I have to start by admitting that it took me four years to go to the Muzium Negara. I was under the impression that it is host to only stuffy old photos and pieces of arrows. Well, it does have the arrows but otherwise I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Apparently the museum went through extensive renovations a few years back and it is airy and modern. There are four halls: Prehistory, Malay Kingdoms, Colonial Era and Malaysia Today. Outside there are old vehicles and trains (but you can’t get into these), as well as a of an old royal house from Terangganu.
There were enough life-like displays to keep the kids interested. The skeletons of the Perak man and others appealed to the six-year old, while the four-year old was mesmerised by the royal attire on display.
Any visitor would benefit from the crash course on the history of Malaysia on display at the Muzium Negara, although I thought it would have been interesting to see more on certain eras. There are no disturbing elements so it’s perfect for exposing young ones to Malaysia’s history. I am noticing that my first grader is like a sponge and loves stories about history of the countries he knows. The exhibits provide opportunities to tell them stories they can relate to.
When we visited there was a special exhibition on tea, and we enjoyed smelling different tea leaves inside a giant tea pot. We’ll definitely come back for the next special exhibition.
An added bonus is the Gloria Jeans outlet just outside the main entrance. The Orang Asli Crafts and Malay World Ethnological Museum next door requires a separate ticket, that can be bought at the main ticket counter.
For the opening hours and more info on the National Museum, see their website. Also have a look at our post on Pusat Sains Negara, the National Science Centre for another day out with the kids.