Interesting Places in Malaysia – Museums and Art Galleries

By: Thomas Teo

World renowned museums, top notch galleries, a thriving contemporary art scene… Kuala Lumpur has it all! There are many interesting places in Malaysia to be visit by local and foreign tourist, especially visiting during weekend with family. This vibrant, cosmopolitan city boasts a superb array of artistic and cultural spaces, all with their own unique focus. Together they provide a fascinating insight into not just KL, but the rest of Malaysia too!

Petronas Art Gallery

Bringing a whole new meaning to the term “oil painting”, this excellent art gallery is owned and run by Petronas, the Malaysian national energy film. As well as offering a showcase for local and international artists, it also runs a wide range of educational programmes to boost the understanding and appreciation of art.

Nearby hotels: Pacific Regency Hotel Suites

Ode to Art

Ode to Art is one of the region’s foremost purveyors of contemporary art, with this outlet in Pavilion KL. It draws upon a truly impressive roster of international contemporary artists. Not surprisingly, all that quality, does not come cheap, at least not for prospective buyers. For those with less deep pockets, browsing costs nothing!

Nearby hotels: The Maple Suite

Badan Warisan Heritage Centre

Housed in a restored 1920s colonial bungalow, is one of the Malaysia’s most exceptional organizations. Badan Warisan has been fighting for decades to save the country’s built heritage – its most notable success being Central Market. The centre includes a heritage-themed gift shop and a restored wooden Malay house, from the northern state of Kedah. The twice daily guided tours are highly recommended, and include free mosquito repellant! It can be combined with a visit to the nearby Crafts Complex.

Nearby hotels: The Maple SuitePacific Regency Hotel Suites

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

This small museum, is an excellent starting point for visitors to learn about the history of KL, in an engaging and informative fashion. As well as a photographic record of the city, entitled “Memories of Kuala Lumpur”, the ground floor has a scale model of Merdeka Square. Another scale model, this time of modern KL, is on the first floor. The museum is housed in an attractive neo-Renaissance structure, which has performd several functions since it was built in 1899, including being the main colonial printing office, and more recently, a public library.

Covering more than a century of Malaysia’s telecommunications history, this museum is located in a beautiful neo-classical building, which was narrowly saved from demolition in the mid-eighties. Built in 1928, it started life as a manual telephone exchange, before becoming British Malaya’s first mechanical exchange a decade later. The exhibits, over three floors, span the development from morse code telegraph to digital technology. An interactive approach, helps keep the experience fun.

National Museum

Divided into four themed galleries, across two floors, the National Museum, charts Malaysia’s story from ancient to modern times. Of most interest to foreign visitors are the first two galleries, particularly the displays about prehistoric humans. The later exhibits are geared more towards appealing to Malaysian visitors. In the grounds of the museum, which opened in 1963, are a random collection of sights, including a steam locomotive and a traditional wooden palace.

National Textiles Museum

Well worth a visit, even for those not overly fascinated by textiles, this museum is housed in one fo the city’s most impressive colonial-era buildings. The exhibits, which are divided into four galleries, over two floors, do a good job of showing the history and traditions of textiles in Malaysia. One of the museum’s strengths is that it takes a very broad view of what constitutes textiles – everything from shoes to jewelleries. The building itself, which was completed in 1905, served several functions, before becoming this museum in 2010.

Nearby hotel: Pacific Express Boutique Hotel

Do have free time and don’t know where to go? You might find out many interesting places in Malaysia which is worth to visit. Plan a short trip with your family during weekends and spend a happy moments with them.