Brunei is a very small country. So small and laid back that you feel like nothing can be done here. But being a country, of course there are still places that are worth a visit. Being a cheapskate self, I really love places which are free of charge. Well, who want to spend money when there are free things around, right? In Brunei, one of the free places is Muzium Teknologi Melayu (Malay Technology Museum).
Haji Muslin, being my homestay host told me on the morning of my second day that “kita akan tengok muzium teknologi hari ini (we are going to visit a museum today)“. Ah… museum. Sounds boring for most but not for a history buff like me. Museum is like my Louis Vuitton!
But wait! Although bearing the name ‘technology’, it is not the kind of technology that you would imagine. The museum actually exhibits the old technology of the Malays especially the Bruneian Malays.
Upon entering the museum building, sponsored by the Shell group to the Brunei government, I was greeted by the exhibitions of the Songket attire of the Bruneians. I really love Songket because it looks classy and full of detailed motives. Songket is one of the most expensive fabric in the Malay archipelago.
I ventured further into the quiet museum. I felt like I was the only visitor in the huge museum. I walked and went outside, overlooking the vast lake (or was it river) and looked around. It is huge but I felt that the building is a little bit run down.
Basically, this museum consists of three main exhibition galleries:
- Water Village Traditional House Gallery showing the architectural styles of Kampong Ayer (read my post on Kampong Ayer here) houses in the old days;
- Water Village Traditional Technology Gallery which depicts the many industries found at Kampong Ayer;
- Inland Traditional Technology Gallery which features the technology of the inland people.
Being a Malay, I am proud of the museum. Although it shows the technology of the people in the old days, at least I know how the Bruneian Malays in the late 19th centuries lived and their contributions to the society in the era.
Muzium Teknologi Melayu Brunei Darussalam is located at Simpang 482, Kampung Kota Batu, Brunei besides the Brunei Museum, approximately 6 km from Bandar Seri Begawan.
By public transport, take purple line bus No. 39 heading towards Muara.