If you are tired of the main tourist sites, then here are some “different” museums that might interest you. They are very specific, but maybe you have a passion for the topic(s). Thanks to Lillian Li over at the Beijinger for bringing these museums to my attention.
For a list of opening hours and costs, please go the full article at The Beijinger.
Take Along a Chinese Friend or Guide
One thing that the article does not mention is the availability of English speakers to help you understand what you are seeing. I know the police museum had no external English signs indicating that it was a museum. You would probably enjoy these places more if you bring along a friend or guide that can translate the signs for you.
Here is a brief summary of these unique places.
Beijing Police Museum
This one is in the old Foreign Legation Quarter, at 36 Dongjiamin Xiang. The history of law enforcement in Beijing from the Han Dynasty to the Present. There are over 8000 artifacts to view, amongst over things. If you have a passion for police work, you will love this place. In fact, it is located just on the north side of Beijing’s Municipal Police Headquarters.
*The interesting side note here for those researching the Foreign Legation is that the museum is in the old National City Bank of New York building. I have seen the building from the outside, though I did not know its current function at the time.
Beijing Cui Yongping Art Museum of Leather-Silhouette Show
If you really want to see how a Chinese shadow paper puppet show works, you can see it here. There are all the tools and puppets to make a show work, and you can look at the art of creating such show pieces.
If you come at the right time, you can catch the once-per-day actual performance. I would think this would be a great place to take your children, or your date, or your “significant other”.
Find it at Unit 4, Bldg 16, Jinqiao Garden, Majuqiao, Tongzhou District.
*Though I have not been there, the show should be of the same fashion as the shadow puppet show featured in The Karate Kid. No, the actual movie was not filmed there, so don’t expect that to see the same theater that you saw in the movie.
Beijing Tap Water Museum
This should be very interesting for water treatment engineers from anywhere in the work. Beijing, being so ancient, has a water system that is patched together. Many advise to not drink the water, as it is not uniformly treated as it is in other countries. If you have a curiosity about how they do treat the water in Beijing, then this is the place for you.
Enter at 6A Dongzhimenwai Beidajie, Dongcheng District
Beijing David’s Deer Park Museum
Apparently, the native deer went extinct at the beginning of the 20th century. Deer were re-introduced in 1985 to this park area. There is a viewing platform to observe the deer. There is also a even stranger museum area called the World Extinct Animals Cemetery. I wonder if they have a sign for the Yeti in there.
On the Milu Road (near Jiuzhong Lu), San Haizi, Lu Quan, Daxing District.
Shengxifu Hat Museum
If you wanted to know what hats were in fashion among the different classes of Chinese peoples over thousands of year… whew, that is a long sentence, then this is the fashion time machine. Here they have over 5000 pieces of noggin toppers.
It is located at Qianmen Dajie.
That Is Not All
Beijing has lots of these little museums. I will post more as I find them, if they are quirky enough. If you have run into a couple no on here, feel free to comment below.
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