Devoted to Chinese decorative arts and antiquities, this is one of Hong Kong's best museums, and because it's near the Star Ferry terminus and Tsim Sha Tsui's waterfront promenade, it's also the easiest to slip into a busy itinerary (its views of the harbor are a bonus). With a straightforward floor plan that easily permits visiting exhibits according to individual interests, it displays bronzes, ceramics, jade, lacquerware, textiles, ivory, clothing, glassware, furniture, calligraphy, scrolls, paintings, and more, shown on a rotating basis from the museum's vast collection of nearly 16,000 objects. The Historical Pictures Gallery, devoted to paintings by Western and Chinese artists from the late 18th and 19th centuries, is fascinating for its depictions of Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou in their early years, but I also applaud the gallery that promotes works by today's local artists. Most people spend at least an hour here, but visitors can easily add another hour or two with the HK$10 audio guide.
- Beth Reiber