Every city has a story to tell — about the people, the culture, the economy, and way of life. These stories are often widely documented in national museums and exhibitions, but what lies beneath the surface is often far more intriguing than the regular version of history. Immerse yourself in the past by visiting some of these offbeat museums located conveniently in Kuala Lumpur. Spare some time and read on as this one’s for the history buffs.
National Textile Museum
Many cultures in Malaysia value textiles as a major part of their heritage and these are fittingly displayed in the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad building with its red brick facade and colonial architecture. It comprises two floors of extensive textile displays through history, from the evolution of textiles to stitching and embroidery, as well as batik painting and gilding, with the second-floor housing traditional clothes and accessories from various cultures and a variety of Malay fabrics and patterns.
National Automobile Museum
If you’re into cars, you’d be very pleased with the existence of this quirky museum at the Sepang International Circuit, home to the Malaysian Grand Prix. From vintage cars like the Jaguar D-Type and the Ford Speedster to the more local models from Proton and Perodua, this little two-storey museum has something for everyone.
Orang Asli Crafts Museum
Indigenous people in various regions are often not well-documented as their culture is passed down from family stories and traditions through word of mouth, which often gets drowned out by modernisation. Take a trip to this museum for an educational afternoon learning about the different tribes of Malaysia through displays and extremely valuable exhibits such as traditional hunting tools, musical instruments, as well as carvings and handcrafted items with fine detailing.
Islamic Arts Museum
This one is a feast for the art enthusiast, where seasonal exhibitions are displayed in a pavilion on the first floor, while the second floor is home to the China gallery where visitors will embark on Islam’s journey to China, with a chance to examine treasures from ancient times. The textile gallery on the third floor has an array of beautiful fabrics and garments, as well as an outer terrace with a view of the beautifully crafted dome that serves as a point of interest at the museum.
National Visual Arts Gallery
Allow the feeling of tranquillity to wash over you when you step into this place's Guggenheim-inspired interior and discover a beautiful medley of art from local and foreign talents. Ranging from traditional crafts like batik to modern paintings and abstract sculptures, the gallery is sure to provide an inspiring visit for your own creative process.
(Cover photo from: elqudsyi)