Malaysia’s National Museum (Muzium Negara), housed within a beautiful Minangkabau-style building in Kuala Lumpur, is one of the city’s best and an excellent place to learn about Malaysia’s long and rich multicultural heritage. Completed in 1961 and opened two years later, the museum takes visitors on a journey through time with beautifully curated displays divided into four themed galleries.
The Prehistory gallery displays stone tools and other Paleolithic artifacts dating back thousands of years, including the Perak Man, the oldest mostly intact human skeleton in Southeast Asia. The second gallery, The Malay Kingdoms, contains art and artifacts that trace the various people groups and kingdoms that once existed on the Malay Peninsula and in the Borneo Islands. The Colonial Era gallery recounts the period from 1511 to 1945 when foreign powers ruled the nation, and the final gallery, Malaysia Today, highlights the national movement and Malaysia’s many achievements since gaining independence.
Try to time your visit to take advantage of a free docent-led English tour of the museum. They take place several times throughout the week.