Sight Seeing in Kuching

May 7, 2009 · 3 comments

I walked on through the Kuching park to the place with the statues outside that I passed yesterday, it is actually a small aquarium. Whilst not much was there, it was free so no complaining!

Fish in aquarium

Fish in aquarium

I then went around the corner to the museum section of the city. Closest was the Sarawak original museum, it was founded by an English man who modelled (exact copy) of a French town hall, it certainly is a handsome looking building from the outside.

Sarawak museum

Sarawak museum

Inside the ground floor was mainly natural things, rocks, skeletons, shells, etc that is local to Sarawak. I noticed in the corner of one section some indigenous art, and after reading the note next to them realised these are actually painted elephant skulls, how unique!

Internal structor of shell

Internal structor of shell

Upstairs was the indigenous art/history section which was what the museum was originally setup for.
For some reason the first thing I paid attention too upstairs was a penis piercing device. The crossbow like thing is designed to stretch and hold in place, the nail looking things to pierce, and the stone is for; well… to hammer away and make the hole with. Doesn’t sound like the most comfortable of things to do with your body!

Tribal genital piercing

Tribal genital piercing

There was an example of being in an indigenous persons house, a few weapons, musical instruments, etc but the most interesting thing to me was the wooden carved demon dogs they use for warding off evil spirits.

Demon dog carvings

Demon dog carvings

Next on the agenda was the art museum. Some young guy walked out with some chalk drawing as I approached so I did wonder if they were selling stuff, but inside by the front door a bunch of local art students were drawing with pencils some scenic shots. The art gallery was faily small; For a museum nothing seemed that old either, the oldest marked painting I saw was of 1995 vintage.

Kuching Art Museum

Kuching Art Museum

Next was the natural history museum, another attractive building on the outside but unfortunately closed, with no reason why, just everything was shut. So I crossed over the road to the modern/new wing of the Sarawak museum. Inside they had German poster art which was not what I was expecting, but a nice break from Asian stuff.

German art

German art

Upstairs in this building was chinese history. The way of life and how ancient chinese used to live, here is a beautifully decorated coffin!

Chinese Coffin

Chinese Coffin

The final museum in the area is the islamic civilisation museum. This was an open area made up of lots of buildings each with a different section in, culture, weapons, science, etc.
I thought the science section was crap. The introduction claimed Islam was a key leader in science but gave no examples at all of what it has achieved; religion and science traditionally don’t mix so I wasn’t sure what this section was trying to achieve.
I found the weaponry section hypocritical too, check out this introduction:

Islamic weaponry

Islamic weaponry

I found this quite confusing, Islam condems war and fighting, yet claims former violence as glorious. It respects the right of every human but talks about a holy struggle. Maybe I read it wrong, but it didn’t give me the best of impressions. I have met many muslims since being in Malaysia and they have all been very friendly and accomodating, so I think I’ll stick with that impression of them rather than what this museum seems to want to say.
Also while I’m critising the buildings this was all in was not very nice looking (especially compared to all the nice mosques around and the other museums). However this chest used to keep clothes and other items inscribed with Quran inscriptions was beautifully crafted.

Quran inscribed box

Quran inscribed box

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex May 8, 2009 at 4:26 PM

The demon dog carvings look wicked and the Islamic box looks pretty intricate! Good update bro lots of meat to it :)

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Lorac May 8, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Thank you Rob! It’s always best when we can walk with you.

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Adventure Rob May 9, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Thanks for comments guys, going to be a bit slow updating next 2 days as they are quite busy days too, I need a break from sight seeing to keep the blog up to date!

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