Be sure you’re vaccinated and abide by SOPs to visit these museums, galleries and historic places.
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To say that Malaysia is a land rich in culture, heritage and history would of course be an understatement, and obviously a little cliché.
So instead, we present to you our shortlist of the interesting places like museums and galleries, that are right here in the Klang Valley, which exhibits some of our nation’s most consequential antiquities, artefacts and oddities that you can visit to get yourself more acquainted with our home and get an education about our shared legacy.
1. Museum Negara, Kuala Lumpur
This list surely wouldn’t be complete if we did not mention the prestigious Museum Negara or the National Museum of Malaysia, so we’re putting it at the very top.
Though it’s not the first or the oldest museum in the country, Museum Negara is definitely one of the most interesting and interactive places that you can visit to get a snapshot of Malaysia’s history – all the way from prehistoric times to the present country that we know today.
The museum itself can be classified as a piece of history as the building that stands today was constructed on the ruins of the older ‘Selangor Museum’ which was blown to smithereens during World War II (WW2).
Located right smack in the middle of KL, Museum Negara has tons of fascinating exhibits besides a guided tour of the whole place where you can get a full and formal education of our nation’s history.
Museum Negara is open every Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Entry is free for kids under 12-years-old, and between RM2 to RM5 for adults.
2. Museum of Asian Art, University Malaya
Located at one of the country’s most historic institutions, the Museum of Asian Art sits near the main campuses of the University of Malaya and houses a collection of ornate artefacts attributed to the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Orang Asli communities here in Malaysia.
The museum has nearly 7,000 ‘treasures’ representing a range of cultures and civilizations throughout Asia and can be viewed by anyone, free of charge.
The place is open on Mondays to Thursdays, between 9am – 1pm and 2pm and 5pm, as well as, on Fridays between 9am – 12.15pm and 1.45pm – 5pm.
3. National Textile Museum, KL
Here, you can patch up your knowledge about the different garments and textiles that were made and worn by our forefathers at four separate galleries housed in the 2 storey building.
The museum is open daily from 9am to 6pm and admission is free for kids and between RM1 to RM5 for adults.
4. Biomedical Museum, KL
If you’re a fan of medical mysteries and scientific oddities, then the Health Ministry’s Biomedical Museum is the one place you surely wouldn’t want to miss.
Located in the historic Institute for Medical Research (IMR) building in KL, this freaky museum contains a myriad of exhibits that includes traditional medicine as well as scientific instruments and methods that were once used in the past, and also many other exotic items that you tend not to see anywhere else.
The place is basically a depository of biomedical reference where you can find things like preserved animals, human organs and even unborn fetuses just floating around in jars.
The museum is open from Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 5pm, and entry is free.
5. Orang Asli Crafts Museum, KL
Cataloguing the history of our indigenous Orang Asli communities here in Malaysia, the Orang Asli Crafts Museum in Gombak showcases the lives, livelihoods and even the losses of Malaysia’s aboriginal people.
The museum houses a collection of amazing artefacts attributed to the Orang Asli communities in the Peninsular – from the different tools that they used on a daily basis to the more sacred and historic ornaments and spiritual decorations.
Entry is free for kids and between RM2 to RM5 for adults.
6. National Automobile Museum, Sepang
See the advancements of Malaysia’s automotive industry and feast your eyes on the collection of classic vehicles that once ruled the streets and the race tracks.
With close to 8,000 square meters of space, the museum is stocked full of both locally and internationally made machines that have literally set the course of our motoring world.
The museum is free to enter and is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
7. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, KL
Credited as the largest museum of Islamic arts in Southeast Asia, the Islamic Arts Museum (IAMM) houses a magnificent gallery of more than 7,000 artefacts and creative works from across the Islamic world.
Here, you can find everything from ancient manuscripts to old handwritten copies of the Quran and even treasures belonging to different Islamic civilizations throughout history.
IAMM’s gallery is currently open via appointments only from 9.30am to 6pm.
For more information, you can check out their website, (HERE).
8. Kajang Heritage Centre
The centre itself is a small gallery displaying over 300 historic documents, artefacts collected from the Kajang community, or purchase a walking tour to get a more personal feel of this historic town.
Visit the Kajang Heritage Centre’s Facebook page, (HERE) for details.
9. KL Heritage Walk
Are you up for a day of exploring our nation’s capital? Then strap on your best walking shoes, grab yourself a map (or a GPS) and kick yourself off on your very own self-guided tour through the historic heart of the muddy city.
The KL heritage trail, as some people call it, take you on a 2 to 3-hour journey to KL’s most historic and scenic sites – from Dataran Merdeka, the old KL railway station, the National Library and other ‘sure best’ places.
Just be sure to add a stop by the local shops, restaurants and street food corners you find along the way to truly savour in KL city life.
We suggest checking out this article (HERE) by Malaysian Traveller for the best locations to stop by on your walk, or take a look at this map (HERE) and plan your own path of discovery through the city. A free guided tour is also available if you’d like to have a narrator giving you all the facts you need to know about life in the big city.
Of course with the pandemic still happening, please ensure that you have been fully vaccinated and abide by new normal SOPs to fully enjoy your trip through history. Also, we’d advise just checking ahead to see if some of these places might be closed for unforeseeable reasons.
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