MTR station has a museum inside!?
Last time we had another story about when a station is a temple, this time we have a station which has a museum opened in 2021.
In 2021, there was a big news for MTR, the railway network in Hong Kong. Two new stations, Sung Wong Toi and To Kwa Wan were opened. What made it big was the opening of these two stations completed the “Tuen Ma Line”. Before they were two separate lines: West Rail line from Tuen Mun to Hung Hom and Ma On Shan Line from Ma On Shan to Kai Tak.
Among the new stations, Sung Wong Toi is very worth to visit. Firstly consider it as “Kowloon City Station”. On 21 April 2014, construction workers discovered six wells and thousands of artefacts dating back to the Song Dynasty around a thousand years ago. Construction was halted for months while archaeological assessment was being done.
About 400 pieces of the 700 thousand unearthed relics such as coins and ceramic wares were selected and exhibited in the concourse of this station for a limited period. Thus the display area looks like museum in a station.
The origin of the station name is another attraction too. The name Sung Wong Toi literally means Terrace of the Sung kings. The stone is believed to have been a memorial to the last two boy emperors of the Southern Song Dynasty, who temporarily lived in Hong Kong from 1277 to 1279.
After the Song dynasty was overthrown by the Mongols in 1279, local residents inscribed the words "Sung Wong Toi" on a large rock that was on the Sacred Hill at that time.
After WWII, the main portion of the stone was shaped into a rectangular block and moved to the Sung Wong Toi Garden, a small park especially constructed for it. The construction work of the park was completed in the winter of 1945. It is now located near Exit D of Sung Wong Toi station.
Comparing to Song Wong Tsoi Station, To Kwa Wan Station is relatively plain. It is more like a station serving the local community like Lok Fu or Tai Wo Hau.
Another station which is worth to take a look is Kai Tak Station. Do not expect too much from it. There is only a small section displaying photos of Kai Tak and development of Hong Kong aviation last century.