Monsopaid Cultural Village, Kota Kinabalu
This village was a little hard to find, not very well signposted, hopefully, that may be fixed now. Quite a few people have problems finding it, so we were told by people at the Village, and they are trying to get is signposted better.
The living village is about 10 kms south of KK, out in the country. It was only opened in 1996, in memory of the Kadazan warrior - Monsopiad, his relatives are still here.
At admission, you are alloted a guide, who takes you through the buildings and areas, and explains what everything is.
THE HOUSE OF SKULLS, is where 42 enemies skulls are on display. You are then taken to a lovely cool spot, where you are given a welcome drink of Rice Wine. It was nice to sit down in the cool, under the Fans after walking in the heat. A show is included in the price.
There are lots of bities near the river, so if you have insect repellent, wear it, otherwise you will be eaten alive by giant Mozzies!
We enjoyed learning about their culture, and finding out that headhunting didn't finish as long ago as we thought.
Wear slip on shoes as you have to take them off to enter House of Skulls.
Open from 9 - 5pm daily
Cultural dance performance times are 9.30am....11.....2..... and ....4pm
Admission 65rm (2009)
The Monsopaid Cultural Village is founded in 1996 in memory of the great Kadazan warrior and head-hunter, Monsopaid. The traditional village is a historical site, and the only Kadazan Cultural village in Sabah. It was built on the very land where Monsopaid lived and roamed some three centuries ago.
A flash back to the past to the days of head hunting and spirt worship, to the days when the Bobohizan, the female high priestess of the Kadazan ruled the villages and took care of the health and spiritual well-being of the people. The village has been built entirely with the traditional materials. It offers an interesting insight into the daily life of the biggest entity in Sabah, the Kadazan.
Monosopiad was a local head hunter whose longhouse and adjoining buildings have become a bit of a tourist attraction. I have to be honest, if you are going to Sarawak the cultural village they have just outisde Kuching is far more interesting and somewhere that you could easily spend half a day. I found the monosopiad experience a little slow and tedious and because it's miles from nowhere it's difficult to leave. Cost wise I think it's the same price as the Sarawak version but not even 10% of the experience.
The Monsopiad Cultural Village is a tourist village / outdoor museum. Monsopiad was a legendary warrior of the Kadazandusun people. The village is run by his descendants and show the traditional Kadaz way of life. We had a thorough tour that explained all aspects, we saw some human skulls that used to belong to enemies, and tried out a few of the games, activities, and musical instruments. We also saw a traditional dance.
This is a well run establishment that involves as much or as little participation as you desire. It's also somewhat interesting for kids. It's a pleasant shady few hours.
There will be three main dances of the Kadazan ethnic, that is the Sumazau Penampang, Sumazau Papar and Bamboo Dance. Cultural show will be performed 3 times a day : 11am-2.00pm and 4.00 pm...they will even teach you how to dance.
Most people will take a tour package or charter a taxi there. If you insist to do it yourself, here is the way.
1. Go to the long distance bus terminal at Jalan Padang. Pass the terminal and there is a local bus station. Take bus number 13 with sign "Penampang". The bus takes less than 1/2 hours and costs rm1.
2. The bus to Penampang will drop you at "Donggongon". Where there is a big tamu (market) and you can shop shop there.
3. From Donggongon, take a mini bus to Monsopiad Cultural Village. The mini bus terminal is just opposite the library. Ask some one for direction to the library. The minibus in sabah is actually a 'van'. The van from the terminal to Monsopiad takes less than 1/2 hours and cost rm0.7
The return trip is the same. If you want to save all the trouble, you can also take the mini bus from Monsopiad for rm 15 for direct transfer to KK.
Monsopiad cultural village is not far from KK. If you seek advice for places to go in Sabah Tourism Board, there will probably recommend you to pay a visit there.
Some people said, if you never go to Monsopiad, you cannot say yourself visited Sabah! =) For those who prefer culture than beaches or any other things, Monsopiad is a must.
Monsopiad was a Kadazan warriors which was known as a head-hunting tribe 300 years ago. Kadazan is Sabah largest tribe. The cultural village is exactly the location of Monsopiad village 300 years ago. You will have chance to visit the house with spirits and 42 skulls taken down by Monsopiad.
The entrance fee to Monsopiad is RM30 including guide, rice wine and cultural performance. Sometimes there is also local lunch served.
Well at Monsopiad Cultural Village there's a booth where you can play the kadazan traditional music.