Malay Technological Museum (Muzium Teknologi Melayu)

Updated: October 14, 2016
Located not far from Brunei Museum is the Malay Technological Museum that exhibits various types of traditional technologies utilized by the indigenous people of Brunei Darussalam. Contrary to its name, this museum's displays are not about information technology, like I thought, but the traditional lifestyles and practices of Malay.
They said it's only 5 minutes walk from the bus stop near Brunei Museum but I think it's not. We were taken there by the good Samaritan who saw us at the closed Brunei Museum, and it's more than five minutes drive. Going there, you'll pass by local houses along the way so you would not think there's really a museum there. But just keep walking and you'll find the museum located on the left side of the road.
It's a two-story building was donated by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, in conjunction with the Sultanate's independence in 1984 and officially opened by His Majesty in 1988. There are a exhibits on the ground floor but the majority of the displays are located on the 2nd floor. The exhibits features how things were done in ancients times. There are displays in boat making, fishing, metalworking and gold smiting.
This museum has 3 exhibition halls, these are: Kampung Ayer's (Water Village) Traditional Houses, Kampung Ayer's Traditional Technologies, and Traditional Technologies of Other Indigenous Ethnic Group.
Gallery 1: Kampung Ayer's Traditional Houses
The gallery exhibits six model of traditional houses found in Kampung Ayer or the Water Village that were popular in the late 19th century until mid 20th century. These houses are the: Belah Bubung House, Loteng House, Belah Bubung Beserambi House, Potong Limas House, Belanggar House and Tungkup House. The evolution in the use of construction materials was reflected in their structural designs, thus providing historical records on their architectural influences.
Gallery 2: Kampung Ayer's Traditional Technologies
The gallery exhibits several models of fishing traps and traditional cottage industries of Kampung Ayer such as cloth-weaving, boat-making, gold, iron and silver-smithing as well as brass-making. The also exhibits products of these traditional cottage industries.
Gallery 3: Traditional Technologies of Other Indigenous Ethnic Group
The gallery exhibits the traditional industries of indigenous people of Brunei Darussalam who settled on land, particularly, the interior highlands in relation to the river-dwellers of the Brunei water villages, that includes sago-making, sugar-processing, simple technologies used in rice cultivation besides of the making spinning tops and blowpipes. The gallery also exhibits models of traditional houses of the Dusun Kedaya, the Murut longhouse, and the Penan makeshift jungle hut.
Since Brunei Museum is closed when we visited, all visitors who wants to see it came here instead. The men who helped us get there is I think from Malaysia and just came here to visit the museum.
A bus with a lot people arrived at the same time we got there and it made the museum a little too crowded. But for me they just add quality to the museum as they really looked like they belong there with their traditional clothes.
Malay's traditional attire for men is a loose tunic which is worn over trousers, called baju melayu, accompanied with sarong called sampin which is wrapped around the hips and a cap called songkok.
The displays are real, like the woods, the houses, and the boat. The mannequin inside the houses looks almost real. You can explore the museum in less than an hour and have a lot of pictures.
During the time we were exploring the museum, I have never seen one Malay woman accompanying them the men. I'm not sure if it's their culture, or it's just that all of them are just men.

Don't forget to go down at the back of the museum where a traditional real boat displayed. It's also a perfect place to just relax and look at the river while enjoying the wind.
Address: Kota Batu, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei-Muara District, Brunei
Phone#: +67(3) 224-4545 samb 150
Fax#: +67(3) 224-2727
Opening hours:
9:00am-5:00pm (Sunday to Thursday)
9:00am-11:30am | 2:30pm-5:00pm (Friday)
9:45am-5:00pm (Saturday)
(last entry 30 minutes before closing)

How to Get There?
  • Ride Bus 39 from Central and get off at bus stop near Brunei Museum.
  • Facing Brunei Museum, follow the path on the left and walk for maybe 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Along the way, there are guards so you can ask them where the museum is.


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