Museums & Libraries

Borneo Cultures Museum Kuching: All you need to know

The Borneo Cultures Museum is located just adjacent the Sarawak Museum (old building) which was previously the site for the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak.

It is the biggest museum in Malaysia, and the second biggest museum in South East Asia.

The cost to build the museum is RM308 million, and it was first planned to open in December 2020.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum complex which was handed over to the Sarawak government in May 2019 had its opening pushed back to April 2021.

The museum was finally officially declared open on 4 March 2022, with members of the public allowed to visit the museum from 9 March onwards with pre-bookings required.

About the museum

The building itself is Green Building Index (GBI) certified.

It is conceptualized as an iconic building, boasting not only a strong visual and aesthetic expression but also responding to its functional need as a practical and welcoming public place for all.

The design complement the existing Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building with the distinctive gold colour of the museum’s roof and façade cladding chosen to match the DUN’s colour scheme.

The solid part of the façade is designed with an abstract reinterpretation of weavings in Sarawak, in reference to the museum’s role as the keeper and presenter of the state’s cultural heritage.

The new building is built to have five floors with the ground floor allocated for cafeteria, children’s gallery (1st floor), and exhibition area (2nd, 3rd and 4th floors).

The exhibition area covers  a total space of 6,726 sq meters. It will include sections for ethnography, archaeology and archives.

What to expect at Borneo Cultures Museum

At writing time, it was reported that some 1,600 cultural artefacts would be displayed in the the Borneo Cultures Museum.

The third floor of the museum will be known will feature attractions such as a Melanau burial pole, known also as ‘kelidieng’, a Punan burial pole called ‘kejaman’ and the Iban war boat.

For the disabled, the museum is disable friendly with ramps and lifts made available for use. There’s also disable friendly toilets as well.

The following are galleries in the museum:

  • Love Our Rivers (Level 2)
  • In harmony with Nature (Level 3)
  • Time Changes (Level 4)
  • Object Desires (Level 5)

South East Asia's 2nd largest museum

Other photos of the museum which were taken by us can be seen below.

The interior of BCM. – Photo: CyrilDason
The golden overhead bridge connecting BCM and the ‘old’ Sarawak museum. Photo: CyrilDason

Virtual cruising on a long boat. – Photo: CyrilDason
Part of the third level which was about people living in coastal areas. – Photo: CyrilDason
The back entrance to the museum
The curator explaining the legend of Santubong. – Photo: CyrilDason

Photos of the Museum interior can be seen below. These photos are shared by the museum itself.

How to go to Borneo Cultures Museum

You can walk to the museums if you stay at The Waterfront Hotel Kuching, or Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites.

The map below will help guide you to the museums.  Both museums are located side by side.

Operating hours & fees

Visitors need to pay to enter the museum from 1 June 2022, and charges are seen below.

Operating hours are seen below.

  • 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲
    • Session 1: 9.00am – 1.00pm (Morning)
    • Session 2: 1.00pm – 4.45pm (Afternoon)
  • 𝐒𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐇𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 :
    • Session 1: 9.30am – 1.00pm (Morning)
    • Session 2: 1.00pm – 4.30pm (Afternoon)

Visitors can enter the museum without prior arrangements from 1 July 2022.

For your NGO / Government / School / Company bookings (minimum 15 pax, maximum 20 pax in a group), you are required to write in to

Borneo Cultures Museum dress code and rules

There is no dress code to enter the museum but one is required to wear appropriate dressing.

Slippers, shorts and t-shirts are allowed.

There’s however some rules set when coming in the museum as seen below.

Some house rules at the museum. – Photo: CyrilDason

Additional facilities at BCM

Aside from being disable friendly, the museum also offers locker facilities.

There’s also a cafeteria and a fine dining restaurant for those wanting to grab a bite.

Hotels near Borneo Cultures Museum

As mentioned above, the nearest hotels near the Borneo Cultures Museum are the Waterfront Hotel and Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites.

However, if you need other options, the ones below are highly recommended as well, and are within walking distance from the museums.

Alternatively, you can also check out our hotel listing of thousands of hotels in Kuching in our hotel listing page.

Other articles related to BCM

If you need more information about the museum, feel free to read any of the links below.

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.

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