KL & Surrounds
Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia
Jalan Lembah Perdana, KL (03 2274 2020/ www.iamm.org.my). Peruse more than 7,000 Islamic artefacts at one of KL’s most beautiful museums. A work of art in itself, the Islamic Arts Museum is an architectural marvel showcasing inverted domes, elaborate tiling and an angular fountain. A particularly intriguing permanent exhibition in the Islamic Architecture Gallery displays miniature replicas of renowned mosques around the world. Educational programmes for kids are held every weekend in the children’s library. Daily, 10am-6pm. Adults, RM14; Children, RM7.
Jalan Damansara, KL (03 2282 6255/ www.muziumnegara.gov.my). Instrumental to the preservation of Malaysian culture, the National Museum opened its doors in August 1963, six years following Malaysia’s independence. Free guided tours are conducted in different languages at 10am daily. Students wearing their school uniforms gain free admission, even on the weekends. Daily, 9am-6pm except on certain public holidays. Adults, RM5, Children (6-12 years old), RM2, Under six years, free; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM2, Children (under 12 years), free.
Malacca Malacca Maritime Museum
Jalan Quayside (06 284 7090). The Flor de la Mar was a Portuguese ship that sank off Malacca’s coast in the 16th century. It was loaded with treasures to return to Portugal when disaster struck. Now, a replica stands in the harbour and holds a museum dedicated to the city’s colonial trading past. Although the displays could be significantly improved, kids seem to love exploring the ship and living out their pirate fantasies. Who can blame them? Keep in mind that your ticket can also be used to enter the Maritime Museum Phase II and the Royal Malaysian Navy Museum, both of which are beside the Flor de la Mar. Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-9pm. Adults, RM6, Children (7-12 years old), RM2; (MyKad holders) Adults, RM3, Children (7-12 years old), RM1.
Dataran 1Malaysia, Klebang (06 282 6526/06 281 1289). The decommissioned SMD Ouessant was sent to Malaysia from France in 2011 and now serves as a dusty (and rusty) museum. It’s a great opportunity to get the kids inside a real submarine, where they can check out all the buttons and dials and get a sense of what it’s like to live and work under the sea. The submarine is air conditioned inside but cramped, so if you are prone to claustrophobia, give it a miss. Daily, 9am-5pm. Adults, RM3; Children (under 12 years), RM1.
Hin Bus Depot Art Centre
31A Jalan Gurdwara, George Town (www. facebook.com/hinbusdepot). Once an abandoned bus depot, Hin has evolved into an unlikely art space, courtesy of Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s first solo exhibition. Wall murals from his exhibition still remain intact and today, Hin is adding artistic touches of its own, promising more exhibitions from home-grown artists. It’s a regular venue for workshops, art jams and other events, many of which are family friendly so keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates. Daily, 12noon-7pm.
Hat Chin Pet Soo
3 Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), Ipoh (05 241 4541/www.ipohworld.org). The Hat Chin Pet Soo was once the base for the Hakka Tin Miners’ Club, a venue where members could relax, chat, gamble and apparently even entertain girls or smoke opium. Now under the care of Ipoh World, it has been turned into a museum dedicated to the story of the miners. You must make an appointment to tour the establishment. These are free but donations are encouraged and go towards the upkeep of the museum. Tours are informative and enjoyable for both adults and children. Tours are free by appointment: Tue-Fri, 9.30am, 11.30am & 2.30pm; Sat-Sun and Public Holidays (except Mondays), 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm.