The Sabah State Museum sits magnificently on top of a hill, clearly visible to all motorists on the roads below.
Easily accessible from the main road where many buses ply from and to Kota Kinabalu town, it is merely about 5-10 minutes away from the KK City Centre.
The architecture of its main building, built in 1984 and inspired by the design of a traditional Rungus longhouse, has pique the interests of many and the touch of gentle breeze cooling the air makes the walk (or drive) uphill very soothing.
The Museum’s main building houses an impressive Ceramics exhibit and galleries dedicated to Ethnography, History, Archaeology and Natural History. The Ceramics exhibits and the gallery of Natural History are on the First Floor while all the rest are on the Ground Floor.
Visitors who wishes to learn more about the cultures of the major ethnic groups of Sabah such as their tradition, costumes and crafts would find interesting information at the Ethnography section situated at the Ground Floor.
There is also a special section dedicated to the history of ‘Mengayau‘, the headhunters of the olden days, and the ‘Tunnel of Time‘ where the history of Sabah from the days of the British North Borneo Chartered Company in 1881 until the formation of Malaysia is told, mostly in photographic images.
Somewhere nearby are a replica of Batu Tulug Caves, especially interesting for those who have not visited the actual Batu Tulug Caves in Sandakan.
Outside of the main building, visitors will also have plenty of activities to do.
In fact, upon arrival, discerning guests often notice the peculiar scents emanating from some of the plants on the Museum grounds. The plants are actually part of the Museum’s ethno-botanical garden consisting of local medicinal, ritual, commercial, ornamental and food plants, and general information regarding each plant is placed nearby.
Just a few steps away from the main building are a collection of classic cars and an old train. Do walk on until you find the path that leads to the hanging bridge and head over to the Heritage Village where visitors will get the change to lounge in authentic life-sized re-creations of traditional homes, including Rungus and Murut longhouses, and other houses such as Bajau, Iranun and Bruneian, and dream of the community life of the days past.
The Heritage Village is built around a lake with lovely water lilies floating in it. There is also a replica of a typical Chinese farm house, complete with furnishings and good luck charms pasted on the walls.
Further down the path, guests will come upon a small paddy plot and get to have a good look at the traditional tools used for paddy farming and processing such as stone pounder (lesung batu), cart for buffalo to pull (gagayatan), harrow (ragus), rake (sisir), wooden plough (radu) and not forgetting, the scare crow.
Science and Technology Centre
Besides the above, there are also the Science and Technology Centre which houses three exhibitions – oil and gas production in Sabah, broadcasting in Sabah and a North Borneo Railway in Sabah, and the Sabah Islamic Civilization Museum where there are exhibition galleries dedicated to the history of Islam in Nusantara, Islam in Malaysia, Islam Sabah, Prophet Muhammad and Islamic Commandment.
The Sabah State Museum opens daily from 9am – 5pm and the admission fees are as follows:
- Malaysian : RM2.00
- Non-Malaysian : RM15.00
- Free entrance for all senior citizens, disabled, students and taxi drivers.
For more info on the Sabah State Museum and its on-going and up-coming programs, please visit their website: www.museum.sabah.gov.my
– Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide