The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb is an ancient tomb made of bricks and consists of four chambers forming a cross with a vaulted dome at the center. It was accidentally discovered in 1955 when the Government was leveling a hill slope at the Lei Cheng Uk Village in Sham Shui Po District for the construction of the present Lei Cheng Uk Estate.
Based on the structure, inscriptions on the bricks and burial items found inside, the tomb is believed to be built over 2,000 years ago during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 220), making it the territory's oldest historical monument. Archeologists also believe that it was constructed to house the remains of an imperial Chinese official.
Because of its historical significance, the tomb was excavated and opened to the public as a museum in 1957. An exhibition hall was later built beside it to house and display the numerous artifacts, including pottery and bronze objects, excavated from the tomb. In November 1988, the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum was declared as a gazetted monument by the Hong Kong Government. It is now protected and preserved permanently under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
In the mid-80's up to the present, the actual tomb is closed to the public for conservation reasons. To preserve it, the the tomb is sealed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. Visitors can have a glimpse of its interior through the glass panel at the entrance passage.
Apart from the relics discovered inside the tomb, the exhibition hall also features two permanent exhibitions namely "Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb" and "Han Dynasty Architecture in South China" which use texts, graphics, photos, maps, videos and models to explain the structure of the tomb, how it was discovered and excavated. The exhibits also provide information about Han Dynasty architecture in southern China.
The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum is located at 41 Tonkin Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is open daily (except Thurdays) and public holidays, from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free.
To get to the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, take the following public transportation:
- MTR Cheung Sha Wan Station, A3 Exit. Walk along Tonkin Street (about 10 minutes).
- Kowloon Motor Bus No.2A (from Lok Wah to Mei Foo) and get off at the entrance of the Museum.
- Kowloon Motor Bus No.2 (from Star Ferry to So Uk) or Tunnel Bus No.112 (from North Point (Pak Fu Rd) to So Uk) and get off at Po On Road, then walk 2 minutes along Tonkin Street.