Sarawak Museum – Old Building
The Sarawak Museum is spread over a few different buildings, so make sure you visit them all as they are all totally different. The first building we went into is called the Old Building and it was built in 1891
It was built by Charles Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak, it was copied from a design of the Normandy Town Hall in France
In here you will find over various areas displays of animals that have all been stuffed and mounted for display. Upstairs there are models of long houses with some real shrunken smoked heads, handicrafts and models of old boats etc.
During the Japanese occupation a very sympathetic Japanese Officer was put in control of the museum, so as a result the building stayed in good condition and there was minimal looting.
We really enjoyed the displays in the old building, have to say it was my favorite and we spent ages in here. There are no photos allowed in this museum but I had already taken a few before I noticed the signs.
Sarawak Museum - (Dewan Tun Abdul Razak Building)
This is the second building of the Sarawak Museum which is named after the second Prime Minister of Malaysia. There are 2 floors showcasing beautiful pottery, old Chinese furniture inlaid with mother of pearl and brassware.
Plus on the ground floor there is a temporary exhibition displays that changes regularly and the Museum shop where you can buy drinks and cheap souvenirs etc.
There are so many museums to visit in the area, we also went to the Islamic Museum and the Sabati Women's Museum, but no photos allowed! So Kuching is a fascinating place so full of history, we totally enjoyed our visits to the museums we went to while we were there.
I'm not generally a museum fan but this museum was pretty interesting and as with the other museums we found in Sarawak had free admission.
Most of the exhibits related to Sarawak's tribes and cultural traditions, but there were also exhibits about its wildlife.
Located on Jalan Tun Haji, open 9am -5.30pm. Admission free. Well worth a look.
The excellent Sarawak Museum was built by Charles Brooke, on the encouragement of his friend, the eminent naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace. Wallace had spent a few months in Borneo collecting specimens. The original building was built in the Queen Anne style in 1891 and extended in 1911 and holds a permanent display of native arts and crafts as well as Wallace's extensive collection of stuffed specimens of local fauna. During the Japanese Occupation, the museum was put under the direction of a sympathetic Japanese Officer. As a result, the museum suffered very little damage and remarkably little looting.
Today, with carefully planned renovation and proper maintenance, this old building is used as the centre to exhibit collections on the natural history of Sarawak. The ground floor of the museum holds the natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna – reptiles, mammals, birds, etc, all expertly prepared and mounted for display. The west wing of the museum houses Shell exhibition - petroleum industries of Sarawak. The first floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artefacts such as models of longhouses of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, models of boats and others. You'll find a collection of jars, Chinese furniture and archaeological materials excavated in Sarawak in the new building across the main road via the bridge.
Open: 9am-4.30pm every day. Admission: Free.
The Sarawak State Museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. It was established in 1888 and opened in 1891 in a purpose-built building in Kuching, Sarawak. Sponsored by Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, the establishment of the museum was strongly encouraged by Alfred Russel Wallace. It was now called 'Ethnology Museum' which houses various ethnic displays and historical items of Sarawak.
The Sarawak Museum Complex is one of the finest in Southeast Asia. The Sarawak Museum Complex has five separate buildings. The Ethnology Museum or "Old Building," which sits at the top of the hill. The Natural History Museum (not yet opened) and the Art Museum are on the side road that goes up the hill. The Tun Abdul Razak Hall and the Islamic Museum are across the footbridge over Jalan Tun Maji Openg. See the videoclip taken at the top of the hiil.
The "Old Building" is the respository of an exceptional ethnographic collection. It was built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1891, modeled on a town hall in Normandy, and was extended to its present form in 1911. The building was especially built to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts and collections of local animals as mainly encouraged by the famous naturalist, Alfred Wallace, who was then collecting specimens in the country. There is also a display of longhouse construction styles including a walk-in replica of a traditional longhouse. Admission is free but pictures cannot be taken inside.
The Art Museum has magnificent totem poles carved from single tree trunks, ferocious masks with semi-demonic visages, and explanations of the symbolism and value of tattooing and body art among the Malaysian tribes. The new Tun Abdul Razak Hall focuses on exhibits of more contemporary nature, such as longhouse art, colorful jars, brasswares, and Chinese furniture. Behind the Hall is another interesting museum, the Islamic Museum, which features exhibits relevant to the Islamic belief and artifacts valued by Muslims in their faith. Also within the Museum Complex grounds are an aquarium, botanical gardens and the Heroes' Memorial.
The main branch of the Sarawak museum is housed in this beautiful colonial building. This building has exhibits on the wildlife and cultural groups of Sarawak. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside the building. Admission is free
The Sarawak Museum comprises the Art Gallery and the Ethnography Museum.
The Art Gallery houses a small and modest collection of art pieces.
The ethnography museum is roughly divided into 3 sections. On the ground floor are the natural history and petroleum industry sections. The natural history has exhibits of the various species of animals found in Sarawak. The petroleum section (sponsored by Shell) explains the evolution of the mining industry in the state particularly the petroleum industry.
The actual ethnography section is on the first floor which depicts the various native groups of Sarawak - their lifestyle, crafts, tools etc.
Opens daily 0900 - 1630. Admission is free.
Reputed to be the best in Southeast Asia. Originally built in 1891 in the style of Normandy townhouse. Collection of Borneo ethnography, prehistoric artifacts, local art, historical documents, antiques, specimens of Sarawak fauna, reptiles, mammals, birds, etc.
On the path leading to the main building of the museum is a 2-storey art gallery displaying local masterpieces.
Personally, I find the specimen collection very interesting. You can have a closer look at some animals of the rain forest, like Orang Utan, ant-eater, pangolin, bats, snakes, etc. One notable feature is the replica of Orang Iban's long house. You can walk into the long house to explore the rooms inside and catch a glimpse of the native's daily lives.
At the back of museum grounds, there is an aquarium and botanical gardens and the Heroes' Memorial.
Opening Hours: 9am till 5:30pm
Admissions are free for museum, aquarium and botanical garden.
The Sarawak Museum is actually housed in two buildings on both sides of Tun Abang Haji Openg Road. The first building is the Old Building, built in 1891 in the style of a Normandy townhouse. In 1911, it was extended to what it is today. Here, you will find native arts & crafts and a collection of local animals.
The other building across the street is the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak where you can find photographs & paintings of historical events and mostly items related to pre-historical era.
Monday to Sunday
9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m
Admission is FREE
This museum was completed in 1891 and holds a collection of Bornean ethnological and archaeological artifacts reputed to be the best in South East Asia.
The ground floor of the museum houses a large number of stuffed animals, many of which are looking rather faded but are still interesting if one is not familiar with the wildlife of Borneo. The first floor has a very good reproduction of a long house through which you can walk.
No photography is allowed. Admission free.
Out the back of the museum is a small aquarium, which is worth a look if you have time.
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