The Upside Down House Of Borneo or “Rumah Terbalik Borneo” is probably the latest tourist attaraction in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It started operation on 1st February 2012 and officially opened on 10th March 2012 by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun. The house which is literally upside down is said to be the first in South East Asia and has been officially included in the Malaysia Guinness Book of Records.
Situated at Mile 21, Jalan Telibong (between Shell gas station and SMK Tamparuli), it is about 30 minutes’ drive from Kota Kinabalu City. Tickets for a Malaysian or My-Card holder is RM10, and RM18 for non-MyKad holders. Kids below 3 are entitled for free admission to the house.
This idea of “landed-property flipping” has become quite popular in recent years with the appearance of a few interesting upside down buildings in many countries across the globe, such as the upside down restaurant in Matsumoto City, Nagano prefecture, Japan; the Upside Down Church and the WonderWork Amusement Park in the United State; Die Welt Steht Kopf (“The World Stands on its Head”) House on the island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea, the House-Attack in Vienna, Austria; and the House of Kathmandu on the Spanish island of Majorca. According to the tour guide, this Upside Down house is the sixth of its kind in the whole world. You can google the internet to find more info about these places.
According to its proud owner Alexander Yee, since it was opened to visitors about a month ago, it has received a continuous flow of local visitors, as well as tourists who are curious to see the ‘bizarre’ building with their own eyes. The 140 square metre house is equipped with kitchen, living room, bathroom, dining room, bedrooms and the interior is decorated with many unique features of Sabah. Like any other house, it has everything inside, from small to big. They even have poker cards, toys and comic book scattered on the floor, as though there are people living inside. The difference is that they are upside down. Those inside the house will feel like on the ceiling, with fans, lamp and even lizard (toy) next to our feet. And all the furniture are above our head.
You will be guided by their tour guide for 15 minutes for an interior house tour. Please adhere to the rules that you are not allowed to take any photo inside the house. There are also a souvenir shop and coffee shop next to the house. The ‘tamu‘ (their term for the souvenir shop) is somewhat loosely stuffed with not many souvenirs to choose from. The cafe is quite roomy and comfortable with delicious selection of chicken/tuna puff and pastries but only small quantity is made available at any one time.
Nonetheless, Rumah Terbalik Borneo has been further improved and is standing tall with a conspicuous signage that welcomes visitors and the vast improvements make it hard to miss. Plus, it has a restaurant serving the public, called Mango Garden Restaurant of Rumah Terbalik.
Overall, the Upside Down House Of Borneo is a well maintained place and quite good for short visits. I believe there are some room for improvement and am sure that the management will work into it when they can. I really wish they would allow visitors to take photos inside the house as the ticket price is quite steep.
- Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide