Thursday, September 04, 2008


"Our national museums remind us where we’ve been, reveals where we are and hold clues to where we are going as a nation."

Here are the 10 Most Important Buildings of Southeast Asia in its entirety...

Brunei Museum
Jalan Kota Batu, BS Begawan

National Museum of Myanmar (Burma)
66/74, Pyay Road, Dagon, Yangon

National Museum of Cambodia
Ang Eng (St. 13) Cor. St. 184, Phnom Penh (near the Royal Palace)

Museum Nasional Indonesia
Jalan Merdeka Barat, Indonesia

Lao National Museum
Samsenthai Road, Vientiane

National Museum of the Filipino People
Rizal Park, Manila (near the Dept. of Finance Bldg.)

Muzium Negara Malaysia
Perdana Lake Gardens, Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road, Singapore

National Museum of Thailand
Sanam Luang, Bangkok (near the Grand Palace)

National Museum of Vietnamese History
Trang Tien St, Hanoi

The mirror images of our peoples.


***If any one has information on the National Museum of Timor Leste, please share it here. Thanks.


curbside_puppet said...

that one in singapore looked very grand.

however, i thought brunei and malaysia were a little bit disappointing. considering the money that these two have, they could have had national museums on a grander scale.

as for the national museum in the philippines, i still get to confuse all of the buildings in that area since they all looked the same!

the thai and indonesian ones are nice as well.

Anonymous said...

of all the museums i saw,the one in the philippines is the most fantastic. those in malaysia and thailand were very bad.

ArchieMD said...

The National Museum of the Filipino People houses Juan Luna's Spolarium. Just looking at that majestric painting makes your visit at the museum worth it.

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

No, anonymous. DONT PRETEND you've been to Malaysia or Thailand just to say something not nice.

When you said Muzium Negara Malaysia was bad...I knew instantly YOU ARE ONE PRETENTIOUS OGRE.

You don't even know how the interior looked like. So please sweetie, shut it.

Jowell said...


I've been reading this blog for over a year now but this would be my very first comment. Keep the good posts coming...

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

And Curb sweetie...I appreciate your thought darlin'. You will always be a BISEAN sweetheart, ok? *hugs and kisses*

The Malaysia National Museum is uber-grand inside. Their collection are jaw-dropping.

And with Brunei...just don't lose yourself in the Regalia Exhibit. It will make you think: "What is this too much richness doing in this hall when people in my country are starving?".

I'm done here. Be nice, guys. *giggles*

Sofia for BiSEAN said...

Hey Archie sweetie...Pisanu was just talking about you and your blog the other day. I haven't checked it out yet. But I promise, soon sweetie. Thank you for all your comments and shring here, smart babe *giggles*

And Jowell...OMG! Thank you! If it has been a year, then you know how Pisanu, Morgan and moi looks like? *lol*

Only Pisanu can post "good" stuffs like this. I do the rants.

D. Ricafort said...

Guys, if we talk about the most comprehensive and largest collections in Southeast Asia: (1)Thailand (2) Malaysia (3) Indonesia.

As with the Philippines, the Ayala Museum has more "priceless" collections than that of the National Museum.

This is what I do. I'm a Filipino descent working as a Museum Curator in California. Take it from me.

Carrie Puyat said...

I agree with D.'s not the facade, it's what's inside.

curbside_puppet said...

@ sofia, thanks for the blog lovin'

you're right. well, i've never been really inside a museum (unless you count wax museums from diff cities i've been to), but that was it. i've only been to manila's national museum once, in 5th grade on our field trip.

i disagree with anonymous' bashing of the thai national museum. the architecture alone was kick-a**!

salingPUSA said...

I've never been to the National Museum if I be honest so I am not sure what is inside. Maybe part of my PROBINSYANO side ( rural folk). On this note, I am complete ignorant about it. Based on the outside appearance though, I would agree that the one in Brunei is very disappointing. I just hope they got all the good stuffs inside.....

eyron said...

without much considerations and looking only on the pictures i like the national museum of singapore.

but what inside is another story since im not fond of visiting meseum... hehe

Allen Yu said...

I really thought that the Philippines' is the one on the 50-peso bill. The one that is behind the National Museum of the Filipino People. So... which is which?

Erique Fat Owl said...

I've been to the national museums of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand - and they're great in different ways. Singapore is the most comfy and modern, I guess. Malaysia has the most amazing collection. Thailand is quite mesmerizing, the architecture alone is worth visiting.

As for Indonesia, I think our museum is comparable to those I've mentioned above - our collection are very valuable but most stuff in the old building (especially the stone statues) are scattered and treated like garbage...I just wish they would build nice displays and proper lightings to display those gorgeous statues. The new building is modern and comfy, but it's mostly EMPTY and still under construction since yearsss ago. tsk, tsk.

Matthew Andrew said...

top best fascade.

1. singuuuhpore!
2. pilipinaaas!
3. indo nesia.


tagpi said...

I've been checking your blogs almost everyday since last year. I find it informative and entertaining (especially the rantings haha). Nice blog and keep going! Oh by the way, I am wondering if you already have something about our southeast asian lighthouses? Perhaps they could also be intresting.

- jUbeRtjOhN - said...

Looking at the exterior, I love the national museums of Singapore (are we talking here of the grandest?), the Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand.

I've never been to any of these museums but I agree with what d.ricafort said that Ayala Museum contains more priceless artifacts than the National Museum of the Filipino People.

I also agree that Brunei's National Museum is quite a dissapointment *sorry Julia*. It's reminds me of an old university building in Manila.

For Myanmar, I love the golden(?)

Errr!Indonesia, its really cute for a national museum.*i'm not laughing*

Lao National Museum reminds me of the almost 60-years old Home Economics building in my elementary school.

Malaysia and Vietnam also deserves
a thumbs up.

For Pisano, Sofia and Morgan, you deserves a wax statue apiece. Keep up the good work guys. I love you.

- jUbeRtjOhN -

james said...

my top best fascade...

1. Cambodia
2. Vietnam
3. Malaysia

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the arguments on this comment section. The way Thailand, Laos and Cambodia PRESERVE their cultures...these 3 whole countries are museums indeed.

Erique Fat Owl said...

I honestly think that my country's (Indonesia) national museum is the butt-ugliest. It's not even considered one of the best museums in Asia. but perhaps you should find out what the old building looks like (The one in Pisanu's post is the new building), the old building is much better looking (built by the Dutch). But it's still ugly, IMHO. The only thing that beautifies the facade of our national museum is the bronze elephant statue which is a gift from King Chulalongkorn of Thailand for the people of Batavia (Jakarta) in the 19th century!

Speaking of the Dutch, I'm going to have to say this - why oh why, of all the mighty European countries in the world, must the DUTCH colonized us? They have no sense of aesthetics in architecture (in their colonies only, not in their own country)! The Dutch are strict observer of the "Nieuw-Zakelijk" style, which is a strictly utilitarian style - no excessive need for aesthetics, straightforward style. As a result, Jakarta's old European-style buildings are nothing in comparison to those found in Malaysia and Singapore (in terms of beauty). Malaysia and Singapore was colonized by the rich and prosperous Britain, and Vietnam was colonized by the uber-chic French (their colonial buildings are gorgeous!)

Why oh why!!! I wish the Brits colonized us instead!

HOWEVER...mind you know that our national museum is in fact, one of the ugliest museums in Indonesia? There are lots of other museums that are much prettier, such as the Bank of Indonesia Museum, and the museum in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah that looks like a Balinese temple...

Anonymous said...

the national museum of the philippines served as the venue for the miss earth competition.. i forgot what year it was but it was nice.. the ayala museum focuses on modern art/ artifacts(whatever you call it and it has a magnificent diorama of philippine history.

ken said...

bisean should (i think) make other than national museum as i think sarawak museum is better than malaysia national museum as the building n artifacts more then national museum ;-)

acosicris said...

the Nat'l Museum (Phi), the Nat'l Museum of the Filipino people and National Art Gallery are independent institution. The NMFP & NAG are (I think so) under restoration.
The NM I visited back in high school was the one in the P. Burgos..(the one in the PhP50)

By the photos shown here, I like the museums from Lao and Cambodia.

for Museum-lovers, try the Villa Escudero museum in San Pablo city, Laguna. (eerie! hehe!)

May said...

Top 3 museums, not in any order. Indonesia National, Cambodia National and Sarawak Museum. The Viet Nam National Museum has a great collection but needs to be displayed better. The Philippine National Museum needs to have a more cohesive collection.

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