Kota Kayang Museum, Perlis

GRAND TOUR – continued

Regular readers of this blog are probably getting a bit bored of all these empty, similar sounding museums which I keep visiting in Malaysia. Well here is another one – Kota Kayang Museum, also known as the Perlis State Museum.  It is located a scenic area surrounded by 8 hills a few miles from Kuala Perlis.

Kota Kayang Museum, Perlis

It is a new building, finished in 1999 but it is supposed to be structurally identical to the one it replaced. The older building used to the official residence of the British Advisor to Perlis. During the war it was used by both the Japanese military administration and the Thai military government which was installed by the Japanese to run the northern states of Malaya. After the war the building became the residence of the Perlis Chief Minister untilit was demolished in 1991 to make way for the museum.

As usual I was requested to sign in the foreign visitors book and I noticed that the last person to sign in before me had been 6 weeks earlier which is a bit sad.

Exhibits are spread over a few galleries and include:

Muslim cemetery headstones, Kota Kayang

Old headstones,

Cave dwellers at Kota Kayang Museum

early potters,


and weapon displays. This is how they describe a curved blade dagger called the Lawi Ayam;

‘The metal used to make the weapon is special so that it acquires special powers. Those who fall victim to this weapon would succumb to serious injuries until his guts spilled out.’  Charming!

The Royal Gallery explains that Perlis was formerly ruled by a governor but in 1843, the King of Thailand upgraded the status of the governor to King (Raja), and the post has been held ever since by the Jamalullail family who can trace their ancestry back to Hadramaut in Yemen.

The royal telly and an old kerosene fan are among the exhibits in this gallery.

The Royal Box?

Kerosene Powered Fan

I found the grounds of the museum to be more attractive than the inside.  There is a 17th century tomb of  Sultan Dhiauddin Mukarram Shah (also known as Al – Marhum Kayang the First). During his reign a canal was built from the south bank of the Perlis River all the way to Anak Bukit in Kedah. Possibly it is still around but there are so many drainage and irrigation waterways in this area it is hard to tell from the map.

Al Marhum tomb at Kota Kayang

There is also a small cave and peaceful landscaped gardens.

Pretty gardens at Kota Kayang Museum

It’s a lovely secluded spot. Pity there were not more visitors to keep my car company in the car park.

I managed to find a parking space.

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