Deck B, you’ll find a large collection of historical photographs, models of various sizes (from those so tiny they can fit into the palm of your hand to very large ones), stunning ceramics, fine paintings and nautical instruments. Take a look in particular at how these instruments, which you’ll also find on the top floor, have evolved over the years into the ultra-modern equipment used today.

The four sections that make up Deck C illustrate the early days of Hong Kong when it was no more than a humble fishing village.

In C1, you’ll find the exhibitionTraditional Maritime China, which will show you how traditional Chinese boats have evolved from the early rafts and canoes to sail boats and then on to the merchant fleets that dominated Chinese trading routes during the Song and Qing dynasties.


After taking a close look at this exhibition, press pause and enter room C2.



In room C2, you’ll find The China trade, an exhibition illustrating how, between 1757 and 1839, trade between the East and West was permitted only in the port of Guangzhou, called Canton at the time, thanks to an agreement signed between China and a number of European countries. Trade was mainly linked to the export of Chinese products to Europe rather than vice versa.

In 1839, however, the import of opium by the British caused the war that brought an end to those trading agreements and led to Hong Kong becoming a British colony.

In this room, take time to admire the magnificent 1:12 scale model of a Chinese junk, the Keying, famous for being the first ship of its kind to travel from Hong Kong to New York between 1846 and 1848. A large panel tells the story of its incredible voyage; such an extraordinary undertaking for the time that the British government struck a medal in its honor.


An interesting fact: Chinese junks could be of a variety of sizes; in addition to the three-masted type such as the Keying, many others were much bigger, up to 120 meters in length and with 9 masts. They were very efficient ships for trade in times of peace, and as battleships in wartime. It was a fleet of junks that in 1662 allowed China to defeat the Dutch fleet that had colonized Taiwan.

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